South Africa is a country where our divided past still influences the daily lives of ordinary South African. When the Blue Bulls made it through to the Super 14 semi-finals and their home ground, Loftus, was unavailable due to preparation for the Fifa 2010 World Cup, something amazing happened. For the first time ever in South African history, a major internationally televised rugby game was played in a soccer stadium in the heart of Soweto. I never imagined anything like that could happen in my country. Viva Rainbow Nation, viva. This historical event had me so excited that I couldn't wait to be part of it. It was an experience that I will never forget! Allow me to share my journey with you.
I headed for my nearest Checkers to redeem my tickets. The queue was out the door! Clearly lots of people were excited about watching the Bulls in Soweto.
Not so much fun was the clogged highway leading to Soweto, but with the help of a couple of back roads that took us past the impressive Soccer City stadium we arrived at the Orlando Stadium and parked right in front of the stadium.
WOW! I was blown away by Orlando. The residents really welcomed us to their neighbourhood and one even went as far as to paint his house blue with the Bulls logo on. The stadium is as impressive as Loftus, with as many facilities. The beer tent was pumping, boerewors rolls were everywhere; I even managed to have an ice-cream before we headed for our seats.
I shared my row with a group of vuvuzela-blowing fans. Everywhere I looked it was a sea of blue. The atmosphere was amazing. I tried spotting the Crusader supporters. I counted only four and then gave up.
There were still some open seats when the game kicked off (apparently people got stuck in traffic), but that didn’t seem to bother the Bulls at all and they got off to a cracking start. And then the Bulls scored a try and all of a sudden it's vuvuzela time. I joined in with my mini vuvuzela, It was great fun to see the locals smiling at me. It was buzzing and people were still streaming in.
Then Crusader’s Dan Carter gets a kick at goal and the vuvuzelas start up again. I am sure it annoyed the crap out of him and I loved the contest. World class rugby player vs vuvuzela madness. I wasn't surprised that he banged that one over, Dan the man is damn good. It didn't last though - he couldn't maintain his 100% record and at some stage the vuvuzelas got to him. The stadium started to fill up and the atmosphere really heated up. Mexican waves started going round, vuvuzelas started blowing on the "Bulle" clap, clap beat and towards the end of the game the crowed started singing "Ole".
Game over - the Bulls win and the crowd freaks out! As I want to exit my row, a fan approached me and first asked whether I am RuggaChick? LOL Yeah! Then he wanted a picture, I gladly posed and was off to film my clip from Orlando. It was a bit crazy and loud, I had to scream into the camera to make myself heard. Off I went to meet up with friends at the beer tent, grabbed a refreshment and watched the Stormers game on the big scream with music pumping in my ears.
They had a great game and I was very happy that they managed to make it an all South African Final. I loved the journey back home through Soweto at night and was amazed by the scenery. I felt like a proud South African. And this event has brought our country even closer.
I can't wait to go back for the mighty Super 14 final.