Bafana Bafana Chronicles- Playing the game
Written by Mbali Mokoko
Yesterday was Bafana Bafana’s AFCON 2015 qualifier against Nigeria and Cape Town was abuzz with football fever. Coach Shakes Mashaba and his technical team looked to capitalize on that football fever by taking the boys on a tour of the city to encourage fans to fill the Cape Town Stadium to capacity. The team spent the whole morning at Canal walk shopping centre, meeting and greeting fans, some of whom didn’t even know that the national team is in town. Fans queued to take photos with their national team heroes. The love for coach Ephrahim Shakes Mashaba and his boys was quite overwhelming. Scores of Cape Townians waved their match day tickets at the players saying they’re looking forward to the game. People from all walks of life came and spoke to our national team coach to re-affirm their support. Many kept on telling him they are behind the team and with 30 000 tickets already sold it promised to be a humdinger, razzmatazz moment.
As excited as the fans were, history is against Bafana Bafana. The last time that South Africa played in Cape Town was early this year during the CHAN tournament where they suffered a shocking first round exit after losing to the Nigerians. They faced the same team at the same venue, but although that loss and Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula’s subsequent “bunch of losers” taunt is still fresh in the minds of many, the team is very different now with the minister himself having sung the praises of coach Shakes Mashaba and his team.