There's something in Egypt that our football ancestors didn’t tell us about because it has become the place where our national teams have found a way to resurrect our football back to international relevance.
It was in Egypt, 20 years ago that a South Africa U20 national team qualified for the World Cup.
This after five other teams failed.
South Africa had qualified at the second time of trying for the Malaysia tournament in 1997 when it was still called the Fifa World Youth Championship.
That was a team coached by Shakes Mashaba and starred Amajita vannie Kaap such as Benni McCarthy, David Kannemeyer, Junaid Hartley, Matthew Booth as captain and even Wayne Roberts as the team’s goalkeeper.
That was the last time any SA team made it past the group stages of the U20 Cup of Nations, which has been the qualifying tournament for the World Cup as we know it today, after it was renamed in 2007.
Then the ouens that did it in 2009 did something quite special and since progressed from the U20s to the U23s and now Bafana Bafana.
They were the same guys who played in this year’s Afcon and qualified out of the group stages for the first time since the year 2000, believe it or not.
Guess where they did it?
In Egypt, obviaaaaas!
That’s some piece of history created by the current Bafana group, which has also become quite a unique story to tell for those who might be interested.
But let’s wait until they qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup first to tell the tale.
Fast forward to last week, when a new group of U23s managed to become only the third SA team to qualify for the Olympic Games.
There’s nothing to go crazy about being the third team, right?
Wrong, these youngsters are part of a group of SA footballers that have not only played at the Afcon at U17, U20, and U23 level, but they have also managed to qualify for the U17 and U20 World Cups and now the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
I’ll give you time to think of a South African player that has ever done that.
When you find one or two, you know where to find me!
When Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki referred to this U23 group as the "Golden Generation", he’s not mistaken.
The current squad are rewriting South African football history with each game that they play and going to Tokyo 2020 will make them more decorated, tournament-wise, than any other SA player in history.
It goes without saying that the likes of Ajax Cape Town’s Grant Margeman and SuperSport United duo of Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule are among the U23s core of players that will progress to the Bafana national set-up based on their performances for club and every time they have put on the national jersey through the different levels.
You can also add Portugal-based Luther Singh and Belgium-based Lyle Foster to that list.
Both these attackers have shown the real potential of being very good senior players in the near future.
But unlike Margeman and Mokoena, who have been starters for their local clubs for the past three and more, Singh and Foster are at the crucial stage of making the jump from reserve league to top-flight football.
They are, however, doing it in Europe where everything is done to equip players like them for the next level.
It might be the time right for Ntseki to gave a conversation with someone like a Dean Furman about his future in the Bafana team beyond the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Germany recently faced a similar conundrum to Bafana, with a host of youngsters pushing through their national and club ranks.
However, unlike his German counterparts who abruptly told three of the team’s veterans to let them know they were no longer in the national team plans, Mr Ntseki should give Furman a little more respect than that.
He deserves that the coach speaks to him now so that the player can also prepare himself for his swansong.
The 31-year-old has been a true warrior for Bafana since he was afforded the opportunity as a youngster who might have chosen to test his chances with England rather than South Africa.
He will without a doubt be a great ambassador for SA football for a long time to come when his playing days are over.
He is the kind of guy that Ntseki has been calling for, to use to convince other players with a UK and European background to consider representing the Gold and Green of Mzansi.
We have a history of not managing this process well in South Africa and we have been lucky because we’ve also changed coaches and the fault is placed on their feet.
We missed out on giving Benni McCarthy a special farewell by allowing him the opportunity to bid farewell to the national team in front of his home fans at the 2010 World Cup.
After his weight problems late in his career and some indiscretions ahead of the tournament, they dumped him unceremoniously.
What a story that could have been?
It’s another chapter we can discuss when the time is right.