The Springboks started a fire last week and will have to keep that blaze going.

I can’t remember when last I was so excited to see the Bokke play.

And I wasn’t the only one.

There was a new energy igniting the new-look Bokke, led by Siya Kolisi.

Ahead of the game, the buzz around the team for their three-Test clash against England was incredible.

On social media, all the talk was about our first black Springbok captain.

And then there was our first all-black front-row as coach Rassie Erasmus went with Beast Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi and Trevor Nyakane.


Lukhanyo Am started at outside centre and Sbu Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyantyi on the wings for their debuts.

This team looked exciting. It looked different. It looked a little more like South Africa.

And that was the talk all around the team from my friends who don’t really talk about sport.

One said: “The Bokke better win the game because they just packed their team with a klompie scapegoats if they lose.”

No doubt, I thought.

But the excitement grew and mense started using the hashtag #SiyaKolisiDay ahead of the game as they waited for him to lead the Boks out for his first time at Ellis Park.

Then suddenly, there were new voices supporting the Boks.They weren’t singing the regular Ole Ole Ole Ole Ole Ole you hear in the skare, either.

Then when the national anthem was sung, the “Nkosi Sikeleli” part was just as loud as the “Die Stem” bit. It gave me goosebumps.

And they were roaring the team on from their opening 15-minute freeze all the way through their incredible comeback. The Bokke have new black fans.

DANGER MAN: Flying winger Aphiwe Dyantyi. Photo: GAVIN BARKER/BACKPAGEPIX

And it was amazing to see a video of them marching outside to Ellis Park, singing and dancing and loving the team.

Suddenly Siya Kolisi’s team has the potential to be loved by the masses, to be a truly South African team.

I grew up in a time when my parents didn’t care for the Bokke, they could have lost for all they cared.

I sat next to my dad on that day in 1995 when Nelson Mandela came to support Francois Pienaar’s manne on the pitch against New Zealand.

And he turned to me and said: “Vandag gaan die Bokke die All Blacks klop”.


He had embraced the Bokke. And I really hope that Siya running out at Ellis Park last Saturday was as magical a moment.

South African sports fans, though, are a fickle bunch and will go off this team at the drop of an Owen Farrell goal.

So Rassie, Siya and the manne have to keep this up and beat the English again in Bloemfontein.

And I’m hoping the Boks get some of the famed Bloem Celtic fans to grace the ground too and give the team more gees.

Maybe we can learn some more songs to add to Shosholoza.

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