‘I would rather go hun­gry than miss a Pi­rates game’

CityPress - - News - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za

Cost is not a fac­tor when it comes to Lu­sanda Mchunu’s favourite soc­cer team, Or­lando Pi­rates.

She re­cently spent more than R4 000 on travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion and meals just so she could watch her team play at Cape Town Sta­dium. To some, this may seem lu­di­crous, but to her, it’s all about the love of the game.

Mchunu eats and lives Or­lando Pi­rates. Her Face­book page is full of pic­tures of her dressed in full Pi­rates gear. And her wardrobe is mainly black and white.

Mchunu, who lives in Jab­u­lani, Soweto, blames her un­cle for her undy­ing love of the team: “Ev­ery­thing I know about Pi­rates, I learnt from him.”

It started back in 1998 while the fam­ily was still liv­ing in Nkandla. Her un­cle was the only one who had a tele­vi­sion and they were only al­lowed to watch TV on week­ends, and those were times when soc­cer was be­ing broad­cast.

“To gain en­try into his room, my un­cle would de­mand that we make a Buc­ca­neer sign. As we watched the game, he would teach us about the rules of soc­cer and why Pi­rates was the best team.

“I ended up lov­ing Pi­rates and fol­low­ing their games ev­ery time I had the op­por­tu­nity,” she says.

In 2005, Mchunu moved to Johannesburg and her un­cle took her to a sta­dium to watch a Pi­rates game. She says she loved the ex­pe­ri­ence and wished she could be at ev­ery game, but fi­nances did not al­low this be­cause she was still a stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Johannesburg.

Four years later, she started work­ing and that’s when she de­cided that she would be at ev­ery Pi­rates game as long as it was in Gaut­eng.

She would go alone to these games, and then one day she met Pi­rates su­per­fan Joy, who wel­comed her with open arms.

She says: “We have been insep­a­ra­ble. We go to all the games, even if they are out of town.”

Mchunu says home games are not ex­pen­sive for her be­cause she only needs about R150, which cov­ers her ticket, travel costs and meals.

But she does not com­pro­mise when it comes to her team’s kit. Ev­ery sea­son, she buys a new shirt and now owns more than 15 Pi­rates jer­seys.

“The most ex­pen­sive kit I have bought so far cost me R1 450. I bought a Pi­rates track suit for R950 and jersey for R500 last month.

“Cost is not a fac­tor when it comes to Pi­rates. I would rather go hun­gry than miss a game or not buy kit,” she says.

Mchunu, who is a card-car­ry­ing mem­ber of the club, says her team will take the Car­ling Black La­bel Cup.

“This cup is ours and [Kaizer] Chiefs know this well. It has been with us for years and will stay with us,” she says.

PHOTO: EL­IZ­A­BETH SE­JAKE

SU­PER­FAN Lu­sanda Mnchunu she is Ora­lando Pi­rates su­per­fan

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