The fans, fash­ion and all the ac­tion

SOWETO DERBY

CityPress - - Front Page - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za

Ntombi Nzama has not missed a Kaizer Chiefs home game in well over a decade.

Come rain or shine she is at the sta­dium, adorned in yel­low and black, back­ing her favourite team.

Even if there is a fam­ily fu­neral, Nzama finds a way of sneak­ing off im­me­di­ately af­ter the for­mal pro­ceed­ings just so she can get to the sta­dium be­fore kick-off.

The Soweto res­i­dent, a self-ti­tled su­per­fan who con­sid­ers her­self a mem­ber of the Kaizer Chiefs fam­ily, fell in love with the team at a young age.

She says dur­ing fam­ily gath­er­ings her late grand­mother, who was also a staunch Chiefs fan, would hand out sweets to all her grand­chil­dren – but if a grand­child ap­proached her with­out dis­play­ing the Chiefs peace sign there would be no sweets for that grand­child.

“It’s funny when I think about it now be­cause my grand­mother was brain­wash­ing us, turn­ing us into Chiefs sup­port­ers with­out us know­ing it. We were too young to un­der­stand football, but she made sure that we were al­ready sup­port­ers of her favourite team, even be­fore we un­der­stood the game.”

As fate would have it, Nzama’s cousin, Cyril Nzama, was to be­come a pop­u­lar Kaizer Chiefs player. Although this fur­ther fu­elled her pas­sion for Amakhosi, Ntombi gives all the credit for her su­per­fan sta­tus to her grand­mother.

“When Cyril joined Chiefs, I was al­ready a fan of the team be­cause grandma had drilled it into us. But I must ad­mit that his op­por­tu­nity made me love the team even more.”

In 2002, she met a man who was a staunch Chiefs sup­porter. He took her to a Soweto derby and that was the first time she watched a game live at the sta­dium.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence was ex­cit­ing but over­whelm­ing at the same time. I loved Chiefs but it seemed I was sur­rounded by peo­ple who loved it more.

“Since that day I have never missed a Chiefs home game. If they are play­ing in other prov­inces, I make sure that I am home be­fore the game starts on TV.

“I know my sis­ter and my daugh­ter are some­times an­noyed by my love of the game be­cause I hog the re­mote when Chiefs are play­ing, but they have learnt to live with it.”

As a su­per­fan Ntombi is up to date with what is hap­pen­ing at Na­turena and she says it trou­bles her that Itume­leng Khune and Mandla Masango be­lieved they were big­ger than the team and fel­low play­ers.

“Khune is a bril­liant goal­keeper but to make such de­mands was ridicu­lous and un­fair to other play­ers. I am happy though that san­ity has pre­vailed and he is back home.

“Khune’s ab­sence due to in­jury and his stub­born­ness may have been a bless­ing in dis­guise be­cause it has ex­posed the trea­sure we have in goal­keeper Bril­liant Khuzwayo.”

Ntombi has been ea­gerly await­ing the Soweto derby. “Even if we don’t win, it won’t be a train smash. We have been win­ning any­way and Pi­rates have had a dry sea­son. Be­sides, the Car­ling Black La­bel Cup seems to favour Pi­rates and, as Chiefs fans, we have ac­cepted that.”

PHOTO: EL­IZ­A­BETH SE­JAKE

GLAM­OUR GIRLS Ntombi Nzama (cen­tre), who is a self-con­fessed su­per­fan of Kaizer Chiefs, with her daugh­ter Mbali (left) and cousin Noku­lunga (right)

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