Viva, Amablomblom, viva!

CityPress - - Sport - NICKI GULES nicki.gules@city­press.co.za

Protea fire! We’ve been hav­ing it.

Now, I don’t know much – or any­thing, re­ally – about sport, as sports editor S’Bu Mse­leku will tell you. I’m as quiet as a mor­tu­ary in Po­fad­der when the sports di­ary is dis­cussed in City Press’ ed­i­to­rial con­fer­ences. But even I have no­ticed the great job the na­tional cricket team has been do­ing in sal­vaging our na­tional pride.

Their in­nings and 80-run de­feat of the Aus­tralian side in the sec­ond test match in Ho­bart on November 12 was beau­ti­ful stuff, and had de­ter­mined South African sleep­ers wak­ing up in the early hours of the morn­ing to catch the ac­tion.

Not bad for a team named af­ter a bunch of “blomme”. Viva, Amablomblom, viva!

Which brings us to the Spring­boks. Un­like the crick­eters, they have not been do­ing their bit for the na­tion’s feel-good lev­els. Their 37-21 loss against the English side at Twick­en­ham, also on November 12, was em­bar­rass­ing. I can tell you that I even don’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween a for­ward pass and a col­lapsed scrum.

Surely, they should have a slightly less threat­en­ing name than the Spring­boks? We could keep the em­blem in the North­ern Cape, which has an abun­dance of spring­bok, and call them the Na­maqua­land daisies, per­haps? Or we could draw fur­ther in­spi­ra­tion from the fyn­bos fam­ily and call them the Erikas? Or maybe that’s a bad idea. Any par­ent will tell you that you have to be care­ful what you name your chil­dren. It’s a the­ory called nom­i­na­tive de­ter­min­ism – that a per­son’s name could play a large role in de­ter­min­ing their char­ac­ter and their pro­fes­sion. My name means “stub­born”, and my 1.87m-tall hus­band’s name means “tall”. We are well named, in­deed.

Ac­cord­ing to this the­ory, we should per­haps then call our na­tional rugby side the Mag­nif­i­cent War­riors in the hopes that they live up to that name.

Which brings me to Bafana Bafana. Even for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki com­plained that the nick­name for the na­tional foot­ball side was hardly in­spi­ra­tional. Boys Boys. On a con­ti­nent that fea­tures the il­lus­tri­ous Su­per Ea­gles of Nige­ria, the In­domitable Li­ons of Cameroon and the Ele­phants of Ivory Coast.

It’s a won­der that, with a name like that, the Boys beat Sene­gal’s Li­ons of Teranga 2-1 last Satur­day.

If we’d like Bafana Bafana to be­gin a win­ning streak, we should per­haps re­name them along the lines of the never-mis­sers or those-who-al­waysfind-the-back-of-the-net. But what­ever we do, we mustn’t call them the iz­im­bali (flow­ers in isiZulu). Right now, the only ones who can live up to – or beyond – their name are the na­tional cricket side.

Viva, Amablomblom! Viva!

PHOTO: DUIF DU TOIT / GALLO IMAGES / GETTY IMAGES

IN FULL BLOOM Hashim Amla and Quin­ton de Kock run a sin­gle dur­ing the first one-day in­ter­na­tional match be­tween South Africa and India at Wan­der­ers Sta­dium in Jo­han­nes­burg in 2013

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