Cricket-mad ‘Clix’ unites 400 at Test
What started as a simple tweet from former Dale College cricketer Qhama Xhali – raised in King William’s Town – ended up uniting 400 people from all over South Africa to watch the third Test match between the Proteas and Pakistan at Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium at the weekend.
Xhali, 30, now based in Johannesburg and known on social networks as Clixwell, invited friends and strangers to the game and offered a free beer for everybody who came to sit at the “unity stand”.
The tweet made last week on Sunday blew up on social media, leading to the hashtag #ClixIsBuying.
Speaking at the game, Xhali said: “We have a nice small community of people who like to tweet about cricket.
“I’ve come to Test matches during the past three years and we always found that we’re scattered around the ground.
“So I said: ‘Let’s all come to one stand. We’ll sit together.
“[I’ll] buy you a drink and we’ll have the banter we have on social media in real life.’ ”
To his astonishment, the tweet garnered 214 replies in 24 hours. “It received so many replies within a day – I realised it was out of my pay grade,” Xhali said.
With interest rising, Xhali sought assistance from Castle Lager, which sponsored 400 tickets and free beer to firsttime cricket watchers on Saturday through the brand’s #SmashTheLabel campaign.
The label was launched in July to shine the spotlight on stereotypes and labelling and to encourage South African citizens to judge people on their character and actions, not their cultural backgrounds.
Xhali said: “I didn’t know about the campaign, but they asked me how many people I had for the game and if they are cricket lovers.
“I told them it’s just people debunking stereotypes.”