Editorial: The spirit of “ubuntu” prevailed at the National Stadium in Bafana's opening game

Goal.com South Africa writer based in Johannesburg and Rustenburg shares his unforgettable experience at the Afcon this weekend
The 2013 Afcon opening ceremony was an eye opener. I did not know the complete feeling of the Afcon until the Bafana v Cape Verde game. I now know what the supporters and my colleagues felt during the 1996 Afcon.

The National Stadium was painted gold and green with South African fans wearing their Bafana Bafana colours despite the rain.

They proved to the whole world that they are behind the national team because they came in their numbers despite Bafana’s previous results.

The Mexican-wave, the singing of Shosholoza and the cheering for the boys every time they pushed forward was lovely to watch.

The spirit of “ubuntu” prevailed and fans forgot about their own team players and supported the whole squad. It did not matter whether one is from a Zulu-speaking or Xhosa-speaking nation.      

Before the match South African fans were confident of beating Cape Verde and were singing different songs about Bafana in the buses.

Although I am not a good singer, it was easier to hear them singing “Bafana Bafana siyavina”.  I was already feeling like I was at the stadium while in the bus and that is what I called passion, because I believe that passionate fans will always encourage players to produce their best.

I have never seen our fans singing and cheering the entire 90 minutes before, but Saturday was a special day for every one of us.

It was also interesting to see the fans of Angola and Morroco watching their opening game. Our African brothers and sisters were united and there was no rivalry.

I hope that other countries that are in South Africa for the 2013 Afcon tournament, learnt how fans should behave and handle the pressure of supporting their respective teams regardless of the results.

The 2013 Afcon tournament should be one of the best editions Africa has ever hosted.