PIRATES VS CHIEFS DERBY IN SOWETO
Ever since moving to Johannesburg, one of my biggest obligations was to attend a derby match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. To put it in terms of how big the match is, it’s like Real Madrid vs Barcelona or Manchester United vs Liverpool. It is the biggest and oldest football rivalry in South Africa, and for one-day Soccer City becomes Lit City and Soweto is in a full state of party mode.
On our way to the stadium, we could already experience the start of the vibe as taxies jam-packed with supporters were flooding in, and of course, creating even more traffic as they drove off-road and then pushed right into the front, as taxies naturally do. But they did, however, provide some great entertainment while in the queue. When the traffic was still, the passengers, clearly lit out of their minds, would proceed to exit the van and start jamming and chanting songs of support for their teams in the middle of the road. When it was time for traffic to move, they would hop back in, only to resume what they were doing a few meters later.
If I wasn’t driving, I would have totally joined in.
When we arrived at the stadium the chaos continued with trying to find parking, as everyone was on a mission to get a spot. But it didn’t take us too long. (Just a word of advice, try park as close as possible to the road as people don’t give any fucks and will park you in.) When we got out the car, we could feel the energy in the air. We began our trek towards the stadium to join the rest of the supporters. One thing that I noticed that really stood out to me was that even though this was a big game of two major rivals facing off, there was no violence or any animosity shown between the supporters. In Europe, people get their heads kicked in and stabbed up for supporting a rival team. But the only commotion was some little naair trying to pickpocket a few people, so watch your pockets. We entered the stadium and it was pumping, but before we could find our seats, we fetched a few standard delicacies, Black Labels, and boerewors rolls. We headed off to our seats to make it just in time for kick-off.
As the first contact was made with the ball, the crowd erupted and the battle for climbing the league table was underway. Not only was this a big match derby match, but also Pirates were just two points ahead of Chiefs on the log, so if Chiefs won, they would have overtaken Pirates. In the first half, Chiefs were the first to concede a goal and then came back to equalise before the end of the first half. I would say the possession was about 50/50 in the first half between the two teams but in the second half, it was all Pirates. As soon as the second half started, Pirates scored within seconds to take the lead and the Chiefs fans were bleaker than Zuma when he had to step down as president.
But it wasn’t over yet. In the 73rd minute, Pirates sealed the deal by scoring the third banger into the net and then I just sat back, relaxed and bathed in the tears of Chiefs fans. The final score, 3-1 to Pirates. (See Highlights) After the game, we exited the stadium and the chants of the winners were heard loud and clear as Pirates were the kings of Soweto, and would have all the bragging rights for the oncoming week.
As we made our way back to the car (parked in by a million cars) I kept continuing to run into fans who were eager to take a photo with me and chat about the game. It was great. I kind of had the feeling they were surprised to see a white guy at the game, as I literally was the only whitey there. All in all, it was a ‘jus’ experience and it definitely won’t be the last derby I attend.
UP THE BUCS ☠