South Africa Needs a Win - and All Eyes Are On the Boks

Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi holds up the rugby World Cup trophy after his team won the 2019 tournament.
opinion

'You're doing this for all of us.' Those were the words from President Ramaphosa to Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi before their semi-final against Wales this weekend.

If Springbok captain Siya Kolisi did not already feel the weight of expectation on his shoulders, then he must have in that moment. And now the Boks have made (kicked?) their way into the Rugby World Cup final and in an uncanny repeat of 2007, we find ourselves needing to beat England.

The overwhelming sentiment is that we "need" this win. When people say this, as South Africans, we know instinctively what that means. We also know what Kolisi meant when he said in his post-match interview:

"This is a team from diverse backgrounds."

Our country is fraught, complex and often a very difficult place in which to live. It is 25 years since 1994 when Desmond Tutu proclaimed us "the rainbow nation". What has happened in the intervening years has been hopeful, deeply disappointing, frustrating and then also joyful. We have run the gamut of emotions in this country which "is held bleeding between us" as Antjie Krog says in her poem, Country of Grief and Grace.

South Africa remains one of...

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