South Africa: 'Aweh!' Kolisi and Co Delight Thousands in Cape Town With One-of-a-Kind Entrance

11 November 2019

"Aweh, ma se kind!" Springbok captain Siya Kolisi shouted to the delight of thousands of "beautiful people" who had gathered at Cape Town's Grand Parade to congratulate the Boks on their Rugby World Cup win in Japan.

"It's really been a tough journey. We have been together for 20 weeks. I think this week has been the most amazing one," said Kolisi outside City Hall on Monday.

"Look, we are all different races, different backgrounds, and we can prove that South Africa can be united.

"Just take a look around you. There's different races, different people of different backgrounds, but look how you made it special for us.

"So I'm saying it's time for us South Africans to stop fighting, stop arguing, let's put South Africa first. We appreciate you," said Kolisi to applause.

This was followed by more "awehs!" from the announcer, to which the crowd responded in kind, before the Boks set off on their last victory parade.

"Jissie, it's amazing," said Cheslin Kolbe, who was born in the Cape Town suburb of Kraaifontein, of the past week of driving around on the top of a bus with fans screaming.

This was at an earlier press conference, where they gave local media a few minutes before the tour.

The Springboks started the last lap of their victory tour with National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise bellowing "Order!" to the excited staff gathered to welcome them to the precinct.

MPs jostled for photos with the nation's heroes as the choir kept up a spirited soundtrack next to the bust of South Africa's first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela.

Modise, wearing a Springbok top, congratulated the team, saying: "We are very proud of what you have just done."

Chief Zwelivelile "Mandla" Mandela and his wife Rabia arrived with their twins in a double pram, and their first-born sitting on daddy's hip.

MPs went over to coo at the babies and hug the couple as Parliament's choir kept an upbeat soundtrack and DA MP Nceba Hinana wrapped a South Africa scarf around the bust of Mandela.

The Springboks left through a screaming crowd of people waving the South African flag, en route to the Cape Town City Hall.

Kolbe, Pieter-Steph Du Toit, and Herschel Jantjies accompanied Mayor Dan Plato to a short press conference, in honour of them hailing from the province.

For Kolbe, the fans' relentless stamina has been a sight to behold.

"There were two kids who literally ran one hour, non-stop. We were so impressed and really grateful for that!"

Du Toit said watching the way fans treated each other, from his vantage point, had really touched him.

"An old lady fell, and everybody tried to pick her up," said Du Toit, who hails from Riebeek Kasteel.

Jantjies, from Kylemore outside Stellenbosch, added: "There were people crying."

Plato said he was honoured to sit with the heroes.

"The nation is once again united. Enjoy today," said Plato.

Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu jived away to " Hier kom die Bokke " next to the Mandela statue, erected in honour of the day he delivered his speech after his release from prison in 1990.

Faf de Klerk did a short dance, while Shosholoza was performed, with a protea stuck in the back of his shorts.

When the Springboks emerged at City Hall, the thousands of people waiting at the Grand Parade screamed, with some clinging to lamp posts they had shimmied up for a better view.

The hoisting of the trophy was a highlight for fans, with Kolisi covered in gold ribbons that his team mates had picked up and wound around him by then.

Fans threw proteas on the stage, the national anthem was sung for a second time before the noon-day gun had gone off, and the late Brenda Fassie's Vulindlela was the cue for the organisers to open the way for their victory lap around the Cape Town CBD in the green open-topped bus.

With giant green and gold confetti exploding around them, the Springboks showed off their dance moves, and De Klerk teased with a little pull down of his shorts to show a glimpse of the flag undies he has made famous this past week.

Daddy duty did not stop just because of the parade either, with many of the Boks with their children on the bus.

Their partners also joined them on the bus for what is expected to be their last mass public appearance until they can finally catch up on some sleep after the punishing World Cup.


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