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The Springboks – Transcending Sport

The Springboks – Transcending Sport

By Lucky Ngwenya.

In life there are iconic moments that inspire entire generations and are tattooed into history books, many through speech and lots more through actions. A few spring to mind immediately, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, Muhammad Ali suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, lighting the flame during the opening ceremony for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Nelson Mandela handing the Webb Ellis Cup to South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar in Johannesburg in 1995.

These will forever remain iconic moments in history. We usually capture the climax of the events but historians do well to track back and unearth the missed origins of these iconic moments. This analysis evokes the question, perhaps we are living in a time where we are witnessing another iconic event that could culminate on Saturday, 2 November at the International Stadium Yokohama.

South African rugby seems to have spent over two decades attempting to achieve their promise of 1995 to show the world that the popular game that is dominated by the white minority can redefine itself as a national sport for all races in a country where over 90% of the population is either black, mixed race, or Indian.

Over the years black and mixed race players have emerged to form a minority of very important members of the squad. Some, like Bryan Habana have been hailed as some of the best to have ever played for the Springboks albeit others were being called quota players.

On 9 June 2018, Springbok 851, Siyamthanda Kolisi ran out as the first black test captain of the Springboks ironically against the same opponents that they will face on Saturday. This sparked widespread outrage as a large divide argued that this was a political appointment or quota token.

Suffice to say, the jury was out and the match got off to a torrid start with a flurry of tries from the English roses. The new Springboks captain had met his first trying moment but like a phoenix he led from the front as his team rose from the abyss to win in scintillating fashion.

After the match, a large portion of the doubters were silenced. A very important vote of confidence from a country bearing scars of an apartheid era, marking the culmination of this event we are witnessing today.

However, the journey to the world cup has not been one without its pitfalls. Controversy ensued when Springbok lock, Eben Etzebeth was accused of being part of an alleged race-based assault just days before the Springboks World Cup squad announcement.

As if this wasn’t enough, during the tournament, a video went viral showing certain Springbok players gathering to celebrate while fellow, black winger Makazole Mampimpi who initially looked to join the group walked away after being flagged away by replacement Frans Steyn. However, Mampimpi emphatically set the record straight explaining that it was a cultural ritual where the replacements huddle and do their call or chant.

Notwithstanding all that has happened recently and pre 1995, on Saturday the world could witness Siya Kolisi lifting the Webb Ellis trophy. The third Springbok captain to do so but this time it will mean much more. This would be the climax of this iconic event we have been witnessing from the day he ran out for his first game as the Springboks captain. This moment will transcend sports.

The epitome of the rainbow nation dream Nelson Mandela stood for. An iconic moment that will set the tone for national unity and transformation. Only in South Africa can rugby change a nation. #GoBokke #StrongerTogether.

Caption: Springbok captain Siya Kolisi got himself tangled in a transformation row this week.(Photograph by Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA).


About The Author

Guest Contributor

A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.