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My Xhosa Heritage And Football

Growing up in the dusty streets of South African townships, one only knew one thing, and that is football. I still remember how my grandmother used to shout at me for not being at the table whenever food is served, because I was always out on the streets playing football with an orange plastic bag for a ball.

I still remember how we used to help some old man in our street who had a spaza shop carry his plastics and bags of onions and oranges from the bus station to his shop, so that in return we get the bags when he sorted his stuff to make a ball for ourselves. We would sometimes forget that it's Heritage Day, only to be reminded by the way people are dressed on the day when they walk past us on the street where we use to play. South Africans make it a point that they dress culturally on this day.

Football is part of our heritage in South Africa. The great Doctor Khumalo, Jomo Sono, Lucas Radebe, the late Ace Ntsoelengoe and many others are still very popular in every corner of South Africa even though they stopped playing decades ago. After hosting a successful FIFA World Cup, football became more and more of a universal language for our diversity of cultures in South Africa. You would find a Saddam Maake blowing a vuvuzela and some fans taking off their sweaters and writing stuff on their stomachs.

- Beaver Nazo

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