big jol for bulls fans

FOR many white fans making the trek to Soweto tomorrow for the much-vaunted and sold-out Bulls-Crusaders Super 14 clash at Orlando Stadium, the visit will be their first taste of township life, and what better place to do it than at the historic stadium.

FOR many white fans making the trek to Soweto tomorrow for the much-vaunted and sold-out Bulls-Crusaders Super 14 clash at Orlando Stadium, the visit will be their first taste of township life, and what better place to do it than at the historic stadium.

So what can the "blue army" expect?

Contrary to what many of the visitors might fear, they won't be eaten alive, have their cars stolen or forced to become Amakhosi supporters for life.

As a friend told me recently: "What they are going to find is certainly not what they are expecting."

From the world-class Maponya mall with its 198 shops, restaurants and movies, to the Soweto Holiday Inn in Kliptown with its adjourning museum, thirsty rugby supporters will be spoilt for better spots to visit around Orlando East.

Before that though, why not pop in at Nelson Mandela's old home, situated at the bottom of Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, and marvel at the simplicity that this political icon once lived in.

Another place where you can get a taste of Soweto, which you won't find at Menlyn mall, is the nearby Wandie's in Dube, which serves a super buffet of delicious food. The atmosphere is chilled and laid back. just what you need before a big match.

There is also the trendy Meli Lounge in Pimville Zone 4 where fans can get their cold ones.

The Hector Pieterson Memorial in Orlando West is also worth a visit. The 1976 uprisings are commemorated by a video documentary and still photographs.

Piet Schoeman from Pretoria said yesterday that he will come early with a group of friends to buy some clothes at Maponya mall.

Jackie van Zyl from Centurion said he can't wait to visit historic sites and also enjoy cold beer in Soweto.

According to former British Lions international and Talk Radio 702's morning talk-show host John Robbie, if the Bulls supporters only attend the game and ignore what the area has to offer, they will be missing out.

"This is history being made," Robbie told Sowetan yesterday.

"When I was growing up in Ireland I never thought I would go to Croke Park because of the divisions in Ireland.

"It's similar here. I never thought a big rugby match like this would be played in Soweto.

"I wouldn't miss tomorrow for the world. Get along early, enjoy the game and enjoy Soweto."

Park-and-ride facilities will operate from SuperSport Park in Centurion and from Nasrec, which has 8000 secure parking bays.

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