Boerewors aroma dawns new spirit in Soweto

THE drive to Orlando Stadium on Saturday was almost as exciting as the rugby game played by the Bulls and Stormers in the Super 14 final.

THE drive to Orlando Stadium on Saturday was almost as exciting as the rugby game played by the Bulls and Stormers in the Super 14 final.

Away from the stadium the sound of vuvuzelas echoed through the cool, late afternoon, while the tantalising smell of boerewors wafted from the yards of Noordgesig as the suburb's Main Street was turned into an extension of Pretoria for the day.

The fans came to have fun by trains, bakkies and taxis and they seemed to be enjoying the show.

House 182 on Main Street is just like any other house in the area - tin-roofed with a small garden turned into a braai spot - and Blue Bulls flags fluttering from the chimney.

Supporters crowded the garden for a touch of township hospitality and a bite to eat.

Along the road, grannies nursed children and shouted a warm welcome to the "blue army" passing by.

Another army of local street vendors sold beers to motorists waiting in long queues, while others held up signs advertising anything from food and parking to car washes.

"It's my first time in Soweto," said Phillip van der Merwe, his beard dyed blue in support of his beloved Bulls.

Van der Merwe and his wife Wilma have not missed a game for the past 10 years.

"We love Loftus and never miss a game, but to come to Soweto is a wonderful experience.

"We didn't know what to expect but the hospitality and friendliness of the locals have been outstanding.

"Hopefully as we move forward we can host Soweto residents when rugby returns to Loftus after the World Cup," Van der Merwe said.

On the roadside, youngsters walked by, seemingly fascinated by seeing so many visitors entering the township. People appeared patient and not bothered by the traffic jam.

If the vibe and spirit in the coming soccer World Cup would be anything like this then, please, bring it on.

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