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Gcobani Bobo undaunted as he launches a chat show on Youtube

Former Blitzboks captain Gcobani Bobo during The Captains Table, 20 years of Blitzboks Sevens at Cape Town Stadium on December 13, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Former Blitzboks captain Gcobani Bobo during The Captains Table, 20 years of Blitzboks Sevens at Cape Town Stadium on December 13, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

There is no shortage of Covid-19 lockdown escapism but Gcobani Bobo is undaunted about the crowded online field into which he has launched himself.

Whether as commentator or companion over a pint‚ the former Springbok centre has never been shy of witty‚ yet erudite assessment and his decision to launch a chat show on Youtube is a natural progression‚ lockdown notwithstanding.

“This was never driven by the lockdown‚” said Bobo while acknowledging launching during a period when people are more likely to be online carries its benefit.

Bobo last week launched a 20-minute talk show in which he assembles guests who like him are practicing social distancing.

You could be forgiven for thinking former Bok hooker Hanyani Shimange‚ former Cheetahs utility back Tsepo Kokoali‚ former Cheetahs flyhalf Kennedy Tsimba and Stormers forwards coach Rito Hlungwane were all in the same room during the launch edition titled ‘Throwbacks Now’ which was a homage to 1996‚ the year in which Super Rugby kicked off.

Apart from discussing what the best format of Super Rugby was (there was agreement that Super 12 rules supreme) they got to discuss the players that mesmerised them back then.

Before you know it‚ the show is over.

“We decided that in the show we should just get to the point‚” Bobo explained.

“Cut to the chase and find entertaining ways of doing so. We want to be showcasing personalities. It is about building engagement and making a difference. It is basically taking a WhatsApp group and putting it on video‚” explained Bobo.

He stressed that the show is about giving people a voice‚ even if they are vaguely recognisable.

“For different reasons people may not have had a voice or a platform. It is all about getting into the personalities and making voices heard.

“We want to showcase the forgotten. Getting to guys like Ricky January for instance. There is so much experience we can tap into and it is all about celebrating the game.”

Bobo said with lockdown restrictions lifted they may even consider doing OB’s (outside broadcasts).

“The whole idea is to really get into rugby’s social commentary.

"I think it is important for the consumption of game. Everyone is an expert. Rugby has changed so much. Now it’s male and female consumption and we need to relate to that whether we are talking about the business side of the game or professionalism."

Bobo says the show‚ which is a collaboration with life partner‚ producer Simoné Bosman‚ got decent traction in its first week.

“It is fun and we have ownership. We will have to see how the show develops post the lockdown. It will react depending on access and resources.”

Bobo will have to juggle the show with his studies after enrolling for a short course in Feature Journalism.

“I needed to upskill myself so I could tell stories better and improve myself. To be a pundit is one thing‚ but having skills and the words increases reach.”