World cup festivities at Proteas send off

Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation Gert Oosthuizen and Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula signing the KFC bucket.
Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation Gert Oosthuizen and Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula signing the KFC bucket.

Heading the festivities was the Soweto Gospel Choir who did a sterling job in uniting and uplifting the crowd.

Green and gold were the colours of the day, and many waved around their South African flags with pride.

“We have had thousands of messages come to the office wishing the Protea’s the best of luck,” said Haroon Lorgat CEO of Cricket South Africa. “We send them with good wishes and wish them the best in the course of the next two months. The Protea fire campaign has been excellent, and it has been more about nation building.”

Ever-charismatic Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Sport and Recreation added his message of support. “No team will be sent off without a proper understanding that they are representing South Africa,” said Mbalula. “You are going out there as team South Africa, neither as tokens or traitors, but our national pride.”

Mbalula also congratulated Cricket South Africa for its selection of seven players of colour and eight white players in the Protea’s squad, as being representative of the country.

President Jacob Zuma also sent through his message which read, “March on you victorious warriors.”

See the crowd singing the national anthem here

Captain of the team, AB de Villiers couldn’t hide his nerves. “We are feeling a lot of pressure,” he said. “We’ve never won a World Cup and people are calling us chokers. We are focusing on the team and we have also gained a lot of confidence from the good results from previous games.”

See a video of the Alex Brass Band entertaining the crowd here:

 

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Aimee McGill
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