HARARE – Last Saturday provided the best weather for any sporting event — cool with a light breeze and overcast. By Helen Kadirire
The National Sports Stadium popularly known to host soccer matches, was transformed into a rugby pitch when the Vodacom Blue Bulls clashed with the Free State Toyota Cheetahs.
Queues into the stadium stretched for metres as eager enthusiasts waited for their turn to watch the two South African teams play.
A very impressive police presence was also at all entry points — in case someone decided to act unruly, a scene all too familiar were there are large crowds of people.
The array of cars also caught the eye, with immaculate Mercedes Benz’, Range Rovers and the rare appearance of vintage 1965 type 1 Volkwagen Beetles.
School children were also bussed to the stadium, some to meet their rugby heroes and others maybe to add numbers to the match.
Speciality food stands were also available however, only a few people could be seen purchasing food, possibly due to the prices being required for the morsels on sale.
Of interest was the number of people that actually came to see the match- mostly white.
For once in a very long time the stadium must have been doing cartwheels as it saw one of its largest numbers of Caucasians. As rugby is mostly seen as a white and male-dominated sport, there was also a considerable amount of women at the stadium.
This reporter would occasionally hear the usual “iteam dzipi dzirikutamba” (which teams are playing) and “ndevekupi vanhu ava?” (where are they from?) from the ladies.
Not commenting on the game because I would be biased towards my favourite and also not calling myself a rugby fundi, but you would never find this reporter in a place where they would ask such.
The dressing was however, considerably laid back with very few scantily-dressed bodies save for the cheerleaders who if I may say by their occupational standards were fully dressed.
Most women have understood the art of dressing for the occasion but wearing skirts, and dresses to a sports event was a bit of a knock on requiring serious penalties.
And then of course there were those clad in sheer jumpsuits that left very little to the imagination.
Once inside the stadium, visibly drunken spectators could be spotted in the terraces, making queer gestures and pouring alcohol and other beverages on each other.
Two spectators stood out from the crowd as they scaled the security fence from the terraces and onto the pitch.
One, a young man who sprinted into the middle of the field to lie down and another, an equally drunk and barefooted young woman clad in a leopard print onesie who had to be chased away by the police.
For the better part of the afternoon, many people partook in drinking alcohol to their fill, as the beverages were available in abundance.
As security was tight, it was almost impossible for fans to meet up close with the rugby players after the match