Watch the Citizens go for gold this yearThomas Kwenaite
By Andile Dladla and Mandla Dladla
The lack of supporters allowed to attend sporting events in South Africa has had an effect on individual sportsmen and women, including sport team and Cape Town City have come up with an innovative idea to replicate the feeling of being physically at the stadium.
With modern technology as advanced as it is these days and everyone using social media to engage, Sonwabiso Mtsolongo has created a Whatsup group to interact with fellow supporters of their beloved Citizens.
“I have been engaging with a lot of supporters especially on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and we have created a groups where we interact quite a lot. We are used to meet at the stadiums during matches and it became a lifestyle,” said Mtsolongo.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic came it really affected us and personally I felt lost. For most of us going to the stadium had become a routine and a way of life but now that things have grind to a stand-still we are unable to interact and meet at stadiums to enjoy the beautiful game we love so much.
“The vibe at the stadium is totally different and for young supports who still dream of one day attending the Cape Town Stadium and many others across the country, just know that the vibe is different, the feeling is just unexplainable and you meet new friends.
“I am an introverted person that is deeply reserved and indoors so going out to the stadium gave me an opportunity to have fun, create memories and enjoy football live. I was a bit jealous during the EURO 2020 where a restricted number of spectators were allowed at stadiums and wishing we could also be allowed to stadiums.”
While it is the wish of all supporters to be allowed back to attend live matches, health considerations have to be taken into account with the daily surge in infections a major cause for concern and few people getting vaccinated in the country, forcing the authorities not to take a chance in allowing a large gathering of spectators which they fear could be a super spreader event.
Almost every football supporter say they miss being physically at the stadium and it is unclear when spectators would be allowed back at stadiums, although the massive rollout of vaccines gives hope that this could happen sooner than later.
“I grew up with both my parents Nqobile and Mavis Mtsolongo who ingrained in me this deep love for football. My mother is an ardent Orlando Pirates supporter and my father is a huge Kaizer Chiefs follower.
“My dad’s love for Kaizer Chiefs began when he used to work in Gauteng back in the day when I was a very young boy. Naturally I had to support Kaizer Chiefs the team supported by my father as I had a strong bond with him and whenever he came down to Cape Town we never missed a game.
“I thought to myself two years ago that it was time I supported a team of my choice and it had to be from Cape Town because the relationship between myself and Amakhosi was not working.
“I needed a club that would connect with me and that’s when Cape Town City FC came along and it just made sense because their chairman John Comitis is someone I know because of his work with Ajax Cape Town which was fantastic at the time he was there.
“The one thing that attracted me to this brand was their beautiful kit and the emblem. Their social media is the best in the country because they interact with their fans and followers, their offices are world class and it feels like you are at a European club and the standard is on a different level.
“I think what clinch the deal for me was a personal invitation to their offices and I discovered that the office was manned by very friendly staff from personnel from the reception right up to the chairman.
“The first game that I watched as a Citizen supporter was against Kaizer Chiefs at the Cape Town stadium which was the MTN 8 and initially I experienced mixed emotions but City won that game and that’s when I took a final decision to permanently switch my allegiance.
The idea to establish a vlog came from a high school friend who had attended the same school and who has studied film & television at AFDA.
“I was reluctant and as a reserved person I never thought of myself as a YouTuber so I took some time and thought about it then eventually saw that I can do this because I see the bigger picture.
“The aim is to attract more people to come to the games when we are eventually allowed back because people always come to me and ask how it is at the stadiums so with the vlog it’s going to give a clear in site of how it is at stadiums and also a way of promoting the club.
“People at Cape Town City know I am busy with something like this and we are hoping everything goes well. We are planning to start as soon as we are allowed back at the stadiums and hopefully as we grow we will be able to travel to even away games.”
The signing of striker Khanyiso Mayo and goalkeeper Darren Keet excites Mtsolongo and he confidently predicts that they would either win the championship outright or end as a runners-up this season which gets underway this weekend with the MTN 8 cup competition.