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The beautiful game united locals and the many migrants who have found a home in the city of gold. Orlando Pirates took on Harare Dynamos in the Ubuntu Derby.
THE spirit of Africanism and unity was cemented at the annual Ubuntu Derby, in which the Orlando Pirates junior team played Zimbabwean outfit Harare Dynamos in a campaign against xenophobia, at Rand Stadium.

 

Augusto PalaciosPirates juniors coach Augusto Palacios: teams displayed good spirit of footballFlags of various African countries proudly fluttered in the gentle wind at the stadium on Saturday, 2 July. But it was the singing of Shosholoza, which could be heard from a distance, that defied cultural and language barriers between the soccer fans who came to watch the match.
 

From the onset when the referee blew the whistle to get the match under way, Rand Stadium came alive with soccer fans in passionate support of their teams.

The game started at a slow pace, but that was not for long as the sound of vuvuzelas trumpeting and songs sung in different African languages, created an electrifying atmosphere. In the opening minutes of the game the home team created more scoring opportunities, but failed to find the back of the net.

Towards the half-hour mark, Dynamos came to the party, starting to dominate the young Orlando Pirates squad. But Pirates gave Dynamos a run for their money with a continual attack of their defence.

Despite numerous attempts to fire in goals, the score was 0-0 going into half-time.

It was a whole new ball game in the second half, though, when Dynamos’ dribbling wizard Murape Murape scored the only goal in the match in the 49th minute.

Dynamos fans made sure that they did justice to the goal by blowing vuvuzelas loudly and singing the Zimbabwean national anthem, Simudzai Mureza Wedu We Zimbabwe, which loosely translated means, “Blessed be the land of Zimbabwe”.

Towards the closing stages of the game, the players were showing off their dribbling skills and fans cheered every ball trick. The match ended 1-0 in favour of Dynamos.

 

Playing for unityPlaying for unitySpeaking to the media after the game, Dynamos’ head coach, Lloyd Mutasa, said: “I am so glad that Africanism was the winner at the end of the day. The results of the game do not matter; I think we have achieved the object of the tournament.
 

“The spirit of unity should continue to prevail among Africans beyond this tournament.”

Pirates’ junior team head coach, Augusto Palacious, commended both teams for showing the good spirit of football. “I think the players complimented the theme of the tournament, ‘Youth taking a stand against xenophobia.’”

The City’s director of networks and stakeholder relations, Jabu Nkosi, said the City would be intensifying the fight against xenophobia. “Through partnerships with civic organisations we will be rolling out awareness programmes.”

Joburg recently hosted dialogues on xenophobia in a number of townships, including Alexandra, Ivory Park, Soweto and Orange Farm. Nkosi said the dialogues were instrumental in raising some of the important issues regarding xenophobia.

Other sponsors of the Ubuntu Derby were the Southern African Women’s Institute for Migration Affairs, Show Me Your Number, Migrant Community Board SA, South African Football Players Union, and the Gauteng department of sport, arts and culture.

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