fast little loans
A ROSE from a Springbok – perhaps this isn’t how women struggle activists envisioned the commemoration of Women’s Day 56 years after their historic march of defiance to the Union Buildings.
Mind you, though, Lilian Ngoyi, one of the four women who led the 1956 march, really loved flowers.
The South African rugby team visited some of Cape Town’s biggest malls yesterday, handing out roses and chocolates to mark Women’s Day.
Some blushed, a few swooned and others simply didn’t recognise who the brawny men in green tracksuits and bearing flowers were. “I was like a 12-year-old schoolgirl,” said Renn van Niekerk, 56, of Pinelands.
“I think it was a fantastic idea for Women’s Day. They [the Boks] are heroes to women.”
Springbok vice-captain Bismarck du Plessis said the gesture was “a tribute to 20 000 women who risked being arrested, and even being banned, by marching on the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest against the apartheid government’s pass laws on August 9, 1956”.
“It’s a symbolic thing,” he said. “We wanted to honour the women who have made a positive difference in the world.
“Most of the big leaders in the world are men, but there are also women like Albertina Sisulu. She stood for what she believed in, and she made a difference.”
Bok enforcer Eben Etzebeth, 20, also showed off his softer side as he posed for photos with a group of teenage girls.
“Behind every good rugby player there’s a good woman taking care of him,” he said.
For Etzebeth, that woman was his mother – and flowers always cheered her up.
Although she never received any from a Springbok, march leader Ngoyi – the first woman ever to be elected to the ANC’s national executive committee – adored flowers, too.
In a letter dated November 12, 1971 to an American friend, Belinda Allan, Ngoyi wrote eagerly about her garden, saying she had a variety of plants, but her “main pleasure is when they have bloomed”.
So maybe the Boks weren’t that far off after all – particularly Du Plessis, who said: “Every lady likes flowers.”