CAPE TOWN – Despite Steve Hofmeyr stating that ‘Die Bloubul’ song has been banned at Loftus Versfeld, it is not the case, and the tune is still being played during Blue Bulls matches.
That’s the official word from Blue Bulls communications head Shanil Mangaroo to IOL Sport on Thursday.
Controversial Afrikaans musician Hofmeyr took to Twitter on Thursday morning and posted that the song – famous for the line “Die Blou Bul eet nie van die vloer af nie” (The Blue Bull doesn’t eat from the floor) – has been banned.
“The Blue Bulls Union asked me for a song in 1997. It has been banned in 2018. It was a symbol of loyalty, as it was sung when we won and sung when we lost,” Hofmeyr said.
“It was sung for white and black players. It was song on all continents. So they chose politics. I will then choose another team.”
Die Bloubul Unie het gevra vir 'n lied in 1997. Dis in 2018 verban. Dit was 'n simbool van lojaliteit want dis gesing as ons wen en gesing as ons verloor. Dis gesing vir wit en swart spelers. Dis gesing op alle kontinente. Toe kies hulle politiek. Ek kies dan 'n ander span. pic.twitter.com/iI5dc6KCfN
Mangaroo, though, said the song was still blaring out of the speakers at Loftus Versfeld on match-days.
“The song hasn’t been banned from Loftus. We’ve played it. I literally control the playlist, so, for the Lions game, the song was played twice. For the Pumas game, the song was played three times,” Mangaroo told IOL Sport.
“It is still being played – that’s a fact. I can tell you even what time it was played, as I make notes of those things.
“What we did differently is that we didn’t play it when the team ran out of the tunnel – which was normally the case.
“So, we decided to just mix things up, try something a bit different. Let’s be honest – we do need to innovate and try different things.
“When the team ran out, we played Queen’s ‘We will rock you’, because it has that lekker clap-along thing. That drum-beat and it is an ideal way to get fans to engage with you.
“We said to everybody ‘Clap along’, and the kids were clapping along, and a lot of people did clap along. That was the idea – just to make it more interactive.
“I must be honest, there was a small crowd, but people clapped. We were literally just trying something different.”
Asked for a reaction to Hofmeyr’s contention that the Bulls had “chosen politics”, Mangaroo said: “I’m not going to get dragged into a political conversation. We are a rugby team – our job is not about politics. We are there to entertain and that sort of thing.”
The 54-year-old Hofmeyr wrote a longer post on Facebook on Thursday morning, saying that then-Bulls captain Ruben Kruger had approved the song.
“(Ruben) thought it would work. The next year, Joost and I drank out of there when the Bulls won the Currie Cup for the 18th time.
“It is more than a song. It was a symbol of loyalty. It was sung when we won and lost. It was sung for white and black players. People laughed, cried, danced and even got married to the song.
“The lyrics were part of the language of the people. ‘Ek bly ’n Bul’ reinforced that. Or ‘kyk wie eet van die vloer af’ was in the headlines.
“It was sung on all continents, but was at its best at Loftus Versfeld. In 2018, the union, against the fans and against the spirit of rugby, chose politics.
“We are not blind to the signs. It is a tough day for me. Maybe I will choose another team, but I suspend that my passion for rugby is now forever gone.”
The Blue Bulls will run out at Loftus Versfeld again on Saturday, October 13 when they take on Western Province (5.15pm).