JOHANNESBURG - The vuvuzela might be dead in South African football but Mamelodi Sundowns fans have found a worthy replacement - and it is winning.
While winning has become part of the DNA of Sundowns since Pitso Mosimane took the head coach reins in December 2012, the trophies have rolled in, including two PSL titles and the CAF Champions League. With those trophies, the Sundowns faithful have found their voice and their cheers in victory and defeat have been a marvel to watch and listen to.
Mamelodi-born Rodney Moloko, a diehard Sundowns fan, believes getting rid of the vuvuzela has been the best thing for the fans and players because their voices often ignited the team into the piano-and-shoe shine football that they were famous for.
“It is actually a good thing. Now we can sing and there is meaning behind the songs from Masambe Nono to the latest Umoya wami uyavuma.” The singing resonates with the players and they feel part of the family. “The vuvuzelas were just loud and never had any meaning behind the noise,” said Moloko.
Over and above the trance-like atmosphere that the singing brings, Moloko believes that the success of the team on the field has had a massive impact on bringing their supporters back to the stadium.
A businessman in the hospitality and entertainment industry and also a corporate hot shot at a leading telecoms company, Moloko boasts of the quality of players that Mosimane has been able to assemble over the years along with the trophies that they have won, including a record eighth PSL title last season.
Even though Sundowns have lost some of their star players, particularly to rivals Kaizer Chiefs, and Bongani Zungu, Keagan Dolly and Percy Tau to the European market, the Brazilians strength still remains in the quality of internationals they have in their bloated squad.
For Moloko, Sundowns are his religion and attending matches is as cleansing as going to church - with the star quality in the players and the movements they make just like listening to the gospel.
“It is a myriad of factors and mainly the trophies we have won in recent years. We’ve now won a few trophies under Pitso (Mosimane) and this culminated in us being African champions,” said Moloko.
“The trophies alone and the fact that we are the only other team besides Orlando Pirates to have won the ‘Star’ has contributed to that. (With) the quality of the players, we probably have one of the best squads on the continent and that has contributed to the vibe and chemistry that we see at the stadium."