On Saturday the 22nd of May 2010 we departed from the Park and Ride facility from Supersport Park in Centurion to Orlando Stadium in Soweto at about 1 PM. We were on our way to watch the semi-final match between the Bulls and the Crusaders in the 2010 Super 14 Rugby tournament.
There were a string of Tshwane Metro buses parked in a row and ready to depart. Before we got on the bus I bumped into an old friend also going to the game. Me and my dad got on the bus and left on our Soweto road trip just after 1 pm.
Getting to Orlando Stadium was not easy
After battling nearly 2 hours of traffic on the N1 highway to Johannesburg we finally arrived at our destination about 3 PM. We marched into the beer tent (which was right at the spot where you get off the bus) and found a seat to enjoy some refreshments.
My smokes were finished and I only managed to find a packet Courtleigh (which is probably the one of the worst tasting cigarette brands in my opinion) for sale at a vendor near the beer tent. It did not feel as if I’ve marched into a township for the first time in my life.
The usual Loftus Versfeld crowd filled the Beer tent to the max and The Campbells provided musical entertainment. The beer was cold and the atmosphere was good. I could’ve easily been inside the beer tent at a match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
We made our way into the stadium to find our seats after 4 PM. Lots of spectators did not know how to find their seats but the security and ushers were quite helpful (although confusing at times). We finally sat down in the 3rd row from the bottom on the pavilion and realized that were right against the field.
The atmosphere was electric
The stadium filled up nicely (although only closer to half time due to transport delays). The vuvuzelas (which are not allowed at Rugby matches at Loftus Versfeld) provided a nice ambience in the stadium. One could also buy beer and drink it on the stands (another thing that’s not allowed at the Loftus Versfeld stadium).
The Bulls won at the end of the day and this made my first township experience in history a very memorable one. The trip back on the bus was a bit of a mission though. We had to walk nearly 3 km to find a bus that is going back to Centurion.
A lot of spectators did not know where to find their buses and were confused. We were already outside the stadium at 6:30 PM, only managed to leave at 8 PM and only arrived in Pretoria at 9:15 PM (which was a bit frustrating). I hope that these issues will be sorted out before the final is played there on the 29th of May 2010. I must admit that my first township experience was indeed an interesting one.
Here are 20 photos that I took on the day:
I took this video inside the stadium whilst attending the match:
The Afrikaans blog Watkykjy also did a post about this, check it out at this link.