Now I know a thing or two about Lions in Siya Africa.
Which is just around the corner from where the British and Irish Lions are playing their Test series with the South African Springboks.
Well, a rather big corner, the Cape of Good Hope.
Heroes in Capes
Cape Town‘s beauty and its Table Mountain are legendary.
Less well known, at least outside of South Africa, are the charms of the Eastern Cape.
From where Springboks captain Siya Kolisi, Pride of Port Elizabeth, hails.
You’ll see his influence in the oldest township in South Africa from where he set out on his heroic journey to become Springboks skipper.
South Africa needs leadership
And to place that in sense of importance within the Rainbow Nation…
Didn’t the Eastern Cape’s own, Nelson Mandela don a Springboks jersey to greet Francois Pienaar at the 1995 World Cup final against New Zealand?
South Africa could do with Madiba now as it wrestles with social unrest in the wake of Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment, and its Covid crisis.
But in Kolisi it has a champion.
A different Test
It is of course a matter of regret that the Lions aren’t touring South Africa.
And an even greater one that Port Elizabeth, where the Lions have a decent record, hasn’t hosted a Test match against the Lions since 1980.
The Eastern Cape is solid rugby territory and a visit to the township reveals that the Boks are now embraced by all its peoples.
A Scot in exile
Now mine host Iain is a proud Springboks fan and thinks nothing of taking his Jeep out to travel across country to watch his rugby.
But as his name reveals despite living in solid eastern Southern Africa his roots lie up here in Scottishland.
However the series evolves he will take take great joy from a healthier than usual representation from North Britain.
And we are not immune either from adopting Afrikaners either with Dusan Van der Merwe.
We call them SpringJocks.
It should be a great old journey with the Lions in Siya Africa.