The video of a Joburg rugby fan reading a poem after the Springbok victory against England, went viral faster than Cheslin Kolbe scoring his try… and has been watched by hundreds of thousands of South Africans. Steve Hall captured the spirit of the team and the country with his poem ‘Siyabonga Springboks’ (full transcript below)…

Steve told SAPeople he wrote the words spontaneously, inspired by the passion on and off the field, as he – and millions of others around the world – watched the momentous rugby match on TV, as it unfolded in Japan on 2 November.

Steve said: “I was at a good friend’s house with all their male children (adult males are very like children when watching any form of sport really), their friends and more than a few cousins. I guess it was an all-boys affair lest some of us started practising our French at the referee. As luck would have it he refereed magnificently well!”

Steve delivered his poem to the “Dads and Lads” a few minutes after the final whistle and by nightfall it was one of the most shared posts on Facebook.

A Poem for the victory of the South African rugby team

“I am generally a shocker on social media, and I’m the endless butt of humour to my teenagers (Hannah and Jonathan), so when my daughter told me I was ’trending’ and had moved past 1000 views, I really had no concept of what that meant with regards to reach. It was only when I started receiving messages from all over the world that I started to understand what viral really meant!”

When Steve’s not writing one of SA’s most popular poems, he’s also a keen golfer, tracker and oyster diver.

His insight comes from a quarter of a century observing and working in the field of Leadership – in two businesses, namely Learning to Lead and Lead with Humanity. He keeps a journal of reflections and says “sometimes these sorts of spontaneous reflections just pop into my head!”

We look forward to more!

(Full Transcript)

It’s been twelve long years and that’s a long wait
And for most of those years we’ve been in a bad state
A state of corruption and dark nights without power
And short splashes of water when taking a shower.

But despite all this, the energy’s been rising
Maybe, just maybe, there’d be something surprising
A world cup final to roll back the years
And images of Madiba which still bring us to tears.

From Peterhouse to Grey, social media’s alive
As they’ve urged our Springboks to keep up their drive
Messages from Rassie – Thanks for all your support
This brave Rugby team’s so much more than just sport.

You see they’ve shown us as a country, how to Unite
Their love for each other’s a remarkable sight
The Ndlovu choir has sung with elation
With each spirited tweet we could rebuild our Nation.

Fifty-Seven million sang from the depths of their hearts
And our fifteen fine men had the purest of starts
With fleet footed attacks and four Pollard kicks
The half time scoreboard read twelve points to six!

Perhaps our whole country was praying to God
And perhaps God was listening, coz’ on came the Bomb Squad
Our front row had smashed them in all but one scrum
The English would rather be at home with their Mum!

As the clock ticked down we carried on praying
And our boys dug deep in their passionate playing
A chip from Mapimpi and Am’s moment of magic
And a second Brexit looked ever so tragic!

Then suddenly a moment we were all waiting for
Our X Factor Cheslin unpicked a locked door
The mercurial player seemed to make his own spaces
As he put smiles on the dials of a whole Nations faces.

For twelve years our Rugby glory’s been starved
But with three minutes to go, the trophy was carved
We stand by you Heroes as you bring home the cup
You’ve lifted a Nation and you’ve lifted us up.
Eish, Zuma, Sorry, you’ve not lifted this prize
But you’ve lifted enough before our own eyes
This country’s amazing – it tells a hell of a story
And perhaps now is the time we find our true glory.

From Alex to Zwide we’ll dance in the street
The Braai’s will burn long as we drink and we eat
You’ve shown us the art of pure dragon slaying
I don’t know about you, but # I’m staying!

You’ve done us so proud with your hearts full of passion
Can we help you Cyril, bring SA back into fashion?
For so long now we’ve been at the end of our tether
But one thing’s for sure we’re # Stronger Together!

​​​​​​© Steve Hall