Friday, April 8, 2011


Over the weekend a lesson in determination, confidence, hard work and effort was learnt by both a team from the lower divisions and first division of South African football. Baroka FC, a Limpopo based football team toiling in the Vodacom League (third division), convincingly beat and humiliated Moroka Swallows. Moroka Swallows is one of South Africa's oldest football clubs, with an interesting and storied history, with an even more vaunted and decorated Gordon Igesund at its helm. Right now Swallows are fighting to avoid relegation, and it doesn't look sweet. Their loss to a team three tiers below them is both an indictment of the team's performance this season, and most importantly, the attitude and culture prevalent in the team. They have lost all confidence and have surely not convinced me that they can avoid relegation. As a style blogger I, and I hope many other South Africans, took heed and learnt another lesson; personal style trumps the old tracksuit and sneakers look seen on touchlines and sidelines the world over.

Baroka FC head coach, 28 year old Sello Chokoe, beat Gordon Igesund on all fronts. Sitting at home, watching the game, I was rooting for Swallows but the commentator made a very interesting and self evident truth: if you're a premiership team and you're playing a bunch of minnows from the 2nd or 3rd division, you need to assert yourselves and show them who's boss within the first 10 minutes. If you don't, they are going to run circles around you and wipe the floor with you. And Baroka FC did exactly that. Sello Chokoe, however, will forever be etched in my mind because of his sartorial presentation and a hint of his personal style.

For the rest of this post I would like us to throw caution to the wind and forget about all the style rules that govern men's dressing, and appreciate the young man's presentation and style. Effort. He was definitely ready for anything, even a post match interview viewed by the whole country. I respect his style and the effort he put in to look good and presentable. I wonder if this is how he dresses and carries himself all the way down in the lower ranks. This can only bode well for his future prospects in football administration. He would most certainly get my vote and trust as a custodian of the country's national sport. In a country where lack of style is pervasive in the sporting fraternity, Sello Chokoe is a breath of fresh air.

That glove serves a purpose and its nothing to do with luck.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation

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