The Soweto Derby is something very special. It’s the biggest event on the South African sports calendar. We look ahead with Khama Billiat and Mario Booysen to their first Soweto Derby experience.
“The Soweto Derby is like no other local derby or game in the country. The whole country virtually comes to a complete halt when the two Soweto giants meet, and we know that it is an important occasion for the fans.
I’ve been in South Africa for several years and watched the Soweto Derby on television but have never attended the game.It’s a huge privilege to be a part of this spectacle for the first time and I am looking forward to the experience as a player – especially in Kaizer Chiefs colours. I know the atmosphere will be electric and we have to live up to the expectations of the Amakhosi supporters.
We know it’s not easy, but I believe it’s not about the previous games or form, it’s what you do on the day as a team. We need to work very hard because we know that winning will bring confidence for the rest of the season. I’m looking forward to the Soweto Derby experience with thousands of the Kaizer Chiefs Family and we need to ensure that we win it. This will bring smiles to millions of supporters’ faces and help build our confidence for the rest of the season.”
“Derbies are something special, they are about pride and about bragging rights. There is a lot at stake. It’s about two teams coming from the same town or area and who wants to dominate. I have been involved in a few derbies in the past. For example, the Tshwane derby between SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns. Before the match, I could immediately see in the dressing what was at stake, just by looking at my teammates who had been previously involved in that derby. I saw the attitude on their faces – the guys really wanted to come tops to have that bragging right of being the best. We won.
I lost, however, the Cape Town derby between Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City. That was tough. Of course, nothing is bigger than the Soweto Derby. From a young age, I watched the matches between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. “One day I want to be part of this,” I always thought when watching.
To be part of the Soweto Derby is what all payers want. It’s the summum, because the whole country comes to a standstill during that game. Of course, I don’t know if I will play, sit on the bench or be in the stands come Saturday – it doesn’t matter, just to be part of the Soweto Derby will be something amazing. Those are the moments every South African footballer lives for. It’s is like playing for a cup trophy, it’s something incredible and I will cherish it. For sure, we all want to win. In the end it’s all about the team, so it doesn’t matter really in what way I will be involved on Saturday. I want to contribute to the team in whatever role. I can’t wait for the Soweto Derby to kick off, it will be a memorable moment!”