Bafana star Steven Pienaar still a role model

2010-06-20 15:15

“That wasn’t my boy playing there,” says a visibly upset Denise

Pienaar. She was commenting on her son’s

­performance a few days after Bafana Bafana’s resounding defeat to ­Uruguay at Loftus.

Pienaar is sitting with a scrapbook

on her lap. It contains all the achievements of her son, Bafana Bafana ­soccer

star Steven Pienaar.

Steven’s two sisters, Jocelyn and

Ronelle, and his brother, Kevin, are ­also in a state of shock. But they are all

hoping for the best in the upcoming game against France this week.

“Even in the opening game, I could see he wasn’t playing to his

usual standard,” Pienaar notes.

As any concerned mother would do, she phoned him shortly after the

match to ask him if anything was wrong. He assured her he was fine.

“He’s my son. I know,” she insists while paging through the

scrapbook.

For the youngsters of Westbury, it doesn’t matter how their hero

performed. He remains their role model.

The older generation in Westbury still calls him “our child”.

So idolised is “their child” that the police had trouble

controlling children and their parents when Steven

visited Westbury shortly before the opening of the soccer World Cup.

“I quickly squeezed past the police,” boasts Lorraine Michaels, a

resident of Westbury.

“He is a role model for our children. Laachi is, and will always

remain, our child,” said Michaels, referring to his football nickname.

Michaels is standing next to a dry soccer pitch where two under-13

soccer clubs are squaring up. It’s the very field where Pienaar started his soccer career as a child.

The kids kick, dart forward and ­defend while being encouraged from

the pavilion because, who knows, the next Bafana

star may just be in the making here on this very

field.

 

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