Ghana über alles

2010-06-24 14:04

With Bafana Bafana out of the tournament, Tammy Sutherns rather begrudgingly

braved the cold to watch the Ghana-Germany 2010 Fifa World Cup game with German-speaking South

Africans – who would most certainly support the German team, she

thought. She was in for a surprise.

A man wearing a huge South African flag over his shoulders was the

first thing you would spot when arriving at the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg

before the match – a beacon of familiarity in this foreign place.

A group of 20 or so people were gathered in a room, the excited hum

focused on the big screen. South African flags were littered among the crowd and

cold beers were being passed around as people offered each other chips, soup,

rolls and the traditional German sausage on plates.

I settled comfortably in a chair and listened to the foreign

language around me as the match began. German supporters are certainly quieter

than South Africans. There was not a vuvuzela in sight and the crowd clapped for

their players every time they got close to the goal.

Two women behind me chatted excitedly in German. Then I heard:

“Go Ghana,


I wheeled around to get a closer look and noticed a woman fully

decked out in South African earrings and a scarf with Ghana-flag gloves.

Meet Ottie Ramonat, a teacher at the Goethe Institute.

She explains: “This is my country. I am African, I am

German-speaking, but I am African.”

With German heritage but born in South Africa, Ramonat said she

would only support Germany if every African team was out of the World Cup.

“Our people are so together,” she said.

I looked around the room and saw two men in the Ghana colours as

well. While everyone was speaking German, the crowd was made up of supporters of

both teams.

Ramonat said she went to the opening ceremony at Soccer City with

her makarapa and vuvuzela: “I wouldn’t miss that for all of the money in the

world. South Africa, just you watch.”

When Germany scored a goal nearly 15 minutes into the second half,

a woman at the front of the room with a German hat stood up and waved her


But while she had a German flag sticking out one side of her hat,

there was a South African flag right next to it. Who would have thought?

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