Bafana Bafana

Baxter must not act like somebody who heard someone say ‘Gqi!’

S'Busiso Mseleku.
S'Busiso Mseleku.

Johannesburg - One of the latest dance songs sending the youth into a frenzy these days is a ditty by hip-hop artist Okmalumkoolkat titled Gqi!

It has catchy repetitive lyrics that go “Nam’angazi nje, ngizwe ngento nje ithi Gqi!”

But I wonder how many people know that these words are from an isiZulu fable with the moral lesson being how easy it is to spread a false rumour.

The story goes that a rabbit was resting under some fruit tree (we are never told what kind of fruit) when he was suddenly woken up by a gqi sound (that’s a sound of something falling) made by the fruit falling off the tree.

He jumped up and ran for dear life.

Source of confusion

The first animal he came across asked why he was running so fast and his response wasnami angazi nje ngizwe ngento nje ithi gqi, wafa nogwaja which loosely translates to “I have no idea, I just heard something say gqi, rabbit you are dead meat”.

The animal joined the rabbit and they ran together. This story was repeated to every animal they came across until the entire animal kingdom was on the run.

Eventually, just after running out of the jungle, one animal shouted: “Stop! Why are we running?” And the nearest one replied, “I actually don’t know, I heard so and so say he also doesn’t know but heard so and so say he heard so and so ... until it got to the rabbit.

The poor rabbit had no clue as to the shape or form of whatever had woken him from his siesta except the voice that said: “Gqi! Wafa nogwaja, Gqi!” (Rabbit you are dead meat!)

On going back to the scene that was the source of all the confusion, the animals just found a fruit lying on the ground.

What went wrong

Where am I going with all this?

I am perturbed that after Bafana Bafana’s crash out of the Fifa 2018 World Cup, Stuart Baxter, the mentor, seems to be at sea.

The coach looks so bamboozled that he seems like somebody who just heard something say “gqi!”

And at this stage, my prayer is that the South African Football Association (Safa) does not follow the same route.

Baxter must immediately give a detailed report that points out what went wrong in the qualifiers. This report must be compiled with the assistance of his technical team members, unless they are just glorified ball boys.

In this report, he must be very honest, admit to his faults – which he will find to be many – and come up with solutions going forward.

Some of the mistakes he has committed include his loyalty to SuperSport (the last PSL club he coached) players thus over-populating the national team with them.

The other was to digress from Vision 2022 and bring back oldies such as Siphiwe Tshabalala and Morgan Gould.

National executive

For someone who says his mandate was not to qualify for next year’s World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, he surely showed signs of desperation.

He has to present this report to the Safa Technical Committee who must go through it point by point and ask him probing and difficult questions before presenting it to the national executive.

Safa does have the much-hailed Vision22 template which is supposed to be followed from Local Football Associations (LFAs) level up to Bafana Bafana.

It is a very clear and well-documented vision of how South African football should be run and played.

It came after a thorough study of the local game and took into consideration all its shortcomings.

This document must not gather dust like its predecessors, but Safa must ensure that it is adhered to for dear life and be updated at every turn when necessary.

Baxter must be brought in line and failure to do so must lead to the country seeing his back and, should the head honchos also fail, they must be shown the door as well.

As custodians of football in this country, Safa owes the nation at least that much.

Follow me on Twitter @Sbu_Mseleku

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