My late grandfather, Georgie Francis, was a professional soccer player. If soccer, for my Papa, was revered, then Manchester United was the holy grail. Whenever Man U played, he would settle into his favourite recliner and holler as though physically in the stands of Old Trafford, togged up in red regalia from socks to scarf.
For my sins, my husband possesses the same passion for the Red Devils. On match days, I am forced (lovingly) to wear a United shirt, but I’m not allowed close to the TV, because all I do is point out the handsome players. Repeatedly.
The pinnacle, in my humble opinion, is Cristiano Ronaldo. When he recently returned to United, my husband lost his everlasting mind. He counted the days until the match and warned me that the TV was his for two hours. Of course, I refused to be banished: I wanted to watch that tall glass of Portuguese goodness…and, while I shrieked at his chiselled frame, LJ watched that match closer than he watched me when I walked down the aisle.
After a while, when my lounge was in disarray from the excited throwing of my scatter cushions and my eardrums were ringing from LJ’s hollering, I decided to stalk off. My withering parting shot was: “you know they can’t see you, right? Why are you so into the match?”
“It’s the pride, baby,” he said, his eyes shining. “When you support United, you do it with pride, whether they win or lose. This is my team.”
Recently, as I zipped up my jacket for work on a chilly morning, I looked down at my dragonfly. I’m proud to wear it. I’m proud to work for Simbithi Eco-Estate, because our team is all kinds of wonderful. I represent a team of hard-working, passionate individuals who give their everything to propel this Estate forward. Sometimes, people may not see everything we do, but we do it with pride, anyway. #TeamSimbithi, it’s been a pleasure riding this crazy train with you, this year!
As we all head off on a well-deserved festive break, be thankful for whatever team you form part of. Your family. Your colleagues. Your friends. Wear your association with pride.
And, when you see that dragonfly fluttering at our flags over our gatehouses, be extra proud.
We are #SimbithiStrong!