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I. C. U. P.

G-42 Football Club comes through with another win this Saturday. We won 2-1. Preparing for this game was challenging because our opponents, the Richmond Aces, were tough and we have to win all the rest of our games so Pastor Gift used a new strategy with our formation, which was pretty cool.

Because this game was a big one PG was real intentional to get us all pumped up for it so we warmed up a little “Remember the Titans” but Swazi style. We all got in a circle and song the soccer chants and did the dances. Everyone goes nuts when I dance, especially when I “engwasi” which is a South Africa style of dancing which I wouldn’t justify its coolness by explaining it. So we were all jacked up from that and ready to beat the mess out of some people. We scored in the first 5 minutes and kept it that way the rest of the half, then early in the second half they scored off of a corner kick and tied it up at 1-1. With about 40 minutes left in the second half PG put me and Bhekumusa in. I was pretty stoked about that, its just really encouraging when your put in late in the game when the score is tied and you’re the man to make the goal ya know? It just reminds me that I deserve the playing time, I always feel bad when I start in the first eleven or when I get substituted in over other guys who have been playing their whole lives. I easily lose my confidence out there man, it’s tough. Later Saturday night, Majabane (who is the team secretary) and Mapile and I were talking about the game and specifically my performance. I was telling them how annoying and how much I hate it when I mess up or do something good and I hear even one laugh, or I hear the reaction to the crowd and how that gets in my head. There is so much pressure on me when I play, one because I hold myself to such perfect standard and I am not allowed to mess up without any excuses and two because all eyes are on me and that’s just so annoying. I’m the only white boy playing in Swaziland and since I’ve been playing for a while all the fans know that G-42 has the white striker, so they come to watch…Like when I got subbed in during the game, I just heard a low roar come from the crowd, everybody commenting to each other sa. “Everybody does those things to you because you are a crowd pleaser. People know the way you play now and they like to see you play. The whole game before you got in the crowd was yelling to us, ‘Hey put that guy in! Bring him in!’ Majabane told me when we were talking about the game. It’s weird to hear that because I’m so oblivious to everything going on around me ya know? And normally when you are labeled a crowd pleaser, that is a good thing, but when I hear the commotion from the crowd it actually makes it harder for me to play because I assume that they are all making fun of me and honestly I get pissed at them and I want to yell a bunch of insults back, even though they aren’t making fun of me. It just crazy how even in sports, the enemy will still feed you lies to try to break you down and make you think you are less than a son of the King.

So I didn’t score again….Bummer…. I played really well though. I had some good plays and make some good things happen to let others score, like right when me and Bhekumusa got in he had the winning goal a few minutes later off of a deflection from the keeper from a shot that came from my pass (hahaha). Scoring before I leave in 17 days is my goal, I’m basically set up for failure but I will score before I have to leave!