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Proteas Culture Conversation Working in Progress

During Temba Bavuma’s online press conference, evidence of change in South African cricket culture could be seen – or rather heard. And as much from Bavuma’s responses as from the questions posed to him. Bavuma answered 15 questions in a nearly 27-minute press conference on the eve of South Africa’s ODI series against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Four of them were delivered in his first language, isiXhosa.

Bavuma speaks in a thoughtful, measured, and articulate manner in English. Those in the audience who didn’t speak isiXhosa or didn’t understand it – the vast majority – could only marvel at the even deeper insights he was undoubtedly expressing in his mother tongue. A translation was provided to the less experienced linguists, which was very helpful. Perhaps one of these years we will learn isiXhosa, as well as isiXhosa speakers, have learned English.

isiXhosa Questions

Cricket is not English, as those four isiXhosa questions and answers demonstrated. And language should be discussed as part of the culture debate that has engulfed the game in this country. The testimony given at the Social Justice and Nation-building (SJN) hearings has revealed racism in South Africa’s locker room during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Mark Boucher, who was a member of the team at the time, has apologized for his part and is working hard as the team’s coach to bring about positive change. CSA did say, however, that Enoch Nkwe’s resignation as assistant coach last month “raised concerns about the functioning and culture of the team environment.

” Bavuma’s role as captain is just as important as the other senior players and Boucher in establishing and maintaining a positive culture. Did this imply that Nkwe’s departure was influenced by Bavuma’s approach?

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