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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

From Cape Town to Paris, superfan Mama Joy is flying SA flag high at Rugby World Cup

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South Africa’s bid to retain the Webb Ellis Cup at the Rugby World Cup has got off to a flying start with decisive wins against Scotland and Romania, but the Boks have been fuelled by support from thousands of fans abroad, including super fan Mama Joy Chauke.

It is too soon to tell if the Boks will defend the trophy, but spirits are high, especially with fans like soccer superfan Mama Joy, who shot to fame with the Orlando Pirates FC before being poached by the Pietermaritzburg outfit Royal AM FC.

She is now a sports super fan, seen at rugby, cricket, and netball matches with her trademark face painting, isicholo hat, and colourful SA flag colours.

Mama Joy has been flying South Africa’s flag high at three world cups on three continents this year already, and she is a hit with fans who stop to take pictures with her.

Mama Joy was one of the country’s superfans when the women’s national team, Banyana Banyana, defied the odds and qualified for the knockout rounds at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

Mama Joy was also flying the Proteas flag for the Netball World Cup at home in Cape Town earlier this year, and now she has the SA flag painted on her cheeks for the Rugby World Cup in France. Last year, she was also a superfan at the World Cup in Qatar.

According to the Sunday Times, Mama Joy has been sponsored by the Department of Sport and the SA Rugby Union for her trip to France to support the Boks and fly the flag high.

She told the newspaper that she had been an avid sports fan since she was in school.

“I supported sport from a young age. I used to travel with my school to each volleyball, netball, and soccer match,” she told the newspaper, adding that she lives and eats sports.

Mama Joy has watched the red-hot Springboks score 94 points at the Rugby World Cup, including Sunday’s humdinger, where Makazole Mapimpi and Cobus Reinach scored three tries each in mauling Romania.

She also bagged the gsport Supporter of the Year award in absentia recently.


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