After Nigeria defeated South Africa in the AFCON semifinals, there was a great deal of support and excitement in Zimbabwe. The heated match took place in Bouake, Ivory Coast’s Peace Stadium, exposing the passionate animosity that frequently bleeds over onto social m.edia
Zimbabweans, who have always supported their neighbor, South Africa, made a surprising shift and sided with Nigeria in such a significant game. In the view of many Zimbabweans, Nigeria’s well-earned victory turned the tide, and wild applause and jubilation broke out.
- Zimbabweans mocked for celebrating Proteas, Springboks wins: “They are obsessed with being South African”
William Troost-Ekong scored a spectacular goal to start the game in the first half. But Teboho Mokoena’s penalty kick soon tied the score as South Africa struck back. An exciting stretch of extra game time ensued as the score stayed tied at one goal apiece as full-time drew near. The score remained the same throughout the extra minutes, which finally resulted in a suspenseful penalty shootout. With a 4-2 victory, Nigeria advanced to the AFCON championship game, leaving South Africa disappointed.
Why Zimbabwe Supported Nigeria Over South Africa
There are reasons underlying Zimbabweans’ jubilant joy of South Africa’s defeat that have nothing to do with football. Zimbabweans celebrated with South Africa’s rugby squad in 2023 after they won the World Championship. Their happiness was short-lived, though, as South Africans called them “international orphans” and attacked them on social media.
This disparaging nickname originated from the economic hardships that drove many Zimbabweans to look for work in South Africa. Zimbabweans are enraged about the usage of “international orphans,” which caused them to change their support during the AFCON and distance themselves from Mzansi.
Besides that, as Zimbabweans tried to rally behind their neighbours, some disparaging remarks were made as well;
To our Zim 🇿🇼 brothers we really appreciate the support you gave us yesterday.
But today siyacela today let us celebrate sodwa nje as family… 🇿🇦
Akubeyinto encane nje eyomndeni..sonibiza pic.twitter.com/HN2OPTta5a
— ChrisExcel (@ChrisExcel102) February 4, 2024
Such remarks added salt to the injury as many felt no need to support such a hostile neghbour.
Here are some of remarks made before and after the game;
Thank you Nigeria 🇳🇬 for saving us Zimbabweans from the noise. If South Africa had won we would have been called international orphans. You saved us from the amapiano noise
— Niceguy@007 (@Niceguy0074) February 7, 2024
Of course a Zimbabwean would think Nigeria is better than South Africa. You guys even think Zimbabwe is better than SA 😂
— Mathanzima 🇿🇦 (@Mat_Sog) February 7, 2024
Jollof rice for dinner! Playing Afrobeats!
The streets are quiet , congrats to Joloff boys…
Congratulations to Nigeria Well Done
If you are an international orphan,just type Oga!