In what has undoubtedly been an emotional week for many vested in the energy of South African sport, I was kindly heartened by World Number 2 tennis champion Roger Federer’s visit to Hlukani and Govhu preschools in Limpopo. Perhaps, as more recently deprived of brimming South African athlete endorsement, it was nice to see Federer enjoy Tsonga company (and I don’t mean the French player).
Narratives of sport are always charmed with stories of interactions of cultures, especially where educational development is concernced. From my own subjective experience, I’ve found the perception of the Tsonga tribe to be a polarising one. You either have alot of something good to say or some misguided things that are not always so good to say. Similarly, you either regard Federer as someone whom you like or dislike – he may be your on-court legend, or a man with a head flick and aloof fist-pump that tends to distract you from all of that brilliance.
Whichever side you subscribe to, the reach of the Roger Federer Foundation is commendable and the photographs and video clips being circulated just make you want to embrace the Tsonga culture and fist-pump: