Cream of the Crop
The dictate that only boys from Orlando, or the children of Orlando residents, could play for Pirates, deepened the players' sense of self-worth and pride in the knowledge that they were Orlando's "pick".
"Buthelezi [Lucas 'Ace', inside right for Pirates in the 1950s] states that they 'enjoyed being together'... 'We used to play cards and go to the bioscope together,' he says. He goes on to say that they called them 'kalkoens' or 'takkies' because they were from the township and spoke Zulu a lot. 'They (referring to the Sophiatown teams) spoke Afrikaans a lot. We weren't all Zulu, but we grew up together and chose to speak Zulu. We were mostly Sothos and Zulus.'
"Kick Off magazine editor Richard Maguire writes that Buthelezi's comment 'attests, on one hand to the close bond between the Pirates players, based on shared experiences to some extent but also on a common cultural and linguistic heritage that was typical of the earlier Orlando residents. On the other hand, it suggests that the team was seen as apart - even protected - from the burgeoning 'tsotsi' youth culture.
"'A final crucial factor in building this bond was the policy - written in the constitution of the club - that only boys from Orlando, or the children of Orlando residents, could play for Pirates. It added to the unity in the team and deepened the players' sense of self-worth by inculcating a pride in the knowledge that they were Orlando's 'pick'. This policy grew in part from their own experiences in forming the team and partly from Bethuel Mokgosinyana's desire to build something 'for the children of Orlando; and for the parents of Orlando'."
- The People's Club: A History of Orlando Pirates, by Richard Maguire (editor of Kick Off magazine), published by the University of the Witwatersrand Press, 1991