I had the pleasure of being introduced to Sarah Jessica Parker. As friendly as one can get. She had the smoothest skin. The most beautifully structured nose. She dashed across the field with a majestic flair. Yes, SJP was, indeed, at the BMW International Polo Series at Inanda Club on Sunday 22 August. Gazed on my awestruck civilians as they dined on the greening grass, basking beneath the August sun (or not, if they were in a tent). SJP made South Africa so proud insomuch that the team won – possibly the only sport South Africa has any hope in – and she won Pony of the Game.
A fierce crowd of attention-loverscovered every speck of Inanda Club. I say attention-lovers because it seems each and every individual resembles the characteristics I’ve seen on television’s Gossip Girl. Sipping away on their Cristal champagne, and puffing away on their illegally imported Cuban cigars. Alas, this scene can only be experienced in the marquees, while the ordinary middle-class wannabees, but will never be, are left to fend for themselves on the ant infested and dusty lawn. I sat amongst the commoners.
I came to polo with the mentality that I would be the only black at this party. Boy was I wrong. Black people have moved beyond the tshisa nyama, and realm of golfing and country club membership, popularised by sports icons such as Tiger Woods, who come to think of it, is the only black professional golfer I know of, and a true black man with his...errr!!!...transgressions (Are you offended yet?). Alas, darkies have discovered the culture of polo. Although I doubt they even understand it. I didn’t, until I Googled the rules, after the game was over.
Since I witnessed the tragedy of Scarlett O’Hara’s daughter’s death as she was show jumping with her horse, I had felt no need to involve myself in the act of riding or so much as going near a horse. (Yes, television can be evil) Kind of the same fear I have, and most blacks have, of dogs. The hooves of a stallion look to be insensitive to a human body. Thus, polo is the one sport you shan’t find a “hooligan” parading his naked body across the pitch, for fear of being horse-minced. Rightfully so. But the sound of the gallops at the horses moved swiftly across the pitch – damaging it as much as inexperienced golfer does – was music to the ears.
So, South Africa made us proud after the dismal failure of Springbok against the All Black the previous day L And we celebrated with cheap champagne and Woolies food. Yay!!
*Photographs courtesy of SA Polo Association