"The reason why nations continue both explicitly and sometimes implicitly to shape and reshape their identities, or if you prefer explicitly and implicitly to rebrand themselves, is because their reality changes and they need to project this change symbolically to all the audiences, internal and external, with whom they relate." (Olins; 2002 from the article, 'Beyond Mandelamania? Imaging, Branding and Marketing South Africa'; Van der Westhuizen, Janis, PhD; University of Stellenbosch)
Brand owner: - 100% owned by Amabokoboko Sport Trust
Ownership of Amabokoboko Sport Trust: - 100% owned by Smal family. Established in 2012 through an equity swop with Fairfield Group.
Products: Core product is the rugby ball range, netball ball range, rugby kit & equipment and team wear. Scope for more product over 11 classes.
Future development: - The company is seeking a strategic equity partner to assist in funding expansion and building institutional support behind the brand.
Amabokoboko - ‘the boks, the boks’ - first appeared on the front page of the daily newspaper Sowetan following the Springboks victory over Australia in the opening round of the 1995 World Rugby Cup.
Amabokoboko linguistically Africanised the Springbok and gave black people a stake in the team, writes Douglas Booth, Dean of the School of Physical Education at the University of Otago, in an academic study conducted one year after South Africa’s successful Rugby World Cup campaign in which former South African President Nelson Mandela iconically lifted the World Cup along with the then Springbok captain Francois Pienaar.
Booth, however warned that while Amabokoboko gives Africans a linguistic stake in rugby, real ownership and emotional buy-in into South African rugby would only truly become reality when Africans have a physical presence in the Springbok team.
This era has now arrived as a fully racially integrated South African rugby team won the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. History has been made; the first black Springbok captain, the first try in a World Cup final was scored by a black Springbok.
The journey that was started in 1995 suddenly has so much more significance since 2 November 2019. South African rugby and netball plotted the way forward for other sporting codes and other countries on our continent.
Transformation of South African rugby and the growing acceptance of the Springbok emblem truly started during the 1995 World Cup when President Mandela asked the nation to embrace the national team.
It was an historic opportunity to break away from the past – to complete the symbolic journey from the old to the new. It created new symbols of hope for the country and its people.
When the word Amabokoboko appeared in the Sowetan, then a so-called ‘township newspaper’, the word "bok" had found its first acceptance in the townships. Today the Zulu word continues to unify a nation.
On the 18th of September, after the 1995 World Cup the Amabokoboko trade name and logo was registered over 11 classes of products and services. This year the brand is celebrating its 26th birthday.
Amabokoboko Sport has developed an African inspired range of training and performance rugby balls and netball balls that can truly compete with the best in the world. All the sports clothing are products from our own sports clothing factory in Tokai, Cape Town. We are a rugby jersey manufacturer including rugby shorts and other sportswear for many schools and clubs and it is our objective to be one of the major rugby ball and netball ball & kit suppliers on the African continent.
Through our sales and distribution, it is our vision to bring the sport and development sectors together to create more opportunities for young under-privileged talent. To provide rugby balls, netball balls, sport equipment and kit to them and to find the hidden talents that our country has on offer.
We all have to think outside the box in our current fragile economic situation. As long as there is hope and we keep the spirits high, we will continue to produce champions. Just ask our national rugby and netball heroes. Africa is on the rise. Amabokoboko is here to serve and look forward to the next 20 years of sport development on our continent.