All Blacks put their foot down on Walter Sisulu haka
REACTION: The real All Blacks have put their foot down and asked the Walter Sisulu University to stop using a bastardised version of the famous Maori war chant – the haka.
WSU captain Litha Nkula has explained why the team is not performing their version of haka during the second Varsity Shield bubble.
WSU, also nicknamed the ‘all blacks’, were accused on social media of ‘cultural appropriation, after performing a mix of ‘Ka Mate’ and ‘Kapa o Pango’ before their first match of the tournament against DUT at Loftus Versfeld.
The use of the haka outside of New Zealand is controversial, as it can be considered culturally insensitive or offensive.
Afterwards, Nkula explained why the team performed the haka, and they continued to do it for the remainder of the first bubble.
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Nkula said WSU, who entered the Varsity Shield competition in 2017, had admired the All Blacks since they won the 2015 World Cup by playing an attractive brand of rugby.
“When I arrived at WSU, our late coach Sipho Metula told us stories about how this team got to mobilise and use New Zealand rugby players as icons within the team,” he added.
However, this past Sunday, WSU’s haka was noticeable by its absence before their first match of the second bubble, against Rhodes at Tuks Stadium, which they went on to win 63-10.
Nkula said their decision to stop performing the haka came after the university received a letter from New Zealand Rugby last Saturday.
“New Zealand Rugby asked us not to do the haka for now,” the fullback told varsityCup.co.za.
“They said they can maybe help us to do it in another way or form, because ‘Kapa O Pango’ has deep and meaningful roots in New Zealand.”