WSU's Haka rendition causes a stir
SPOTLIGHT: The Walter Sisulu University (WSU) have caused a social media storm after performing a haka before their opening match of the Varsity Shield.
The South African university, nicknamed the All Blacks, performed their rendition of the All Blacks haka Kapa O Pango against the Rhinos.
The WSU recorded a record 136-11 win over the DUT Rhinos – scoring 22 tries.
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However the scoreline did not grab the attention of the rugby fraternity, instead, it was their pre-match performance that had a lot of South African and New Zealand rugby fans up in arms.
According to New Zealand Herald, the video where WSU performs the Haka went viral did not impress the fans abroad.
Some label the act as ‘insult to the o Māori people of NZ’
“As a Kiwi this is really in poor taste. The Haka belongs to the Māori people. Very disrespectful by this team to think it’s okay to use it for themselves,” one fan wrote on Facebook.
“In my opinion, it is extremely disrespectful and unacceptable! As a South African it was an absolute privilege facing the Haka on a school rugby tour to New Zealand. It is a tradition of the Kiwis and no one should be replicating it,” wrote another.
“It’s an insult to Māori people of NZ, and it’s poorly done,” said another fan.
While on Twitter, one user tweeted: “No, no, no! This is embarrassing, there’s more than enough cultures in SA to pick inspiration from if they wanted a traditional way to offer the challenge,”
A lot of South African fans share their Kiwi counterparts sentiments.
Poor Maori’s. This is probably the worst insult on them ever.
— Lyndon Jacobs (@YzeOne) April 13, 2021
I’m not insulted. They took time to learn it and performed it with pride. Good on them
— Tekiu Toma (@TekiuLotiRapana) April 13, 2021
Despite the backlash from the public, the Newshub reported that New Zealand Rugby has no issues with a rendition of the iconic ‘Kapa o Pango’ haka by a South African.
The New Zealand newspaper revealed that an NZR spokesperson told Newshub despite its intellectual property being imitated, as long as the haka is performed with respect and understanding, as in the case with WSU, there is no issue.
The media outlet added that NZR believes the team was paying the ultimate homage to the All Blacks.
This is not the first time Walter Sisulu University have performed a haka.
Source: @NZHerald & Newshub