The South African national soccer team is affectionately known as "Bafana Bafana," which means "The Boys, The Boys" in Zulu, one of South Africa's eleven official languages.
This nickname was given to the team in the early 1990s shortly after South Africa's readmission to international football. South Africa had been banned from FIFA (the International Federation of Association Football) from 1961 until 1992 due to the apartheid policies of its government.
When the ban was lifted, and South Africa returned to the international scene, the team's exciting and youthful play captured the nation's imagination. A journalist named S'busiso Mseleku is often credited with popularizing the term "Bafana Bafana" in his reports.
The nickname stuck and has since become synonymous with South African soccer, embodying a sense of national pride and unity. Despite the affection many have for the name, it has also been the subject of legal and trademark issues, complicating the use of the name for commercial and official purposes.
To fans and supporters around the world, "Bafana Bafana" remains a beloved and iconic representation of South African soccer.