The Springboks have ignited the nation’s pride by bringing the Webb Ellis Cup back home after securing the title of champions at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Following a heart-warming reception from South African supporters upon their return, the Springboks are commencing their official trophy tour this week.
One young Springboks enthusiast, Desmond Koolen, gained international attention with his adorable performance of ‘I Feel Good’ at his school concert earlier this year. Hollywood celebrities like Will Smith and Wayne Brady couldn’t resist sharing the viral video which highlighted Desmond’s infectious and uplifting attitude.
Since then, Desmond has become a national treasure and formed a close bond with Jacaranda FM’s Breakfast With Martin Bester team, gracing the show with his performances multiple times following his viral moment. Desmond has continued to capture hearts by offering adorable tips to the Springboks throughout the World Cup season on air.
Desmond’s lifelong dream has been to meet his sporting heroes. Learning of this, Jacaranda FM’s Martin Bester contemplated during his popular #HowHardCanItBe segment how to make Desmond’s wish of meeting his favourite Springbok rugby players, Siya Kolisi and Cheslin Kolbe, come true.
“We call Desmond the ‘Feel Good Kid’ because his rendition of ‘I Feel Good’ went viral – and the world loved it. I had him on the show, and we quickly realised that there is something truly special about him. When I asked him about rugby, he ended up giving Siya Kolisi some great advice which, once again, went viral. People loved it, and I thought, if he can get acknowledgment from international superstars, then surely he deserves recognition from Siya Kolisi or Cheslin Colby – both of whom are his heroes,” Martin explained.
Martin and the rest of Jacaranda FM’s Breakfast With Martin Bester team embarked on a remarkable effort to get Siya or Cheslin to acknowledge Desmond. Their generous and supportive listeners rallied once again, showcasing the incredible Jacaranda FM community spirit. The collective effort made Desmond’s dream a reality, as he finally got to meet and even address the entire Springbok rugby team.
Jacaranda FM has always been known for its generosity and the station’s ability to make dreams come true. Martin expressed his heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped them facilitate Desmond’s meeting with the Springboks. “Witnessing Desmond being invited on stage to speak to the Springboks was a dream come true for the young man, a moment he will cherish forever. The Springboks serve as a remarkable source of inspiration for South Africans, especially young children like Desmond, and this heart-warming story reflects the beauty of South Africa,” Martin continues.
Desmond’s infectious positivity and joyful personality have endeared him to the hearts of South Africans. Desmond’s mother, Adele Koolen, shared with Breakfast with Martin Bester that they welcomed Desmond into foster care in 2020 when he was just three and a half years old, and in 2021, the adoption was finalised. Desmond, an exceptional child with a wide range of interests and talents, enjoys rugby, football, playing PlayStation, watching YouTube, and excels in drama and performing arts, even doing his first voiceover for Junglevites at the age of five.
Watch Desmond’s heart-warming meeting with and address to the Springboks here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CzHFG3etEGR/?hl=en.