Mosito Ramaili in NYC: New York City, Ala. South Africans in New York are gearing up for a spirited watch party for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final between the Springboks and New Zealand’s All Blacks.
Mosito Ramaili, the visionary behind “Saffas in NYC,” initiated the group in 2015.
“What started as a WhatsApp group of a few South Africans has now grown to more than 800 members and over 2,000 followers on social media,” Ramaili shared with TimesLIVE.
The anticipation is high for the watch party at Fancy Free, 71 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn, with a substantial turnout expected.
“Saffas in NYC serves as an emotional home away from home for our people — whether it’s questions about US visas, where to live, or sending stuff home, the group is a collective place to celebrate our South African holidays. Tomorrow’s rugby final watch party will be a celebration of our culture, with hopes of watching our nation win the World Cup back-to-back.”
Born in Mahikeng, in the North West, Ramaili’s journey took him from Johannesburg to Huntsville, Alabama, on a soccer scholarship at Alabama A&M University in 2004.
“Can you imagine, a boy from Joburg going over to Huntsville, Alabama, the home of NASA?” Ramaili chuckled.
His journey continued with high-level positions in marketing and advertising with global companies like Nike and BBDO. Today, he runs his own agency, Bosabi Creative Club, named after his two children.
Ramaili work has provided opportunities to collaborate with global stars, including Siya Kolisi. He had the privilege of looking after the rugby icon during the Tribeca Film Festival world premiere of “Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story.”
“I highly admire Siya, and I feel a lot of similarities to me in his journey. Being one of the few blacks to get out there in those days — luckily for him it was the early 2000s, but for us, it was the late 1990s where you had sports which helped you find your own identity.”
Ramaili, now 40 and a father of two living in New York City, fondly recalls the historic 1995 Rugby World Cup victory.
“Now I’m 40 years old, I’m a father to two children, I’m a South African living in New York City. All around the world tomorrow we will be united in excitement — and I am hoping we will relive that incredible moment of victory again.”