© Gavin Barker - BackpagePixAuthor: Dumisani KoyanaFootball is called “the beautiful game” for many reasons. There is beauty in a bicycle kick; in a series of stepovers  and a well-timed sliding tackle. But perhaps the most beautiful part of the game is the moment when a goal is scored. The eruption of supporters coupled with the dancing and shouting in celebration as the ball sinks into the net, is a moment of pure ecstasy and relief. If the most beautiful part of the game is the goal scored, then the crowning moment is the celebration!The art of goal celebrations has become a very significant part of the footballing spectacle across the world. The sight of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo doing his trademark "SIIIIII" celebration, which is translated to ‘Yes’ in Spanish, is perhaps one of the most popular today. Tim Cahill’s fast-punching of the corner flag, Bebeto’s baby-rocking celebration at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Alan Shearer’s one-arm-in-the-air run-around and even Eric Cantona’s 360 degree gaze around Old Trafford have become some of football’s most enduring and iconic images. Oh! and of course, Lionel Messi holding his Barcelona No.10 jersey in front of the Santiago Bernabeu rival fans. Simply exhilarating. 

African players have also left a mark with some special and memorable goal celebrations. Who can forget the wiggling hips of Cameroon’s Roger Milla at the corner flag at the 1990 FIFA World Cup? Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba once used the corner flag as a makeshift guitar during his Chelsea days, while Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has mastered his front flip athleticism.
Kutumela celebrating with Peter Shalulile© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixMasandawana celebrations have become iconic moments of their own.
Daniel “Mambush” Mudau famously lifted a young ball boy on his shoulders when he scored a lethal strike against Orlando Pirates in a cup final; Surprise Moriri raised an imaginary machine gun spraying bullets against Ronaldinho’s Barcelona FC; and who can forget Sandile Ndlovu’s signature AK-47 strut after converting one of his lethal strikes?

For this new generation of Mamelodi Sundowns players, supporters have been spoilt by Themba “Mshishi” Zwane who has celebrated in many entertaining styles; and let’s not forget Gaston Sirino’s naughty Nedbank Cup Final celebration that saw him ‘feeding the chickens’ as the club won against Bloemfontein Celtic by his solitary goal and more recently Peter Shalulile’s famous triple jump.

The latest celebration worth noting is Thabiso Kutumela’s ‘Cobra Dance’.

This unique goal celebration, including its attention-grabbing name, attracted the interest of the Mamelodi Sundowns Digital Magazine crew and we wanted to find out the inspiration behind Kutu’s finishing move. 
Kutumela celebrating with teammates© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePix“This celebration was created at my previous team, Maritzburg United. The motivation behind this celebration stems from the fact that if you attempted to poke a snake in its hole, be rest assured that you will be bitten. This meant that visiting teams were fully aware that we were ready to strike whenever they came to our domain,” the speedy striker confidently expressed.

Kutumela scored an impressive 28 goals in 74 appearances during his time at ‘The Team of Choice’ which earned him a stunning move to Bafana Ba Style in July 2021.

Kutu grabbed his first goal for the Brazilians in their DStv Premiership match against TS Galaxy at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on the 19th of September 2021. Six days later, the pacey striker delivered an assist to Peter Shalulile who scored a brace as The Brazilians defeated Orlando Pirates 2-0 in another league game. Kutumela, who has enjoyed a superb start to life as a Sundowns player has expressed his desire to perform his heavily-discussed celebration more often.
Peter Shalulile celebrates his goal with Themba Zwane© Muzi Ntombela - BackpagePix“We have been playing very well and teams who visit us know what to expect from us. We are always ready to defend our territory no matter the opposition. I am also happy that we constantly make our presence felt whenever we are in the opposition’s half. I am hoping to score more frequently, so I can perform the Cobra Dance regularly.” concluded the Mokopane-born attacker.

The 28-year-old forward also picked an African goal-scoring celebration which has caught his attention the most over the years. “I have seen a lot of celebrations done by African players and they always get me excited. The stand-out celebration for me is the “mind twist” celebration of former Ghana Captain Steven Appiah during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. I loved the way he used his hand to make a ‘motion movement around the ears’ as if to show his control over the mind of the opponents,” said the Sundowns forward.
Gaston Sirino with his famous 'feeding the chickens' celebration© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixIf you are thinking of trying Kutumela’s Cobra Dance, or any of the famous ones across the world, you are welcome to try. Football may be called the beautiful game because of these moments of joy but you can always find ways to celebrate your own special achievements outside the field of play.

 Good luck!!!