South Africa’s favorite joker, Leon Schuster, is finally home after undergoing major back surgery in early August and spending weeks recovering in a Johannesburg care facility.
Although the 72-year-old Leon is delighted that he can now recuperate at home, the pain bothers him.
“It’s difficult. I don’t want to complain at all, and I know that many people have been through this, but with my age, and all the blows I’ve taken in my life, I’m just fragile,” Leon told RNews on Wednesday.
“One of the nurses told me ‘when they cut, you cry,’ and I’m crying today from the pain.”
Leon may not sit at all for the next six to eight weeks, but can lie down, walk and stand. The fact that he is confined to his bed is almost as bad for him as the pain he has to endure because of the operation.
“I’m just a busy guy, I have projects I’m working on. Now everything is at a standstill… it’s hard to write while lying down anyway.”
Leon tells that six screws have now been driven into his vertebrae to protect his nerves; “I saw the x-rays, that’s all gruesome hear.”
Although the pain he is currently experiencing is clearly audible in his voice, Leon does not hesitate to incorporate a joke or two into his parenting habit.
“I don’t like pain, and I like suffering even less. The only thing that has to suffer is the All Blacks after the Boks gave them a pack,” he jokes.
Leon admits that he knew in advance that a back operation is not a man’s friend, but that he did not expect this kind of pain.
Whether it was on the rugby field, or part of his career as a plasterer, Leon had to face a few hard knocks throughout his life. It is precisely these blows that led to his back problems, he believes.
Leon confesses that he has been beaten hard in his life.
“My head looked east, then I was slapped to the west, and with each blow another vertebra cracked. Then I’m not even talking about the rugby – in my days there was nothing like it touch, pause and engage not. We stood three meters away from each other and watched how hard we could hit each other.”
From his sickbed, he sings his new song, “Die Boksmasjiene”, in support of the Springboks who will soon be playing in their first Rugby World Cup match. He is hurting, he says, but he knows that the Goats take blows that are ten times worse.
“For the first time since 1995, I got the feeling again that we were going to win – then I wrote a song.
“I want people to sing along, to cherish Schuster’s song. We have problems in South Africa, but for this period we must forget about difficult things and focus on the Goats. We have to pray for them every day, especially when they play.”
Listen to “Die Boksmachine” here:
“Die Bokmasjiene” will be performed during the GrootJol, which will take place on 23 November this year at the Voortrekker Monument.