Springboks World Cup hopes

Lukhanyo Am celebratea with Makazole Mapimpi in 2019. Photo: Backpagepix

Rugby World Cup 2023: Outrage over Lukhanyo Am ‘nickname’

‘Let’s respect people’s names, please’: South Africans are not happy with the ‘nickname’ Springboks centre Lukhanyo Am was dubbed.

Springboks World Cup hopes

Lukhanyo Am celebratea with Makazole Mapimpi in 2019. Photo: Backpagepix

South Africans on the social media platform X are fuming after Springboks centre Lukhanyo Am was referred to as “Lucky” – a supposed shortened version of his name.

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Announcing his Rugby World Cup call-up in France, SA Rugby Magazine wrote: “Lucky is back!!!”

The publication added a picture of the Boks star with his name and surname.

Am, who was a part of the Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup winning squad, did not make the initial 33-man World Cup squad due to a knee injury suffered in August when the South Africa won against Argentina.

His call-up comes after Makazole Mapimpi suffered a fractured eye socket and cheekbone during the Springboks’ 49-18 victory over Tonga on Sunday, 1 October. Am will join the squad in Toulon this week.


While it isn’t clear if Am is aware or has approved of the “nickname,” Mzansi surely doesn’t approve. A number of netizens labelled the post disrespectful.

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Actress Masasa Mbangeni hit back: “His name is Lukhanyo though. Where did you get Lucky from a name as simple as Lukhanyo? No man.”

“Let’s respect people’s names please. Lukhanyo is a beautiful name with a beautiful meaning,” said one X users.

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“It’s so weird that in 2023 we still have to correct folks on African names – his name is right there, yet you chose to ignore it. Cringe galore,” another said.

While another said: “Your name is your identity. I don’t know if these guys have just been off Twitter for the past 6 hours, or are just ignoring black people being offended.”