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„I am a superfan!“: Dinah aus Hamm und der BVB


Von: Dinah Koschowski


Greatlove for soccer:  Dinah Koschowski is a big BVB-Fan.
Greatlove for soccer: Dinah Koschowski is a big BVB-Fan. © Koschowski

Our columnist Dinah had no interest in football. On her second day in Germany, she transformed into a BVB fanatic.

In 2016, I landed in Hamm on a Saturday evening. It was my first time in Germany. I had known my husband in person for only 5 days, and after months of continuous conversation, I came to visit him. The next day, he gave me a football jersey that he had borrowed from a friend, wrapped me up in a scarf and off we went. I did not know that I was about to be immersed into a German cultural past time that is now in my blood.

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We arrived at Signal Iduna Park, and it was an experience like no other. We swayed through the ‘black and yellow’ sea of people and up the most coveted part of the stadium – Der Südtribüne. His friends were waiting for us, and we were warmly greeted with hugs and beer. At that time, I could say maybe three German words, but that didn’t matter.

The voice of Thomas Henneböhl then thundered through the stadium speakers, and everyone held their scarf above their heads singing “You’ll never walk alone”. It was a little intimidating being so small, but the 25,000 strong ‚Gelbe Wand’ around me made me feel as big as an elephant. Nobby (Norbert Dickel) then announced the players, the whistle was blown, and the football pitch erupted into “Heja BVB”! I had learnt my first German football song, and I was watching my first football game at an iconic stadium.

I preferred watching rugby

Growing up, I never really cared much about football. In the 80’s and early 90’s, there was only one television broadcaster in Kenya. I distinctly remember we (the children) were sent outside to play on Saturday afternoons, so that my male cousins and uncles can watch the show ‘Football made in Germany’. As I got into my teens, I was obsessed with rugby. I fell in love with the All Blacks rugby team while living in Australia, and in the late 90’s, the Kenya 7’s rugby team became a favourite. This is because Kenya would host the Safari Seven’s annual rugby tournament, a three-day event with competitors from all around the world. I understood the rules and personally knew some of the players as they were in school with my older siblings. I was a rugby girl, until I met the man I married.

Living here, I have come to understand that being a football fan in Germany is something special. The stadium atmosphere is electrifying, and everyone is extremely friendly, even though they do not know you. It is truly unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

Football is my new obsession

The passion that the fans have for the team and the game is incredible. I really admire the culture of belonging to a club being passed on from generation to generation. The fans really believe and invest in their football clubs, and you can see it from the big flags hanging outside people’s homes, and for example, the BVB shrine we have in ours.

My husband’s family have been BVB supporters all through his life, and I have been indoctrinated into this passion. If we are not at the stadium, we plan our days around the game, making sure we watch every match. For the big games, we get dressed in our BVB Trikots, switch off the commentator on the TV and leave it on stadium sound, so we can sing ‘Kämpfen und siegen, und weil wir dich so lieben, gewinnst du dieses Spiel für uns, Auf geht’s Dortmund’ along with the spectators. We celebrate every goal with ‘Schnaps’ that we toast to the goal scorer.

I am confident that one day, we will lead the table again

As much as I dislike our biggest rival, I must say that I also really respect them. Every time they step on a pitch, they are in it to win it. Their plays are so calculated, and it sometimes feels like they don’t make mistakes. There must be something in the food in Bayern. I don’t know how they do it, but one day, we will beat them again. I have hope.

Considering I have been faithfully supporting BVB for the last 5 years, I think I have earned the right to call myself a super fan. I have gotten to know all the players and I have been to the stadium more times than I can count. I finally understand what ‘offside’ is, and I still scream at the referee when he makes bad calls. I think what E.T. (Edin Terzic) has done with the team this past season is phenomenal and I pray that Jude Bellingham remains with us. I am not yet at Ultra fan level, but I am working on it. One of my dreams is to be a flag waver at the beginning of a match. I just need to find somebody to make it happen.

Our columnist

Dinah Koschowski (41) studied journalism in Africa and Australia. Two years ago, she married a man from Hamm and now lives in Bockum-Hövel. For the Westfälischer Anzeiger, she is writing a column about her experiences as an immigrant in Hamm. So far, she has published articles about shopping in Hamm, her fear of German traffic, the end of the mask era, differences in food, her very first Karneval. She also talks about her experiences with war and spring cleaning.

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