Cup volunteers proud

2010-07-07 18:14

Durban - Rubbing shoulders with top soccer players and statesmen while helping ordinary soccer fanatics from all over the world were some of the things that had made World Cup volunteers proud.

“I feel sad today because Durban will host its last World Cup game tonight. I really had a wonderful experience which I will never forget until I die,” said Nhlanhla Khumalo on Wednesday.

Hundreds of volunteers posted at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban would say goodbye to their month-long job after Germany and Spain had battled it out in the semifinal on Wednesday night.

Khumalo, who said he earned R100 a day as a volunteer, said he had rubbed shoulders with top players and state officials such as President Jacob Zuma.

He said he had risked being fired from his job when he joined the volunteer programme because he wanted to contribute to the historic event.

“I work for a government department that does not allow its workers to work as volunteers but I decided join the programme. My bosses do not know I am here. I don’t regret doing it,” he said.

Khumalo now wants to be a volunteer at the next World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

“I will try by all means to be there. Taking part in the World Cup has made me view the issue of voluntarism differently,” he said.

No regrets

Craig Naidoo, another volunteer, had enjoyed the experience.

“I believe that the South African companies should allow people to work as volunteers because people get experience.”

Most volunteers interviewed said they had no regrets about taking part in the volunteer programme.

However, some waitresses said they were disappointed that they did not get enough tips.

“I expected people to be nice to us and give us tips but they did not. Even President Jacob Zuma did not give me a cent,” said Nompilo Shozi.

She was disappointed that people did not appreciate what they did for them.

“People forget that we survive mainly on tips. Our wages are too little and we rely on tips to supplement them,” she said.

Zinhle Mkhize, another waitress, said her World Cup experience was not as overwhelming as she though it would be.

“I expected something big. I also expected to see David Beckham come to Moses Mabhida but he did not,” she said.

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