A carnival under African skies

2010-06-30 13:56
Dear Editor,

On the 15th of May 2004, we received the news that South Africa will be hosting one of the biggest parties anyone has ever experienced. And this party will last for 30 days.

On that day FIFA President Sepp Blatter pulled a card out of an envelope with the name of the country that will host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The name on the card was South Africa and it would be the first World Cup to be staged on African soil. After the initial celebrations the negativity started. All over the world people started asking questions. Will South Africa be ready? Do they have the infrastructure? What about safety and security?

On the morning of June the 11 2010, as I was travelling on one of the country’s brand new Rea Vaya busses, on my way to Soccer City for the opening game of the World Cup, I could only think of one answer to all those questions. YES! On that cold morning I felt so proud of my country that I had a tear in my eye. I mean, here we where, whites, blacks, coloureds and Indians all together on one of our country’s brand spanking new busses singing Shosholoza on our way to the biggest stadium in Africa to watch Bafana Bafana play Mexico.

From what I’ve seen and experienced, the whole day was a huge success. That opening day set the tone for the whole tournament. One could be forgiven for thinking you were in Europe that day with everything being done so professionally, but here we were under African skies!

Nico Roux

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