Friday, June 11

Stand Up Bafana Bafana, Stand Up and Be Proud!

Friday the 12th of June will be seen as an important day, not only is it the start of the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup, but it is the first ever World Cup to be held in Africa. It has been a long time coming.

It’s sometimes easy to forget South Africa’s troublesome past. The Soweto uprising in 1976 resulted in FIFA expelling their national football team. It wasn’t until the Apartheid regime was finally demolished that the South African team ended their 25 year exile from football.

Football is much more than 22 players kicking a football around a field. They say that sports unify a team and its fans. Long before a ball had been kicked in South Africa the celebrations were under way. It doesn’t matter where you are; whether you’re in the capital of Cape Town or the agricultural Rustenburg or bustling Durban, you will know the World Cup is here. Hearing the sound of vuvuzelas unleashed into the air, flags flapping around passionately and seeing people singing and dancing on the streets you would be mistaken to think that South Africa have already won the World Cup. They say that sports unify a team, hosting the World Cup has unified South Africa.

Behind the hype, glamour and money lies a nation aching to show the world what it can achieve. South Africa has created an atmosphere that hasn’t been felt during the World Cup for a very long time. On the eve of the World Cup thousands have attended the first ever World Cup concert, graced by top artists such as Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Alicia Keys, K’Naan and Shakira who performed the official 2010 World Cup anthem, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”. The stage also made way for Joseph S. Blatter, president of FIFA, Jacob Zuma, PM of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu. The feeling of being emotionally drawn to Africa is perhaps fitting, since it is probably where all of humanity originated from. It makes us proud of who we are, inspired by what we can all achieve and most importantly grateful of South Africa and all it stands for.

Never has an African nation been crowned World Cup champions, is this their time? Witnessing a nation that has overcome such adversity and challenges in their recent history brought together in racial serenity, solidarity and jubilance only highlights the importance of the World Cup in bringing people together.

Who knows how South Africa will react should they actually win. For some South Africans, they may not even care if Bafana Bafana doesn’t win, for them, their nation have already won.

1 comment:

Bruno said...

Wise after the event, but I don't think an African country can win it ... I don't see Ghana going past Uruguay.