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Mama Africa- A Pre-World Cup Memoir!
Mama Africa-A Pre-World Cup Memoir!
Mama Africa - A pre-world cup memoir!
South Africa, host nation to one of the biggest international football events, FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA 2010, made her way back into the ‘global nook’, as she welcomed thousands of guests, from across the planet, to her shores. Whether a football enthusiast or not, the presence of the ‘the world’s residents’, effectively created an ‘infectious buzz’, felt in every host city. As a patriot of a country, whose global reputation will forever be tainted by a political legacy established in inequality, I watched with pride and deep emotion as the world stood united, forgetting for these days, the dire economic reserves, social deprivation, and issues of government. Citizens from far and wide, each honouring their respective countries, waved their flags, enabling a liveliness, which could not only be felt, but also heard by the sounds coming from the ‘infamous’ vuvuzelas, as scores of fans, dressed in colourful, but nationalistic hilarity’, paraded through the streets of Africa.
Brazilians, Germans, Argentineans, Mexicans, Italians, Dutch, to name but a few of the visiting nations, added to the vibrancy of the Mother City (ONE of the host cities), as this well-known metropolis, with its trendy restaurants, pubs and nightlife, ‘burst its banks’ with an explosion of tourists and residents alike, jammed tightly together, but parading their nationalism with fervour, never thought to be seen in my Mother Land.
The pulse of Africa, heard from afar, as groups of drummers, charmed large crowds, at fan-walks, beating their djembes with pride, synchronicity and rhythm. I was particularly overcome, standing on the balcony of The Dubliner, an Irish Pub in Long Street, the night before the opening and listening to the beautiful chanting coming from a group of African boys, giving a voice demonstration of - ‘Shosholoza’ (meaning- go forward or make way for the next man), to hordes of foreigners, lining the streets. The sentiment of that moment and watching the multitude of people below, brought to mind, the many national heroes who had ‘lost’ their lives to bring about an historical consequence such as this.
It was in admiration of these protagonists, now filling the pages of our history books, but etched forever in our hearts and minds, that I stood proudly as a South African, thankful and deeply honoured to be part of this moment in history. The rising African Sun, marking a new beginning for the country, its people, and the many hedonists, here to leave their footprints on her shores, each silently hoping that it would be their country lifting the trophy at the final.
By Nicky Bantham
Copyright © December 2010