And the winner of the 2010 Soccer World Cup is….. SOUTH AFRICA!!!
It’s over. It came, it played, it conquered, not only the hearts of all who were here in Mzansi, but those of hopefully every viewer in the world. We felt it. It was here. It was time. And the time was fabulous. A time when everybody was shouting WOZA! Come to South Africa – come feel the Magic, the gees, the warmth of an SA winter. The flags were up and out, brightening up the souls and lives of all who passed them – a cheery sight in the heart of a Jozi cold snap when everything’s pretty drab and grey…
And they came, they saw and it was good. All those naysayers proven wrong (haven’t seen any retractions from them as yet – but then, I don’t do newspapers, except on Sundays for the crossword puzzles).
I ended up writing the scripts for one of the magazine shows which went out daily on Supersport, dealing with all the comings and goings of the celebs (of course, the best joke doing the rounds now that Paris Hilton should be fined by FIFA for breaking the endorsement code. The sponsor was Coke, not marijuana!!), the WAGS, the best bodies (of the soccer playas, natch) and all the hype and sideline stuff that accompanied the biggest event to ever hit African soil. And although I’m by no means a fan of soccer (I’m an unadulterated Bokkie!), it was all this other stuff going on that actually got me going.
K’Naan got us going at the outset by Waving his Flag, Shakira came and shook her booty and the Arch-partier – Archbishop Desmond Tutu – won our hearts by getting down and boogying when the going got hot. There were an international bunch of loonies on a round-the-country trip, chasing a Makarapa, and getting to all the games to boot, much discussion about the dreaded vuvu/kudu/amazulu/zelas (which were banned in my house) and double doses of football fabulousness every day. What was not to like?
The one thing which I think most South Africans, regardless of colour, came to realise was that when Bafana Bafana lurched off the field, the ‘umlungus’ didn’t immediately switch their allegiance to one of the European teams. No, we all decided to back Ghana, and started flying their flag. And we all mourned and moaned when they didn’t make it through to the semis…
Walking and driving the streets during this past week, it’s so cool to see that not everybody has taken down their colours. And the feeling of goodwill seems to still be permeating the majority of like-minded Saffers. And what’s really warmed the cockles of my heart was my direction being turned to the creation of a website reminding us that this once in a lifetime experience doesn’t have to only be one month of our lives. It’s something we can continue – if we want. www.keepflyingtheflag.co.za – well done! If we’re all thinking like this, we should be able to make this country something really great…
So, all of you who know somebody who’s already moaning – possibly because they’ve got SWC withdrawals, or SAD, or just ‘what on earth am I going to watch on TV now’ depression (I’d like to suggest the Tour d’France as a quiet antidote to the hecticness, by the way!) – tell them to cowboy up, and check out the site, and get proactive. We had the greatest jol, so grab a regmaaker and get rid of that hangover – and get out there smiling to face the next day! Just because the soccer’s done, it doesn’t mean you should drop the ball. Get a kick out of this new, shiny Mzansi. Boot all the pessimists out of the ball park (and hope like hell they don’t land on a powerline – we’re still hoping that we won’t have too much loadshedding…) and shout out to all those people still visiting – and still to visit the country – WELCOME TO e-GOALIE!
Yes, it’s time, I feel, for everybody to just get on with it. To do the best they can for not only themselves and their families, but for their neighbours. To wake up every day thinking “how can I make the world better for those around me, regardless of who they are?” It’s a tall order, considering the people on the streets here won’t even give way when they’re supposed to at a traffic circle, but giving, something or somewhere, would go so far to lighten the spirits of the people in the city. Or, if that’s impossible to ask of the people of our colourless city, all I request is that they just keep their flags flying – at least until spring arrives and along with it the flowers.
(PS. My other half reckons that they should introduce the Vuvuzela to golf. Really test their ability to score under pressure!)