Honestly, one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life happened exactly one year ago. In the video above you will myself and fellow Jozi residents in the streets of Sandton, South Africa as we await the Bafana Bafana team ahead of the FIFA World Cup. To be in that space was incredible and the tone was set right from that moment. Pessimists were kept at bay and we as South Africans opened up our doors, our hearts and we welcomed to the world to our country. In the video below you will see some of the highlights from the FIFA World Cup Celebration Concert, in which the likes of Shakira, Freshlyground, K’Naan, John Legend, Alicia Keys, BLK JKS and many many more performed on stage in Soweto.
So what do you remember and miss? I miss:
- The vuvuzela
- Phillip… I honourary name for Feel it… It Is here
- That little annoying Kenako kid LOL
- I miss mocking Diego Forlán for causing misery for not only us South Africans but for other nations he and his fellow Uruguayan players played in the world cup. Having said that, he was one of the best players admittedly.
- I miss Hup Holland Hup
- I miss wearing my Bafana Bafana and Ghanian jersey, an American flag, a Dutchscarf all during the period of the world cup.
- Seeing former President Nelson Mandela coming onto the field at the closing ceremony with his wife Graça Machel. For him to be there and give his blessing (so to speak) was just the most incredible moment to witness. I cried like a baby and I am not ashamed to admit that. It’s because of him that this was even possible I believe. It was also a difficult time for the Mandela family as they were mourning the loss of 13-year-old Zenani, who was killed in a car accident the night of the Kick-Off Celebration concert.
Most importantly I miss that sense of pride and happiness we all experienced during that time. For those 6 weeks we were one. We were proud of how far we have come as a nation, not only in terms of the infrastructure that was built for the world cup, but in terms of our history and how much we have achieved in the 16 years since we became a democracy. The newspapers, news channels on TV and radio led with feel-good stories and not the negative press we’ve come to expect. The FIFA World Cup gave us beautiful stadiums, the Gautrain and a one-way ticket to greatness! Now as we build up to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, go forth and wear your rugby jerseys. Show your support for the team and remember how great we really are! I’m preaching but it’s true!