Everyone was here. Obama, Shakira, Bill Clinton, even Charlize Theron. But finally the missing piece was put in place on Sunday at Soccer City when Nelson Mandela made a 2 minute appearance. The tournament had been missing the man who did so much to win the world cup for South Africa after a tragedy on the night before kickoff struck his family.
It seems Madibas spirit is always and will always be with South Africa, particularly at times like these, so his presence at the final was celebrated by all.
South Africa has achieved so much in the last month. Firstly, look at the venue of the final game, Soccer City. It is an open area, situated between Soweto and the city of Johannesburg. Before June 11, it was not a place where one would walk the streets at night, but on Sunday night the crowds were not bothered about safety. 94000 people celebrated without a care.
The soccer itself was merely OK during the World Cup. Few stars were born, many surprises were had, but in a match that will be remembered for years across Africa, Uruguay was rewarded for cheating and knocked out Ghana, Africa’s Black Stars.
The real action has been off the pitch. Millions of fans worldwide have discovered a beautiful country of great diversity. Inside South Africa, the 350 000 tourists who made the trek here, were taken from surprise to elation and their perceptions of our country, changed forever. Although Spain might have won the trophy, South Africa was definitely the winner.
If you travel anywhere around South Africa, the first images you are likely to see are those of the Rainbow Nations’ national flag, attached to almost every car on the street. South Africans put aside their differences, as we all had a common goal, to make a success of this world cup!
If we look around now, this dream is real, it is alive and it is here to stay. KE NAKO. Africa is no longer the continent of disease and poverty, but the continent of hope and happiness. Though the...
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