Journalist’s need to start believing that Africans are capable of achieving great things. Seeing that the world cup will be hosted on African soil, shouldn’t then the chief responsibility lie with Africa’s journalists to change the mindset of their colleagues abroad?
All doubts surrounding Africa’s capability to host the 2010 world cup were officially put to bed when journalists attended the Highway Africa MTN Opening Reception at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last night. The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is one of the stadiums due to host semi-final matches for the 2010 world cup. The evening began with tours of Port Elizabeth and the stadium, showcasing exquisite architecture and staying true to elements of South African branding.
Hosted by MTN, the event was simply superb. Starters came and so did the speeches! Domini Bonnesse, lead architect of the stadium, presented the designing process of the stadium from base construction to the fine finishing. MTN’s Group Events and Corporate Affairs Executive Director, Nozipho January-Bardill, also shared her sentiments of pride and excitement at the opportunity of hosting the world cup.
Dr. Danny Jordaan, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee hammered away rumours concerning South Africa’s inability to host the world’s greatest gaming event. Jordaan highlighted that Africa has had to wait over a hundred years in order to host a world event of this magnitude. “We must engage our fellow journalists who live abroad… and we need to lead with news information that speaks the truth of this continent,” Jordaan said, encouraging African journalists to be the front runners in mapping Africa to the world.
Jordaan stated that Africa will pull in the biggest revenue in the history of any FIFA world cup. So far, Africa has the highest record of volunteers, currently standing at 15 000 and South Africa will be the first hosting country to have new stadiums built specially for the cup. And the stadiums are definitely in a class that the world has not witnessed yet.
And so, the countdown has begun! The construction is nearing completion with all stadia due to reach completion in October. All cities are under renovation and news and transport systems are being tested. So one can only ask how Africa can possibly not be ready when so much is being done.
By Amanda Onamandla Mathe