The world thought we couldn't do it, but Africa believed. Today marks a 100 day marathon to the first ever FIFA World Cup on African soil, and Africa... is definitely ready!
As a young African, I have this overwhelming joy. An event of such magnitude will happen in my lifetime and I will be there to witness history unfold. Let's face it, soccer is a gigantic sport and I can already imagine the echoing cheer of the crowds during the first match. I have visions of a magical parade full of dance, with the stirring sound of thumping drums and ululation filling the stadium. Such a glorious moment!
This reminds me of the time Mandela campaigned for his first election in 1994. Every billboard and street corner was marked “Now is the Time: The time is Now.” And without hesitation; this is Africa’s time to shine. We have potential and need to prove to the world that we are not the seeming ‘dark’ continent riddled with grief, disease and calamity. We are a great continent rich with culture, spirit and intellect. It’s only sad it takes such rare ventures to get to prove ourselves to the world.
But the question in my mind is how I will contribute to make this a world cup to remember. Everybody has to play their part, no matter how insignificant it might look in relation to the main event. If you have friends abroad, invite them over and increase the joyous spirits. If you have a large plasma TV & a huge backyard, turn it into a fan park. Forget that you hate your neighbour or that he owes you money! Call the whole street and cheer together. It will be fun. Schools can use their halls and projectors too and raise money selling hot dogs and spicy bunny chows in the midst of the madness. I guess the point is, let us make the most of it. Some opportunities come once in a lifetime and have to be best utilised.
If you care to know, I’ve got my sport gear and vuvuzela ready and am a fanatical supporter of all the African teams that qualified. I guess I have a couple of other jerseys to buy besides Bafana Bafana’s.