The FIFA World Cup is finally underway in South Africa! While I write this post with some sadness as I’m in Libya and won’t be able to assist this spectacle in the flesh, I can’t contain the pride I’m feeling right now. For all the doubters who did not believe we could pull this off, well, I refuse to use ‘French’ on this blog, so all I say is go to that special place. The vibe in South Africa is electric. Facebook statuses on my FB news feed are all about how amazing the atmosphere is there right now. Watching the concert on Thursday left me with tears in my eyes, as for the first time in a long time Black, White, Indian, Coloured etc. South Africans were united in celebration. This reminded me of 1995 during the Rugby World Cup, when Mandela miraculously managed to unite a country whose apartheid wounds were still healing.
I think the moment seventy eight year old Desmond Tutu came on stage and exclaimed enthusiastically “It feels like I am dreaming!” was the moment it hit me, that this is what SA needed. We needed something to rally behind. We needed something which gave us an excuse to forget the problems our country faces. We needed something to celebrate. And Tutu embodied and personified the excitement and buzz which drifted around the Soccer City on Thursday. Anyone who didn’t know who Tutu was, fell in love with the man as his excitement was contagious.
My housemates and I decided to celebrate the start of the World Cup by having a barbeque and watching the game together. Despite the problems with energy (ironic, I know) and the satellite channel cutting transmission all throughout the first half, it was a good day. Though I still feel sad for not being in South Africa for this great moment in our history.
The opening game won’t be considered one of the best ever, but it was certainly exciting. Bafana’s goal sent me into multilingual celebratory frenzy (could not figure out which language to celebrate in). Despite the draw, I couldn’t contain my happiness. For the underdog South Africa it was a good result, though we came close to winning the game which I think would have caused South Africa to celebrate until the next game.
The rest of the day was spent playing around on photoshop. Loads of people had custom profile pictures on Facebook and I decided I wanted one too. So, in a tribute to the World Cup and in support for both my country of birth and blood, South Africa and Portugal, I created a profile to honour these two countries the only way I know how… with shisha!
Ayoba South Africa!!!!!