Cup has many lessons for Africa and the world.
Indeed there are many lessons to Africa and the world in this 2010 world cup. It is the first on African soil. It is also probably the most colourful. We should not also forget the deafening blast of vuvuzela, a word which originated from IsiZulu – meaning noise.
It is the first time the biggest sporting event in the world being staged on African soil. South Africa has thus done the continent proud, considering that the preparations were characterised by doubts of if an African country could really host a tournament of this magnitude.
Fifa president was right in a recent speech when he said : “football is not just about the game; it is about connecting people”.
This was the case when tens of thousands of people from different cultures across the world thronged Soweto’s Orlando Stadium for a fans’ festival and concert performed by several international and local artistes.
It was a star-studded affair – with such top musicians as Black Eyed Peas, Shakira and Alicia Keys performed. The beat and sound of the drum, a musical instrument that symbolises Africa, was magical as some of Africa’s top artistes like Hugh Masekela and Angelique Kidjo sung for the continent.
A HOST OF WORLD LEADERS, INCLUDING U.S. Vice president Joe Bidden attending the opening ceremony, showed great support and goodwill for South Africa from across the continent and the world has for Africa.
On the pitch, the African players have shown great talent. This depth of talent has produced great players that dazzle the world, such as Cote d’Ivoire’s Didier Drogba of Chelsea in England and Cameroonian Samuel Etoo of Inter Milan in Italy.
Although the world cup is not over yet, the African teams have shown great performances, which I hope, will make FIFA consider increasing the number of teams from the continent to participate in the future world cups.
Last but not least, the world cup should also give Africa some positive image abroad. In the past, focus was only on the continent in relation to conflicts, famine and diseases. However, this tournament should help in showing the world our rich cultural heritage, great hospitality and natural resources.
We salute South Africa for hosting the World Cup on behalf of Africa!