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South Africa 2010
The Passionate Host in 2010
Wandering along the Jacaranda lined avenues of Rosebank, taking in some fresh air on a Friday lunchtime I detect a certain buzz in the atmosphere. Almost everywhere I look I see someone wearing a yellow t-shirt. Asking one of the girls heading back into her office I learn of their significance – it is the Bafana Bafana shirt, the football strip of the South African football team. Ever since 2nd March, when the 100 day countdown began, there has been active encouragement from employers for their staff to don team colours in support of the national team. Bafana Bafana means “Boys” or “Little Ones” and their extended family has certainly taken them to heart. Many employers are raising funds for charities by charging employees R10 to wear a Bafana shirt, but R20 to wear a shirt from another country. That’s patriotism for you!
South Africa is largely known for its natural wonders – Drakensberg Mountains, Kruger Park and of course Table Mountain. Now welcome to South Africa 2010! The spotlight is on the passion of the people. Football has long been rooted in the culture of South Africa and was one of the few sports, and indeed activities, that managed to transcend race during the apartheid era. The fans of Kaiser Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, the dominant Soweto clubs, have a zealous devotion, which I’m sure will become all too apparent at their local Soccer City stadium on 11th June.