2010 FIFA World Cup: Welcome To South Africa, Let the Party Begin
This isn't your usual B/R article but with the World Cup just round the corner it just seems appropriate.
We are less than a week away from the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet, and its fair to say that everybody's coming down with World Cup fever.
No matter where you are in the world reading this, the excitement, anticipation, and if your country have been lucky enough to qualify the tension are all building by the day.
Many think that this may well be the greatest World cup ever seen for a whole number of reasons. Me personally know it will be the greatest ever, due to the fact it is being held in South Africa.
I'm not South African or even African for that matter, but you just have to love the continent. The passion, the energy, the colourfulness of the support. Everything points to a superb month of football.
When South Africa were awarded the staging rights a number of parties held grave concerns over a number of different matters.
Would the stadiums be ready, was their enough infrastructure within the developing country, etc.
Little over ten years later and we are on the brink of finding out if this great country has stood up and delivered for the rest of the world.
But this is more than just about football for the people of the Rainbow Nation. The developments over the last decade in the country will set it up, as it trys to stabilise and become one of the players within the world.
Millions of pounds have been spent on motorways, airports, train services, first class hotels and restaurants, and many more improvements.
All of these will still be here long after the World Cup bandwagon has been shuttled out of town. This will improve the country financially ten-fold.
Business opportunities will spring up over night in the next month, from people selling cheap fake goods, to providing cheap taxis for the millions of visitors to this beautiful country.
Anyway enough of the economic benefits lets talk about the people.
This is no question a poor country, poverty and crime are high.
But these people are strong and resilient, there may be talk of racial feuds, but you have to remember this country was still living under apartheid law just twenty years ago. These incidents are becoming less and less frequent and in time they will redeem themselves. The black/white divide will be no more.
Time will become a great healer for this country, in the next fifty years South Africa will become one of the most popular and easy going places in the world.
Now the football, if you don't know what to expect, expect noise. The sound of vuvuzelas ringing in your ears. Expect color, expect passion, but most of all expect a party.
Africans for all their troubles always seem happy. Great people who love to have fun and express themselves.
If South Africa make it out of the group face - which I fully expect them too- then the party could grow and grow over the course of the month.
The greatest South African of all Nelson Mandela will be at the opening ceremony. Fitting it may be that the man who has pushed this country away from apartheid will be the man to kick off a party that celebrates the new South Africa.
Laat die party op die grootste kontinent op aarde.
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