2 March 2010
Pretoria’s streets were a sea of yellow and green on Tuesday as South Africans wearing Bafana Bafana jerseys celebrated the 100 days countdown to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Speaking to BuaNews, vuvuzelas in hand, ordinary South Africans said they wanted to be part of the celebrations, and assured the national team that they were behind them.
A second-year student from the University of Pretoria, Samantha Naidoo, 21, said she wouldn’t miss the “once-in-a-lifetime” event for anything. Wearing her yellow jersey, Naidoo said she had already bought tickets for four matches, including the opening game.
“It is history in the making, which may never come back in our lifetime, and I want the whole world to see how proud we are of our country,” Naidoo said.
Nokwanda Makaula, 34, from the Eastern Cape, said the tournament would put Africa, especially South Africa, on the map. “Generations to come will know that the first world cup in Africa was held here,” Makaula said, adding that she would be watching all the matches at the fan parks.
“I would have loved to go to the stadiums, but I don’t have the money, but I’ll watch the games at the fan parks and big screens organised by the municipalities,” Makaula told BuaNews.
For 40-year-old Bheki Mkhize from Sunnyside, Pretoria, the World Cup will boost the country’s economy. “Everyone is looking forward to coming to the country, and that means more money for us,” Mkhize said. “After today’s celebrations, no one will ever doubt that the tournament is really coming here and we are ready.”
With the little income she gets from selling fruits in central Pretoria, Lynette Tau, 38, said she had managed to buy the national team’s soccer jersey. “I was so excited and saved my money so that I can have enough to buy the jersey, and I did.
“I’m a proud South African, and hopefully I will live longer to tell my grandchildren about it,” Tau said, adding that it wasn’t about winning the World Cup, but about proving to the world that the country is capable of hosting big events just like any developed country.