14 August 2009
Former Leeds United and Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe has been named South African Tourism’s 2010 ambassador to the world. A more suitable candidate you would struggle to find.
The 40-year-old Soweto-born former Kaizer Chiefs and Leeds United captain is no stranger to the 2010 project – he has been a Fifa ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages, and has worked with one of the tournament’s sponsors, First National Bank.
In December 2000, Radebe received the Fifa Fair Play Award for his contribution in working with South African children, and in 2004 he was ranked 54th in the Top 100 Great South Africans list.
Speaking at a function in Johannesburg this week, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said South African Tourism looked forward to working with Radebe as 2010 approached “to spread the message of the anticipation and optimism sweeping our country.”
‘A dedicated South African’
“Now, more than ever, it is important to be an optimistic, dedicated South African with a ‘can do’ attitude, and few people embody this spirit better than Lucas,” Van Schalkwyk said.
“He possesses all the qualities demanded of an ambassador. “He loves South Africa. He loves travelling in South Africa. He knows our destination well, and he is proud of being a South African. He is truly an inspiration.”
Radebe will work with South African Tourism to help grow interest in South Africa globally, not only as host of the Fifa spectacular, but also as an amazing holiday destination.
“We are delighted to welcome Lucas on board,” said SA Tourism acting CEO Didi Moyle, describing Radebe as a “champion of South Africa’s ability to successfully host the World Cup.”
Radebe said he was excited and honoured to be appointed to the position.
“Africa has waited a long, long time for the honour of hosting the world’s biggest sporting spectacular,” he said. “I am excited at the impending reality of welcoming the world’s greatest footballers to my homeland.