From goatherd to stadium technician

19 June 2009

Growing up in rural South Africa, where electricity at the time was a rarity, 32-year-old Aubrey Ramokoto can hardly believe that he is now working as a cabling technician for a global tournament such as the Fifa Confederations Cup.

“When our company won the tender to be part of both the 2010 World Cup and the Confederations Cup, I never thought I would also be appointed to be one of the technicians at the stadium,” Ramokoto says while connecting cables to the media centre at Ellis Park Stadium, the Johannesburg venue for the tournament.

“Even now as you are talking to me, I still don’t believe that I am part of the team that is here to ensure that international journalists are able to file their stories and pictures. Looking back at where I come from, it’s just amazing for me.

“Even my family and some friends have expressed admiration for me for being part of a team posted here at this venue,” Ramokoto adds. “It would appear my bosses appreciate my work, and I am thankful for that.”

The admiration from relatives is understandable, considering that Ramokoto is started out herding goats while completing his schooling in the village of Bodubedu in South Africa’s northern province of Limpopo.

“One now has a chance to see some of the big world football stars with our own eyes,” he says, advising today’s schoolchildren “to take their studies seriously, as they may land themselves in a rewarding situation, small as they might be.”

Ramokoto will be on stand-by at Ellis Park Stadium on match days – including the day of the final and closing ceremony on 28 June. “[H]ow I wish that I will be there when Bafana Bafana are playing – and winning, for that matter,” he says.

Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee