9 April 2009
A quiet revolution is building ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa. Stroke by stroke, note by note, thousands of singers, painters and other artists are plying their trade with a strong focus on the upcoming event.
The KZN Gallery in Glenwood is currently hosting All Eyes in African, a magnificent exhibition of mosaics by Mbhekeni Mbili which carry a 2010-theme. Last year, the gallery hosted artist Sicelo Ziqubu’s 2010-themed papier-mache decorated thrones.
In the poverty-stricken Cape Town suburb of Tafelsig, resident Desmond Kannemeyer is removing gangster grafitti from the walls of his neighbourhood, planning to replace them with giant 2010-themed murals.
Tomas Majebe from Cameroon is selling magnificent oil-on-canvas 2010 stadium paintings at flea markets in the Western Cape.
Pretoria jeweler Ceciwe Khonje has launched a range of (Fifa-approved) 2010 white gold cufflinks.
In Garangkuwa, Peter Malherbe builds model 2010 stadiums out of match sticks. In Polokwane, Joe Moyo is doing the same but with wire and beads.
A Port Elizabeth-based ostrich-hide exporter has sealed a deal with a Mexican to have soccer boots made out of ostrich leather – a world first, just in time for Africa’s first World Cup.
In Cape Town, Adam Carnegie and his team are churning out kelp (seaweed) vuvuzelas – the trumpet of choice for South African fans. Around the country, thousands of makaraba football helmets are being manufactured.
Fifa Media Officer Delia Fischer says there is a golden opportunity for South Africans to capitalise on the 2010 World Cup.
“European and English fans won’t want to buy 2010 memorabilia, they will want to buy something African to remind them of the good time they had here,” says Fischer. “South Africa must decide what it wants to show the world.”
Certainly, if we get this right, the World Cup will fuel an enormous industry on the sidelines of the month-long event.
Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup media officer and the current editor of Project 2010