Now that the Flags of 32 nations that have qualified for World cup have been hoisted, even the doubting Thomas’s must accept defeat. The world cup is not going to Australia. I think David Bullard wanted to the world cup to go to Australia with all his heart. He wrote in more than one occasion about fans who will leave in body bags come 2010 if FIFA dare allowing South Africa to host World cup. Ironically in his brave hospital bed after he was attacked he said he was going nowhere SA is his home. Most white people are paranoid by the scourge of violent crime and they think blacks are not affected. Blacks are not immune but they have lived with crime all their lives.
Why are we so negative about our country, this questions positivism amongst South African about the World cup? When you watch foreign TV channels you see how much they put in ensuring their viewers know about South Africa not only about soccer but about all that will help them enjoy in between soccer matches. I watched CNN one evening and I was impressed with what some of South Africans a doing to attract foreign visitors to their towns. Is it not time now for all South African to show the world that Africa is capable? Keeping our streets clean will be a good start don’t you think.
CNN reported that the coastal town of Walvis Bay has gone a step further. They are doing everything possible to attract South American Spanish speaking teams to use their town as their base during world cup. The city mayor and the community as well as tourism industry are looking beyond 2010. They want to ensure that the fans and sports personnel come back to their town after 2010 as tourists. To ensure a better hospitality more than anywhere in the country, the residents are taking free Spanish lessons so that they can interact with tourists. Traffic officer were the first ones to take these lessons.
Few years back I spoke to then Secretary general of National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU) Mahlomola Sikhosana who suggested that to prepare for the world cup the national government should invest in teaching the unemployed youth the major European languages, as they would come in handy during the World for visitors and beyond. It is not a secret that major European languages are spoken all over the world (we all know the history behind that) He said this would help the youth to help translate for the visitors during and after the world cup. Since we are envisaging that after the world cup fans will come back, the lessons will then be used continuously to help tourists understand our country better. I thought that was practically impossible until I saw it on TV that it is possible. What are you doing in you community to ensure that the World cup legacy touches your community? Are you waiting for the government to set the agenda? You might just be too late we are less than 200 day to the Soccer show piece.