#207 Enjoy this moment – In true Jozi style flags fly proudly off electric fences, the sound of vuvuzelas (singly, that of a wounded bull elephant, in large groups – more like angry hornets) rings out wherever you are – from Melrose Arch to Braamfontein, Sandton to the Soweto no matter what time of day. Fashion trends hold no sway as most people are intent on showing their team colours. I have succumbed. This city is yellow and green, in love with this time, this place, and this nation.
Joburg is high on World Cup fever.
- The train to Soccer City for the opening game of the FIFA World Cup 2010
In just over 48 hours I have notched up some Joburg firsts for myself — driven into Orlando East for the FIFA kickoff concert on Thursday night and walked the few blocks to the stadium feeling utterly envious of the people celebrating on Soweto’s streets; been charmed by Desmond Tutu who stole the show (looking a lot like a little buzzy bee in his stripey Bafana Bafana kit) on Thursday night with his impish wit and his comment about this nation having been turned from an ugly worm into a beautiful butterfly; danced to K’Naan who brought the house down singing his World Cup anthem; fallen in love with the sound of the Blk Jcks; travelled to the show-stopping Soccer City stadium from Park Station and praised metrorail for getting us to the opening game on time; watched Siphiwe Tshabalala score South Africa’s first goal and Soccer City erupt with joy and noise and colour and celebration; seen mariachi bands, Mexican wrestlers, flocks of Argentinians and lots of very tall Nigerians (do they they come in a smaller size? or are those not for export?) on the city’s streets; smiled a lot, at everyone; and been wowed by the “spidey-cam” swinging over the opening ceremony and game to capture footage to send to the world and the jets and planes that flew over the opening game in true South-Africa style.
- The view from the stadium
A few days a ago I stood on a street corner in the normally sedate and buttoned-up business district Sandton as the place went crazy with pride and a twenty-year-old standing next to me said: “OMG I have never seen anything like this.” I responded: “You obviously don’t remember 1994”.
And really that’s what this moment feels like – a victory. A triumph.
All unforgettable. All brilliant. A real privilege. All worth bottling and storing up.