Posted by: mafrican | September 22, 2009

Patience and promise(s)?

Over the past 3 years the people of South Africa have been incredibly patient… And, no, I’m not referring to politics (or sex or religion).  I’m referring to the 2010 Soccer World Cup.  We’ve been through emotional roller coasters – can we, can’t we, will we, won’t we… deliver a successful World Cup experience to South Africans and the expected huge influx of visitors?

Once we started seeing actual stadiums magically appear in the host cities, we heaved a collective sigh of relief.  It finally started to look like a reality.  However, I wonder whether anyone has actually considered the average South African in the (non) streets?  We’ve been incredibly patient through tremendous disruptions to our road infrastructure.  Make no mistake, I know fixing our road infrastructure is a GOOD thing.  The BAD thing is, it’s all happening simultaneously.  All our roads are being repaired at the same time – there is no option of alternative routes – they, too are being upgraded.  We’ve become accustomed to arriving late for work and we employ all kinds of underhand tactics to try to ensure that  meetings are held at our premises, rather than at someone else’s!  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m really, really tired of all the roadworks and the daily schlepp to and from work/school/etc!!!  So, rest of the world, please, please give us a break and take a moment’s silence to say “thank-you” to the ordinary (wo)man in the street here in the 2010 host country!

And another thing, this is Africa.  And Africa’s definitely not for sissies!  We, as South Africans, promise to rise to the occasion and will demonstrate our typical hospitality.  I’m sure there will be incidents of crime.  You will probably get ripped off and pay more for airfare, food and accomodation than you expected.  Maybe everything won’t be as perfect as I’m sure it is in England, or  the US or even Slovenia!  BUT you will also experience the warmth, the vitality, the energy and the promise of Africa.   So, keep an open mind, be positive and enjoy the unique African soccer experience!

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