Pics – The night a street bash united us

2010-06-18 14:50

There has been much talk of unity as the 2010 Fifa World Cup has

kicked off in South Africa. After such a long history of division, has the

Rainbow Nation been truly united across colour and race boundaries during the

international soccer tournament?

For fans who celebrated the kick-off at the famous street parties

in Soweto, Johannesburg, things really do seem to have changed.

One party-goer said Nelson Mandela would be proud of “black and

white coming together”. Another said that by gathering together to celebrate and

dance, they are “building our nation in party style”.

A white fan dressed in full Bafana Bafana regalia said she hoped

the sense of togetherness would extend beyond the World Cup period.

“We saw a lot of white people driving here on their own, not afraid

of Soweto. That is priceless,” she said.

When asked why they were dancing, many of the youths express their

pride in the South African nation. “I believe in the Rainbow Nation,” said one.

“It represents me, it represents who I am.”

So will the World Cup bring a fleeting sense of unity to the

football fans of South Africa, or will real change come from the momentous

hosting of the tournament on African soil for the first time?

From merchandise sellers outside the Orlando Stadium to white fans

visiting Soweto for the first time, the answer is a resounding song and dance in

celebration of what it means to be South African.


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