Sibongile Mafu

AFCON: Great to watch as hosts

2013-02-13 11:57

Sibongile Mafu

The Africa Cup of Nations 2013 is over, and the Super Eagles are the kings of the continent. A really great tournament which South Africa decided to host with only two years to prepare, and one which I'm proud we were able to successfully. And as we've become used to with these tournaments, for most of it we stood on the sidelines yet again, as we threw a great party and cheered others on.

I always liken South Africa to a 1950s type of housewife, similar to Bree van der Kamp from Desperate Housewives. She throws wonderful, well-catered events for the world, making sure everyone enjoys themselves, even though there’s quite a bit of turmoil within her own home. We are a picture from the outside. Our dress and apron perfectly pressed, our hair beautifully coiffured, and our lawns (Red Hot Chilli Peppers concerts aside) freshly mowed.

We throw great parties, and for the most part we show up, until the quarter-final stage at least. But what happens when all of that is over and the money has been spent? We pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, and bump ourselves further up the “great host countries” list? For the month that the party happens, we’re on top on the world, but my, how quickly that feeling disappears once the streamers and ribbons have been swept up.

Mr Party himself, our Sports Minister Fikile Mabula is the head of the social club. Always at the forefront, reassuring South Africans about the great job we’re doing. Always hailing, lauding and applauding. We seem to always be the winner… at hosting tournaments. I’m a little fatigued. I was 8 years old when Bafana Bafana was crowned AFCON champions in 1996. I don’t remember a thing. All I’m really familiar with is Bafana Bafana not making it very far.

I also remember being incredibly bitter when it was announced that Cape Town would not be hosting a single AFCON game. I grew up in Port Elizabeth, I’m familiar with being left off the guest list, but now having moved to Cape Town, this was happening? AFCON began and I admit, my thoughts weren’t Proudly South African at all, hurling abuse at Bafana Bafana, being sure they wouldn’t make it past the first round and later being impressed that they showed up and wanted to make an impression. They battled hard, perhaps showing the resilience our country is known for, and losing it at the very end against Mali.

AFCON ended for me then, and I had to go back to the real world. A world where Bafana Bafana were Bafana Bafana again and knocked out of another tournament, and we had to pick another team to support. Again, watching a party happen in our backyard, and being made to watch through the curtain of our home.

I understand. This is how sport goes. Someone has to be knocked out, and as Mbalula so articulately put it: “there could only be one winner,” but it doesn’t lessen the disappointment. I’ve been called a fair-weathered fan, which is probably an accurate assessment, but I also believe in the power of reality checks. We know how to host; we now need to learn how to win on the field. We have great infrastructure to display matches, now we need to check the developmental infrastructure that moulds winners and champions.

All we can do now is look forward to hopefully qualifying for Brazil 2014, and if not, at least be called upon to host in the last second, so we can qualify and compete.

- Sibongile is a videographer, blogger and social media enthusiast who would be nothing without her thumbs. Follow her on Twitter: @SboshMafu.

Send your comments to Sibongile

Disclaimer:
News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24
.

- News 24

NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.