Did you ‘feel’ the farce?

2010-07-24 12:12

Is it fine to label the World Cup as the farce it was now that Fifa

has left the ­country and our collective hangover has cleared?

I stopped “feeling” the first African World Cup in March when this

newspaper ­revealed that more than R50 million was spent on a Port Elizabeth

hospital’s ­trauma unit so that soccer tourists could rest assured about the

quality of healthcare they would receive in South Africa.

This was ­confirmation that the World Cup in South Africa was about

the egos of a few people – none of whom belong to the ­general South African


Ego 1: Sepp Blatter, Fifa’s CEO, for ­enabling the first African

World Cup.

How progressive is the man running an almost all-white, male


Ego 2: Danny Jordaan. The man who brought the biggest show on earth

to South Africa.

Ayoba! But how does he ­begin to justify the billions spent on

a spectacular four-week event when we are a country battling with pressing

social ­issues?

The fact is that democratic South Africa has been kind to a few

people who fit the affirmative action, employment equity and BEE bill.

The rest

of the country’s black masses are still waiting for “a better life for


And there you were blowing vuvuzelas in celebration, happy that the

world would at last see that there is more to Africa than doom and gloom.

You wanted the world to think of Africa as an equal – like a black

kid at a Model C school who washes off his thick accent until he is

congratulated for “sounding like a white person”.

What good is there in having world-class stadiums when young people

loiter around townships high on nyaope and tik?

My biggest gripe about hosting the World Cup is the farce being

called a ­successful exercise in nation building. South ­Africans could at last

talk about “we” and “us” instead of the dividing “you”.


It’s true that the Rainbow Nation does not always sparkle with

unity, but shame on us for seeking unity in a ball called ­Jabulani instead of

our hearts.

I also had a problem with the central role Shakira and her hips

played in the ­as-boring-as-an-uninspired-PowerPoint-presentation closing


She was given a VIP room while Abigail Khubeka had to change in a room

crowded with ­other artists.

Shakira is never fully dressed anyway, so why did she need privacy?

But what is rank, respect and ubuntu when we are ­getting a nod of approval from

the West?

We will soon discover, like that kid polishing his accent, that

being celebrated for being a few levels above regular blacks and Africans means

nothing if it amounts to ­being the token darkie in the boardroom.

We are still left with mountains of issues to solve. But on the

flip side, people can now get married at Soccer City.

Ayoba! Bring on the Olympics.

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