South Africans nationwide have been asking how the common man will
profit from the World Cup tournament that will attract 350 000 foreign
Alina Thonjeni, a 69-year-old single mother of four, has the sort
of entrepreneurial spirit necessary to benefit from the influx of tourists
during the soccer tournament.
She retired from her job to convert her modest but well-kept home
in Alexandra township, Johannesburg, into a guesthouse.
Her dream is to provide a viable, cost-effective (at R150 per
person per night) alternative to the mainstream hotels and their massively
inflated prices over the next month or so.
Alina has wide-ranging knowledge about the history of Alexandra,
the oldest township in Johannesburg. It was established in 1921 and is home to
several South African cultural icons, activists and sporting personalities.
The hostess plans to serve traditional African food to her guests,
and relay her stories and memories of life in a South African township. Visitors
will get the chance to experience how many South Africans live.
“I’ll meet people from all over the world, and I want to make them
feel welcome. I can provide a unique experience for tourists visiting our
country,” Alina says.
So far, two Dutch supporters have stayed at her guesthouse, but she
has no advance bookings to speak of.
The South African government maintains that the World Cup will
benefit the country as a whole. However, it is difficult for people to profit
from the event on an individual basis because of the stringent Fifa rules and
Alina is an amazing person and a great hostess who is proud to
share her home and her life with tourists. It will undoubtedly be an experience
of a lifetime to stay in her guesthouse.