11 June 2010
Last updated at 08:02
The football World Cup kicks off in South Africa in several hours – the first time the tournament is being held in Africa. Residents in and around Johannesburg tell the BBC what it means to them.
“It is time to show the world the real Africa, the wonderful cultures, different people, our hopes. This is what we are about - not just poverty, corruption and Aids,” says 42-year-old Jabulile Mvula, who is self-employed.
“I’ve seen three elections in South Africa, now the World Cup. What more could I possibly ask for?” says Primrose Mooki (left) pictured with her daughter.
“The 1995 rugby World Cup showed us that we could be united but we didn’t’ believe, this World Cup is reminding us that we are one,” says Steve Chalom.
"Madiba [Nelson Mandela] made this happen for us. We are creating history, this is will be one of Africa’s greatest legacies,” says Pearl Mogodi, 30.
“Where are all the pessimists who said we would never be able to pull this off. We have exceeded expectations. From a country divided by racism to one that can host the world - I am really proud,” says musician Pastor Mbobo.
“It was all worth it - the pain from negative stories about South Africa, crime and the controversy about the tickets sales - when I look at everything that has been achieved,” says Shouabe Arbie, self-employed.
“It’s a great experience for South Africa. A chance to forget about our differences and celebrate what unites us, which is being South African. It is great for national pride,” says Valencia Kamies, who works at an investment firm.
“This World Cup has rallied support for Bafana Bafana [South African national team] from all races - whatever the outcome that is something worth celebrating,” says Joy Chauke, a well-known football fan.
“I lived through apartheid now I get to see the World Cup in my lifetime. I am a very happy old woman. Well done South Africa,” say 72-year-old pensioner Caroline Magumede.
“The world is coming to Africa - they should enjoy it and not try to change it. Embrace the vuvuzela [plastic horn], it is what makes us different and what will make this World Cup different,” says 23-year-old Tseko Maila.
“I feel very proud to be an African; for once we are going to be remembered for something good. It’s our time to shine,” says Buyisiwe Khumalo. Photos and interviews: BBC’s Pumza Fihlani.