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Party like it's 2010

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David Bond | 20:19 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The World Cup hasn't even started and the party has begun here in Johannesburg.

While England manager Fabio Capello was snapping at the snappers in Rustenburg, there was an explosion of a different kind in the business district of Sandton, where tens of thousands of South African fans spilled onto the streets in a joyous celebration of their team, Bafana Bafana.

Their Brazilian manager, Carlos Parreira, was not too happy at the distractions of an open top bus parade two days before his team takes on Mexico in the opening match at Johannesburg's Soccer City. And most teams wait until they have won something before going on a victory procession.

bond_blog_afp.jpgThousands of South Africans take to the streets of Sandton in Johannesburg - photo: AFP

But in one sense South Africa has already got reason to celebrate. They have had to bear years of negative international criticism and doubts over their ability to stage an event of this magnitude.

Things may still go wrong. Certainly Wednesday's mass crowds demonstrate the potential for chaos is never far away. However, even the country's harshest critics must now accept that they are ready.

In a message to Fifa's 60th congress, read by the South African president Jacob Zuma, Nelson Mandela spoke of football's unique ability to bring people together.

Football is a sport followed predominantly by black people in this country but on Wednesday I witnessed fans of all colours dancing and singing together in what is seen as the Rainbow Nation's most unifying event since the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

In more than 12 years of covering sport around the world, I cannot remember scenes like this before an event has even started.

Only the experience of young South Koreans celebrating their team's extraordinary march to the World Cup semi-finals in 2002 comes close. But that was somehow choreographed.

This was completely spontaneous and one can only wonder what might happen should Bafana Bafana defy the odds and beat Mexico on Friday.


  • Comment number 1.

    roll on 2018 then we'll see a real party

  • Comment number 2.

    You mean male and female lager louts throwing up in the street?

    Sounds good to me.

    Bring it on!

  • Comment number 3.

    I like that > 'things may still go wrong'. Yes, because the tournament hasn't even started yet.

    But let's hope that all the scandals, all the crime which goes on will not be focused on - for these things would happen wherever the world cup was staged. No amount of negative publicity can change that now and everyone going to South Africa will have already have known of the 'risk' they are taking.

    I can hardly wait. Like many, I was disappointed to learn of the tournament being in South Africa at first.

    Hopefully the next month will prove my scepticism wrong.

  • Comment number 4.

    Some of the right wing media do appear almost to want something to go at least slightly wrong, with respect to coordination or organisation (not something serious obviously), so that they can pontificate about how they were right all the time and that South Africa are not prepared to host a tournament of such magnitude with all the social problems the country is facing. This is not a comment criticising those who raised concerns about crime, ticketing and the logistics or whether SA had the robust infrastructure to host the tournament, because people are free to voice such concerns of course, rather the constant stream of negativity that you see in many of the right wing papers that sometimes betrays a secondary agenda (I'm not including the BBC in this).

  • Comment number 5.

    South Africa: Party as much as you like, just leave the vuvuzelas at home.

  • Comment number 6.

    I think this was a good move by the South Africa team. It reinforces the spirit and belief of the population to the team, and to their immediate opponents. Meanwhile, in the England camp.....

  • Comment number 7.

    Wait till Brazil 2014 and you'll see a real world cup of flair and passion and communal integrity!

  • Comment number 8.

    Went on Holiday to Kenya earlier in the year and the African passion for the game is something you cannot describe without seeing. Everyone has a team, everyone knows about the game, no matter how impoverished, and everyone enjoys it. Its taken seriously, but not in a bad way. It got me so excited for the tournament, and im gutted I won't be there. The atmosphere in that entire continent will be something to remember for a lifetime.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think the South Africans have every reason to celebrate. They are the first African country to host the tournament and everything has come good after months of doubting and so much negative press.
    On the pitch its a different story but celebration is in order at the moment, I think.

    Full time analysis

  • Comment number 10.

    South Africa rocks. Feel it , it is here. Its not going to Australia as some White South Africans wished.

  • Comment number 11.

    We will worry about 2018 then. Right now the party is in South Africa and its going to be one hell of a party. You can say as much negative things you want, this is going to be the most remembered world cup

  • Comment number 12.

    I got onto the street at around 10h30. Bafana Bafana was due at around 13h00. People were already grouping on the roads at this point in time and impromptu parties were gaining traction. Football banter between young and old; business attired and casually attired; English speaking and Zulu speaking dominated and there was an excited buzz in the air.
    Some fans took it on themselves to be cheerleaders and moved up and down the streets getting groups of people to participate in song, dance and vuvuzela moves that we learned as we went.
    As I stood close to the front of the Michelangelo Hotel, FIFA officials, fans and others that arrived were welcomed as if they were pop stars, to their sheer joy and amazement. Fans from other countries now filtered out onto the streets and I was asked by a group of Portuguese if this was a regular thing; followed by some Americans asking if they needed tickets for he street party; flag and shirt swapping was happening with a large group of Argentineans that had colourfully descended on the scene. An Englishman holding a giant flag and replica World Cup moved up and down in front of the Bafana Bafana fans and was stopped literally every few meters for joint photos and cup holding ceremonies with the locals. Journos and TV cameras had by now realised that something special was happening and were to be seen buzzing in amongst the crowd.
    The numbers swelled and swelled and swelled and traffic stopped. Helicopters captured it all from above and buildings in the financial heart of Africa with flags adorned had their workers either leaning out the windows or standing atop the structure. Work was long forgotten. At one intersection the crowd made a circle while dance moves were taught to a pile of Spanish fans; who eagerly tried them out.
    About two and a half noisy hours later with the streets now packed; The Boys arrived on open top buses. There was no roof to raise, which was surely a good thing, because when the fans went wild the racket was so loud it felt as if it had a texture to it. Whether it was a good thing or not (from a training perspective) for the team, I have little doubt that each of the players stands a lot taller today having soaked up an incredible atmosphere of national pride.
    It didn’t stop here. Fans adjourned to Nelson Mandela Square for beers and lunch and more beers. Rival fan groups took turns on a huge set of stairs next to the massive statue of Mandela. This was now the stage, as they tried to out sing, out dance, cheer and anything they could do to hold the limelight or make more noise than the others. I saw the Dutch added to the colour at various points in time; Serbians, Koreans, Brazilians and heck a whole lot more that I did not even recognise all had a turn. I sang songs I did not know the words for and National anthems broke out every now and then. This was still going when I left last night at 10h00; nearly twelve hours after it all stated.
    I suspect we will be back later this afternoon to see who survived the night and start it all over again.
    Viva the football fans; Viva the spirit of the Rainbow Nation.

  • Comment number 13.

    You say "Football is a sport followed predominantly by black people in this country ....."

    Allow me to corrct you ..... football in this country has a LARGE FOLLOWING from all sections of the population, including the small caucasion minority. What I think that you are confused by is attendace at stadiums for our local league matches.

    The majority of football supporters do no attend matches at stadiums, each for their own reasons. In fact, I would not be surprisd if the average attendance at a Championship game far exceeded the average attendance at a local Premiership match. There are only certain "big club derbies" here which attract large crowds, and eve those are disappointing if the teams are out of contention in the league.

    As I said, there are a variety of reasons for this. Among the white football supporters, the biggest league interest is in following the top leagues, such as England, Spain, Italy etc. Many, like myself, are aware of what is happenig in our local league, by folowing in the media and / or on TV. It is a fact, however, that the standard of football in our local league is not very high. The finishing is poor, resulting in few goals, and the performances are inconsistent. As a result, teams which should be expected to win easily often don't. The general quality of play is poor, and slow. In my opinion our top teams would be hard pressed to finish mid-table in the championship. The other Premiership teams would battle to play consistently at Championship level.

    However, there is one thing that most people seem to forget about South Africans ....

    We get behind our national teams with passion & pride ! This is what you experienced on Wednesday. We don't wait for a reason to celebrate ... we display our support for our National team. This is particularly true when we have the rst of the world talking nonsense about our team, and about our ability to host and run an event !

    Our team may not be the best in the world (the FIFA rankings should tell you that) but they are OUR team, and we will show them that they have our support !

  • Comment number 14.

    @Simon: So sorry old chap, the vuvuzelas are here to stay. They will be a feature of all the games, underlining that the beautiful game has come back to the people in this WC. South Africans have bought the vast majority of the tickets, and we'll do it our way.

    @mr murray: Your initial Afroscepticism is disappointing, but not unexpected. Those ordinary fans from the UK who have arrived here seem to have already caught WC fever, as evidenced by their comments in the media. I do hope that your negative pre-conceptions will be obliterated by the time the tournament ends next month.

  • Comment number 15.

    Perhaps I'm being too cynical but it's a good idea to have the open top bus ride now, because the South African team will have little to celebrate once the action starts. They could well be the first host country in the history of the World Cup (1930) not to advance from their group. I can see Mexico and either France/Uruguay going through.

  • Comment number 16.

    The majority of us south africans know that our soccer team is not going to get far, we have our street parties because we are proud of our country and who we are. We all support 2 teams, our team and then another international team. The more I look at our people and listen to the english comments, I think we are more tolerant and non judgemental than most nationalities. We are africa and we do it with passion!!!

    I personally dont even know the rules of the game, but I am proud of my country and my people, I wear my shirt with pride and blow my vuvuzela with everybody else.

    Did anybody ever hear about the soccer hooligans in Europe???? So take a good long hard look at yourselves and your countries before the criticism starts.

  • Comment number 17.

    I was there, and it was great! We've done it, we're ready and we're so proud to welcome everyone to our beautiful country!

  • Comment number 18.

    @James Autar: :) that wasn't a victory parade! That was just the warmup party. We know our team has enormous hurdles ahead, we're just celebrating being South African. Win or lose it's not what we're celebrating. We're celebrating the fact that people of all colours creeds and religions stood together again and have managed to pull off what some said was impossible! Go SA!

  • Comment number 19.

    People seem to forget, we are the Rugby World Champions, we are ranked in the top 2 of all the Cricket Codes, and we support our teams with passion. We do not need to win to party, we know how to win as a nation, not many other countries can say the same!!! Enjoy the passion, the friendlines and be prepared to party for 4 weeks. Even if we do not make it past the group stage, we have won!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 20.

    I got some issues with this:

    "Football is a sport followed predominantly by black people in this country"

    Not really. White, Coloured and Indian South Africans all follow football in good numbers. Just because football is the most popular sport with black South Africans does not mean us non-blacks don't also support it in significant numbers. We do, and the World Cup is no less exciting for us than anyone else.

  • Comment number 21.

    Come on Germany

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    I agree it seems that some people and elements of the right wing media are waiting for this World cup to fail as its being held in a "black" country. Well its being held in South Africa and I think they will do an excellent job. Far too much was made of the incident a couple of days ago. I hope the BBC can continue to report a balanced view.

    Post 12 really summed up the feelings in the country right now

    What a party it was yesterday and its great to see South Africans celebrating the fact that the World cup has arrived. They know it will be a struggle on the pitch, but im hoping that they can win tommorrow and hopefully get into round 2 - its a massive task but with the support of the country who knows!

    Just over 24 hours to go....

  • Comment number 24.

    What we as South Africans are doing is giving our boys undivided support. We're well aware that our team may not be good enough to make it to the next round, but we're with them all the way, win or lose. Unlike the English Media who talk up the England team beyond its capabilities and adding unnecessary pressure.

    Come tomorrow I'll go out and support my Nation, and celebrate Africa's first ever World Cup! Then Saturday I'm shouting for England, as I'm a Huge follower of The Premiership and Manchester United. So from me it's Come on Bafana and Come on England!!!!

  • Comment number 25.


    I am just disappointed as it looks like you wrote about yesterday's event in a negative way. Yesterday's event wasn't a celebration for Bafana but it was organised by broadcasting houses to celebrate the realisation of the dream and send well wishes to the local team. Your statement "Things may still go wrong. " sums your bitterness towards the African world cup. Get over it, it won't be taken away as it's already here. Wait for your turn in 2018. Why always paint Africa in a negative way?

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Interesting comments from folk....Allow Africa to embrace and take centre stage. It’s there moment and no-one can take it away from them.

    As for the vuvuzela’s...they will be out in full force....:) ....Ayoba!

  • Comment number 28.

    you had to be there to understand the vibe, mood of the world cup in South Africa!!!! that was our way of showing our boys that we support them all the way and give them a boost of confidance. This is Africa every occassion is celebrated.being the 1st country in Africa to host the world cup for us is a reason enough to celebrate.

    Yes our boys have a tough mission ahead of and that will not dampen our spiritz in any way. that massage was conveyed yesterday when 1000 of fans gathered on the JOZI street blowing their vuvuzelas. No country is perfect all got their issues they have to deal with so is South Africa but it doesnt mean we must not LIVE. We are not going to try and host the world cup like other countries did, we are going to do it the AFRICAN WAY and instead of you guys being negative about this world cup take this opportunity and open yourself up to experiencing the world cup for the very first time in history THE AFRICAN WAY coz believe you me it wont be like any other way.

    As for those that are complaining about the vuvuzela's that is how we do it and you need to accept and join us or just watch it on tv!!!! Dont expect us to host the world cup the way other countries do it. we will strive above the negativity and show the world that we can do it.

    @Sue as a "proud South African" having to say 'The majority of us south africans know that our soccer team is not going to get far" is incorrect. you are just the same as those other people being negative.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi All

    zimpatch – Firstly let me say that crime is all over the world and secondly the British and English fans are die hard fans but not to a point of intential Bodily harm. I go to many games in the UK and have not once witnessed any injuries or deaths.
    Issues occur when we have other European countries coming to games and stirring trouble with other fans and hence issue arise.
    As for public transport – We have one of the best transport systems in the world. You can safely get onto a bus or Tube(underground train) at midnight and go home without an issue.
    Taxi shooting – Well you need to take only black cabs and not private cabs as there were some issues when people were murdered but the government advised everyone to be safe and only take registered black cabs.

    As for everyone else who have been negatively commenting on South Africa – well let just say that they are just venting the issues of their countries not hosting the world cup – get over it and partake in the festivies that South Africa have to provide and enjoy yourselves. I for one will be in SA next week and going for 9 games and have been watching the news on the atmosphere in SA and wish now that I had been there now as this is the time to be in SA.

    Also whether SA go through to the next round or not does not matter as the party will still continue for them as the first African nation to host this prestige tournament……

    Congratulations to South Africa and their loyal supporters

  • Comment number 30.

    It looks like the author of this article and the reader who posted post number 12 were watching different events. What post 12 reader says is what I witnessed as well. Mexican fans were also there together with the supporters of the other national teams, were they also prematurely celebrating as you guys put it? Come on, give Africa a break because the stage is ours. Bid for the SWC and you will do things your way.

  • Comment number 31.

    zimpatch - A little too heavy with the irony, subtlety would have achieved more. You should do what most of Europe has done re South Africa - stay away and watch it at home - in safety!!

  • Comment number 32.

    I am not surprised by the unrivalled party atmosphere - I was living in Cape Town for the Draw Party and Long St (the main drag in Cape Town) went nuts! If you're heading out here's an insiders guide of what to do in the Cape!

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    To be fair, South Africa is not as dangerous as this article makes it out to be. Sure, we have our problems, but then again, we have a huge element of pride in what we represent.

    Speak to any South African (barring most expats) and you will quickly discover a nation who is brimming with pride for hosting this event.

    Visiting SA, all you have to do is exercise common sence. Talk to the locals, get involved, and most importantly dont be afraid to experience what we have to offer.

    Viva Bafana!

  • Comment number 35.

    The thing that strikes me about the coverage so far and the stuff I've seen is how beautiful the country looks. Having never been before, the evocative landscapes and truly stunning scenery is inspiring me to want to visit.

    I agree that certain elements within the press seem to want to see some sort of mishap, here's hoping everything goes brilliantly. Though I also think that was the same of Germany, more a morose disbelief that anyone could do anything better than us Brits rather than a prejudgement of any sort I think. So excited now.

  • Comment number 36.

    Many of us had hoped that Africa hosting the World Cup would provide more exposure to e.g. S African artists at support entertainment events - but apparently FIFA is only arranging/allowing(?) the broadcast of the coverage that includes international artists e.g., Shakira, Black Eyed Peas etc. From 4 pm today S African and other local musicians will be performing but not for TV. So much for 'local is lekker'?

  • Comment number 37.

    Well i think that this WC will be like the one in 2002 where both home nations i.e. Japan and South Korea went through despite all odds. I think SA will go through at whose expense? And Sue #16 it is football not soccer (you should know this by know:)

  • Comment number 38.

    @ zimpatch

    I understand from your last two posts that you have serious issues with some of Englands past in our country and abroad, however I was just wondering what country you are from? and also what i should look out for if I ever visit there? Any tips and advise would be most welcome

  • Comment number 39.

    Have watched this patiently and initially was very sceptical it would come off. I'm Scots and have been travelling to ZA for a number of years. My ex is Afrikaans.

    All I can say is go and enjoy this one guys. Quite unique in terms of the reception you are gonna get.....

    Am sooooo envious

  • Comment number 40.

    sagat4: It is called soccer in SA, like many parts of the world, so best to just get with the spirit of the event or you'll be doing a lot of nitpicking in the weeks ahead!

    I don't think the international coverage has been overly negative, bar a couple of silly stories that happen at every WC (eg: poisonous snakes at the training ground!) I think there were legitimate concerns about hosting a World Cup in a country with such a high crime rate (would be the same concerns in many other countries) and the general debate about spending so much on stadia when so many live in poverty. But in my opinion having overcome these concerns to finish everything in good time, with stunning grounds and an atmosphere that already promises to be the most memorable at a World Cup... it makes it even more of a triumph for South Africa. I think a lot of tourists will be amazed at how beautiful SA is and will return in future.

  • Comment number 41.

    This was not a 'victory procession', it was us, as South Africans, showing our support for Bafana Bafana. With all the negative media reports our team needs to know that for the soccer fans, the Bafana Bafana fans, that we support them. We are behind them all the way. It is as simple as that. It was not an invitation for more critism, it was not a premature victory procession, it was not was to show support and love of the game.

  • Comment number 42.

    No 38


    Main tip:- don't try starting an allotment in your hotel garden

  • Comment number 43.

    The Wednesday festivities were absolutely fantastic. This WC has united the country in a common goal - support our National Team and be the extra man that will take them through to the second round!

    All those who are negative are just sour...we have the WC and have proved that we can get everything in place in time. You will still complain about the noise, and anything else you can think of - you are just sour! It's time to get over it.

    The foreign fans who are here are fantastic and are having a great time. I hope you all have an awesome WC!

    Nkosi Sikelele Afrika!

  • Comment number 44.

    Just open yourself to the African experince and I promise you will never experience anything like that ever again.....

  • Comment number 45.

    For us South Africans it's not about winning but about organising a successful event, ensuring the safety of our visitors, making sure our visitors enjoy themselves, having to see the world stars just at the door step. Whether Bafana go to the 2nd round or not, we'll still be enthusiastic, making noise in support of the national teams we will adopt. Those who were mislead by the media and decided not come will regret for the rest of their lives. There will never be another African SWC in our life time. It's not too late, book your plane ticket and join us at the fan park.

  • Comment number 46.

    Of course the press want something to go wrong. It's the press! That's what they report.

    Nobody would buy a newspaper if everything reported was in proportion ... every day ... "99.9% of all the people in the World are lovely and wouldn't dream of harming you. Our life expectancy and quality of living are the best they have ever been and will only get better. As a species we are growing and improving all the time. Life is good."

    Nobody would buy a newspaper.

  • Comment number 47.


    The moderators have removed one of my messages and they're about to remove the second one. I can't blame them. As RLH1144 points out in comment 31, I was overdoing the irony and overdoing it very badly. But I was trying to make a very serious point: some of the foreign media coverage throughout the run up to this World Cup has been nothing short of disgraceful. Just take a look at this story from The Sun to see what I mean [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] Perhaps the writer was also trying to be ironic. But at least I was trying to make a valid point. You ask where I am from. I am Zimbabwean. I lived in the UK for many years. Now I live in Cape Town. So I know very well that the truth about any country is too complex for stereotypes and inevitably lies between the extremes. But one thing is for sure: SA and its people deserves this World Cup. I'm typing this message in front of Table Mountain under a clear blue winter sky. The beauty of this city and its country is beyond comprehension and the World Cup atmosphere is beyond words. Yes we've got our problems. But we've also got hope. Feel it! It’s here!

  • Comment number 48.

    The vuvuzelas and kuduzelas are part and parcel of the celebrations and cheering our teams. Thats how we do it in Africa.There is no way they will stay at home. Ive got mine, cant wait for the two games I am going to attend...Its here

  • Comment number 49.

    "You say "Football is a sport followed predominantly by black people in this country ....."

    The oppressed white people of South Africa probably are too intimidated to get involved. ETB.

  • Comment number 50.

    As an African with liks to South frica (I have a brother in Pretoria), am really proud of what South Africa has been able to acheive. A lot of people belive that SA would not be able to host a successful WC, but they'll be proved wrong! And the world will learn that Africa loves to party and in fact, that Africa is one big party!!

  • Comment number 51.

    There is a great party atmosphere at this WC, there always is its the WC after all.
    Ive no problem with the WC being held in SA, the country has held major events before (in 95' rugby WC) with no problems, regulary hold internation cricket tests.

    Sadly I will to watch the games with the sound turned off.
    The vuvuzelas are terrible, could the SA people not come up with a new wave or somthing.

    Ill have nightmares about swarms of bees comming to get me.

  • Comment number 52.

    South Africa has hosted plenty of international sporting events recently. No worries there.

    But Saffers are still a bit sore about the negative media coverage, which, it seems, was worst in the UK.
    See this blog for an example:

    As to the vuvuzelas, got one at Sainsburys for 2 quid, England-branded. Neighbours watch out!

  • Comment number 53.

    David - following on from your interesting blog the other day about ticketing I'm sure you'll agree the scale of yesterday's parade showed just how much passion the South African supporters have for the Bafana Bafana - so much so that it will be criminal if prices meant there are any empty seats at the stadia.

    Sadly, I think the bus top extravaganza might be the only time many of them get to see their heroes in the flesh. The teams recent unbeaten run bodes well for the tournament to be a real party..let's hope so anyway!

  • Comment number 54.

    Prior to South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 after decades living the inhuman policy of apartheid, the world predicted choas and anarchy. But the world's prediction was totally unfounded. The day of the election was so peaceful you could almost touch it.
    Again, after South Africa was chosen to host the WC2010, countries predicted doom and gloom. Now, on the eve of the first kick-off, the rainbow nation has proven their critics wrong. The build up to this event has been done with immence pride and with humble appreciation in being chosen to stage this greatest of all sporting events. Come and see it, come and feel it. It's all African!

  • Comment number 55.

    While football may be the most popular sport in SA, all the money is in rugby and cricket; from media to youth development.

    And yes, football is more black than white. Furthermore, white football-loving Saffers would rather support Premiership teams than a South African team.

    Anyone who says this is not the legacy of the past is delusional.

    Recently, the rugby Super 14 semi-final and final was played in Soweto due to Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria being a football world cup venue. This saw many of the white rugby supporters venture to a township for the very first time in their lives, and the township citizens also came out in force to support the rugby. It was a huge success, and yes, they had vuvuzelas at the rugby for a change....

    Maybe this is the beginning of a bit more cross-pollination - once white Saffers realize they can venture to a match in the townships safely, they might start supporting local footie.

  • Comment number 56.

    @ zimpatch

    I understand your thoughts on the foreign media coverage, however I think that they have legs to stand on considering that SA has one of the highest crime rates in the whole world.

    Also I think if you base your views on foreign media from articles in the Sun newspaper then you are going to get very bad results. The Sun is one of the most biased, useless rags ever published. Its main aim is to cause a stir and I would advise never reading it or taking a very large pinch of salt if you do

    Personally I am only interested in the football. I couldn't care less about any other issues as long as the tournament and the beautiful game are not affected.

    I hope it goes amazingly well for SA and the African Continent as a whole

  • Comment number 57.

    Sorry David,but Rm @12 has better piece..

    Rm please update us as the event gets closer and closer.

  • Comment number 58.

    36. At 10:57am on 10 Jun 2010, silverwayfarer wrote:
    Many of us had hoped that Africa hosting the World Cup would provide more exposure to e.g. S African artists at support entertainment events

    You're right, they could have had more local musicians.

    That said, I am looking forward to the Shakira/Freshlyground opening performance.

    Anyone who hasn't heard of Freshlyground, I highly recommend them. Both of their albums are very very good.

    And those interested in SA music who haven't yet watched the South African episode of the African Rock n Roll Years on BBC, try to catch it. It must be available somewhere.... Why it isn't on iPlayer when there is a WC in SA, I don't know.

  • Comment number 59.

    Come on Mexico!

  • Comment number 60.

    What an amazing country, what an amazing people! It feels great to be a South African! We have earned to right to stand tall and be proud of our accomplishments.

    VIVA living together as a united nation.
    VIVA hosting a world cup in Africa when no one believed we would be ready.
    VIVA Bafana Bafana.
    VIVA South Africa.

  • Comment number 61.

    56. At 1:25pm on 10 Jun 2010, Forthy44 wrote:
    Also I think if you base your views on foreign media from articles in the Sun newspaper then you are going to get very bad results. The Sun is one of the most biased, useless rags ever published. Its main aim is to cause a stir and I would advise never reading it or taking a very large pinch of salt if you do

    According to the greatest English journalist who ever lived (Julie Burchill), surveys have proven that even regular Sun readers only buy it for a larf, and never ever believe a word the Sun says.

    Which is probably why it never, ever has any impact on any election results, ever....

  • Comment number 62.

    It was our way of showing the team that we are fully behind them and support is there from all corners. It was decided a while back that come 12:00 noon on Wednesday, all South Africans should come out and blow the Vuvuzela like never before, just so happen the team is based in Sandton and came up with that noble idea to take 2 hours off their busy schedule to thank the people for their support. It happened all over the country and have to mention, it was brilliant. Some of you are complaining about the is a part of our soccer culture, we cannot imagine going to the stadium without one, just that this time it happens to attract your attention. Manchester United and Tottenham got a taste with their tours here in Mzansi. They sound like bees on TV but there is a rhythm when you in the stadium. Now the Bloemfontein people on our 3rd game, will show you how it's done. Hang on to your hats world......It's gonna be a PARTYYYYY!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    Why are most people going on about race?

    Isn't this about football?

    Anyway I'm going with Germany and I'd also like to see S Africa and Australia do well.

  • Comment number 64.

    Midnight here..... It’s officialllly (emphasis on as many syllables as you can fit in without tripping over your tongue) kick off day. Yup, a little more than half a clocks worth before the show starts. Too excited to snooze but need to, as today requires tons of energy.
    First important matter is a strategic plan to get to Soweto Fan Park on time. This will involve rising early, dashing to the local to stock up on beer. Tumble-dry the shirt; as it is busy washing away last nights football party...again.

    It’s no more than 20kms from home, but I have to pass close to Soccer City on the way. Best I leave early before the 60 odd heads of state and other dignitaries clog the roads. Will be starved by this time and looking forward to breakfast at Wandies (legendary restaurant in Soweto). That reminds me; make the borewors rolls before I leave for padkos (road food) later. Can have leisurely brunch beers but need to keep an eye out for the piles of fans that will descend on Soweto Cricket Oval for the fan fest. I have to be part of the 40,000 that it accommodates. This is today’s priority.

    Mission two involves creating enough energy that the Boys playing no more than 10kms away feel it. Vuvuzelas are made of a modern synthetic plastic and thus reasonably indestructible. Today we will test its Scientific limits in trying to Blow It apart. I suspect the instrument will win, but I'm going to try anyway.

    The Game....I already feel tense. The result...if Mexico wins; we have a massive party; if the Boys win, we have a gigantic party; it its a draw, repeat step 1 or 2.

    Final job of the day will be to find my car. Locals have been known to lose their vehicle in Soweto, not as result of any nefarious activity; but rather the result of too much barley, hops, yeast and whatever else goes into the little brown bottle. I expect the padkos will come in handy about this point in time.

    Cheer with us……

  • Comment number 65.

    @12, @64 and @Rm

    It's been a pleasure to read your posts, and even from a different continent, I can feel the energy building.

    Please keep writing, and BBC please approach Rm to write regular pieces for you. It's very different from the other content, and feels very fresh and invigorating.

    I have my last exam tomorrow, and then my World Cup can begin (guilt free at least...). I can't wait!

  • Comment number 66.

    I have to commend the BBC for providing an unbiased coverage of the tournament so far. A majority of the European media (mostly British) have been giving a negative overview of the country. Non European media (American, Asia, Middle east etc) have been giving a positive and balanced view of the country. It is suprising that the greatest fans so far have been the Americans who (after SA fans) have bought more tickets than anyone else. They ignored the negativities and went it. I must commend them (and any Americans reading this blog) And those who backed out? it is your lose at the end of the day

  • Comment number 67.

    thanks Rm @64 for the Updates.
    the warm up is done, let the party begin. I bet the Vuvuzelas will win the battle ...
    S. Africa 3 - Mexico 1

  • Comment number 68.

    Another inane dull blog by someone with no noticeable journalistic skills.

  • Comment number 69.

    Come on South Korea, my adopted team after Ireland failed to make it in. The party would have been alot better if we were there.

  • Comment number 70.

    Players and media robbed, but no murders yet. A successful first day (so far).

    On a separate issue, I'm disappointed by how little has been done to make this more African inclusive. I feel that FIFA and a number of other organisations should have done more to help youngsters throughout the continent/region and not just South Africa experience the buzz. It seems like a great opportunity wasted, especially as much was made of the bidding being about having the World Cup in Africa for the first time.

    But then again, FIFA and doing the right thing make no sense. So often they do things for show when really they could do so much more. The amount of money they generate to be pocketed by beaurocrats into hidden accounts is disgusting. I don't believe there finance figures. What a joke. There's a big hole somewhere.

  • Comment number 71.

    The media reports are obviously untrue, it is almost like a mandate was handed to european countries which contained the instruction:"Paint south africa in a very very negative way, and never portray the country in a truthfull way,ever...'.The world has a very wrong perception of africa because of the systematic submliminal imaging and negative reporting .I couldnt believe that such hogwash was written, yes there is crime, yes there is poverty........just like any other country.
    It might be slightly higher than the average country but it is certainly not unbearable,yet the international media chose to blow it out of proportion,and very few of these journalists have ever been to SA most of the British tourist I have met have apologized about the manner in which sa was portrayed because they were shocked to find a very peacefull and friendly nation when they arrived......they were brainwashed.If there was any truth to what was being reported than we as south africans will accept and even agree with these lies.I wonder what was it named.....Project Charles Dempsey aka " Il rather go against oceania federation and not vote than to vote for a very capaple and beautifull african country with warm people, weather,breathtaking scenery and a rich history"

  • Comment number 72.

    yes the american supporters came out to support their team and they will not regret it cause they are going have the experience of a lifetime and they are part of the best world cup ever, thanks to those fans who refused to be brainwashed

  • Comment number 73.

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  • Comment number 74.

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  • Comment number 80.

    Wow I can only imagine how amazing being in the crowd of tens of thousands of happy fans. While I know it would be lots of fun and every exciting I would be a little worried about how easily chaos can break out. It is truly inspiring how football can bring so many people together all for the same causes and shared enthusiasm.

  • Comment number 81.

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  • Comment number 82.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 83.

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  • Comment number 84.

    Wow, You reminded me our party of Cricket World 2011. Now a days, People are so much excited for such kind of events. In my country, Majority of people like Cricket. All my family members and friends were so much excited to watch Cricket World Cup. Some of our friends also purchased Brand New 3D TV's Specially to watch world cup. That looks odd.

  • Comment number 85.

    Boy what I would give to have been at that party! Looks like it was a blast. The sheer number of people must have been incredibly exciting.

    Such support and intensity surely makes for one wild party. I imagine there was quite the mess to clean up afterwards. :P

  • Comment number 86.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 87.

    The world cup is the biggest football tournament and it seems that many forget that hosting the competition brings more than revenue, as seen at

    They show the aftermath of one of the screening areas, sparking a huge clean up bill.

    We all love to party but does anyone fancy that clean up?

    Bring on the 2014!

  • Comment number 88.

    The 2010 World Cup experience was very exciting!!! And
    I believe that South Africa grabbed their chance to shine as host nation with both hands and the world took notice of the success of the biggest sporting event on the planet!
    Agreed with # 4 – Yes, there was a great deal of negativity and much was said when South Africa was awarded the right to host the 2010 World Cup, but the only way to prove the doubters wrong was through patience and perseverance. There are profound and visible problems around, crime and poverty which must be addressed but South Africa absolutely heading in the right direction and I'm sure things will improve further. The important thing now is that the expense of the tournament is managed correctly, and that's a huge challenge. South Africa made the entire African continent proud and proved the critics wrong concerning their ability to host the world. This is what South Africa and the South African people have done -- welcomed the world brilliantly! I think, the future looks bright for South Africa and the country is now on the world map for given the world a unique and wholly pleasing tournament. This country has so much to offer and I hope that it continues on the path of achieving its full potential.

  • Comment number 89.

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