World Cup: a celebration of life

PRETORIA, South Africa — Hugh Masekela the great South African trumpeter and band leader once noted that in 1999 while at the Oliver Tambo airport in Johannesburg he listened to the moans and whines of a white guy about the services of the Black government and interpreted them to be signs that the fellow suffered from PASS, the Post Apartheid Stress Syndrome. With the white government out of power and out of mind the fellow felt adrift in the new South Africa.

Make no mistake about it in hosting the 2010 World Cup the Black government of South Africa performed wonderfully and proved once and for all that apartheid is dead and truly buried. South Africa has made all Africans, and their descendants spread out in the diaspora throughout the world, proud of our culture, our intelligence, our organizational skills, our enthusiasm, and our fun loving wit.

Alas the rich full memories are flowing down upon me and bringing tears of joy into my eyes. What a wonderful time we had at the 2010 World Cup, it was unimaginably delightful; way beyond the most fantastic feast.

My opinion of my friends from the great host country, have risen to astronomical heights of esteem given the hospitality shown to me by them throughout the last month. They shall always hold a special place in my heart. I shall always remember them blowing vuvuzela horns on the front porch waking up the neighbors and dancing about the house in the evening celebrating the events unfolding on football fields throughout the land.

I shall always remember my girl, a golden woman of beauty, grace, and style, ecstatically dancing and running about hugging the fans near our seats and beyond after Donavan scored in the final minute of the game between the USA and Algeria which advanced us into the next round of the tournament. The vision of her having fun, shouting at the top of her lungs and smiling and chattering constantly as her team performed will be a dear memory forever.

To say that a World Cup match is entertaining is to underestimate the thrill because in victory it’s beyond measure. Anyone that has lived near the ocean always recognizes the persistent sound of waves beating upon the shore. In turn perhaps the greatest gift this world cup has given to football is the vuvuzelas horns for they provide a cascading sound, a clarion call, a plea of the fans within the stands hoping to motivate their team on to greater heights of play. Save your voice and blow your vuvuzela horn to your hearts delight.

For those fans who came to the 2010 World Cup the memory of the great times we had shall stay with us forever. Indeed some of us shall go on to Brazil where the Samba boys will have some surprises in store for sure in 2014 but the 2010 World Cup shall always be special. Did we have fun? Yeah we did! More than the word. We partied, gained a lot of weight from the beer, the food, and the fine South African wine, and a lot of us are going to need vacations to recover from the good times.

After having gone through an extraordinary month in South Africa full of sensual pleasures I’m gonna be suffering from the post World Cup blues for awhile. By going to the 2010 games I gained a heightened sense of awareness of the importance of sports as an outlet for life’s many travails. Every football game I view for a long, long time will be compared to those I saw live in South Africa during the last month.

Oh yeah the final game. Spain won the cup in a game full of surprises. I predicted it in this column. Just as important as the final match by the end of the 2010 World Cup games it was clear that South Africa and Africa itself had scored a tremendous victory. For more than a billion people watching the games throughout the world came to realize that in Africa there are places where Black people live rich full lives and have created a new sense of hope amidst the various trials and tribulations of our daily existence. South Africans and African people generally may not be perfect but we are out here struggling against all sorts of odds to make things right. With this World Cup we did not end poverty in Africa but we the African people showed the world that we are trying our best to fight against it and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In closing I note that it’s great to be alive, and have shared our experience of these moments of joy with people from throughout the earth at the 2010 World Cup games, and with you the readers of Mundo Popular and People’s World.

Viva Africa, Viva Humanity, Viva the World Cup, Viva la Vida

Photo: Axel Bührmann/CC