World Cup fans cheer “Thank you Africa!”

SOWETO, South Africa — South Africa will never be the same. That sums up the end of this World Cup 2010 Event. The big news was that it all ended so well, so successfully managed, so celebratory, so fun, so new, so different and so “unexpressionable.” No words to describe the true atmosphere.

The other news of course was that Spain won the World Cup South Africa 2010, and because we knew this already, it was NOT the breaking news tonight. The Octopus Paul already told us so. So we were just looking for what else was new.

As we headed down to Soweto, Johannesburg South Africa for the last match, the final, at Soccer City between The Netherlands and Spain for the big end of tournament party everyone was already in a mood of celebration. The July 10th 2010 game between Germany and Uruguay had been magical. All the fans seemed to be supporting Germany. One African fan from Angola reminded me that it was because of the handball by Luis Suarez of Uruguay which had knocked out Ghana in the quarter finals. Every time Suarez touched the ball the Vuvuzelas stopped sounding and the booing started, it was like an orchestrated symphony. Germany won that game and made the fans happy.

The Spain vs. The Netherlands final however was a neutral for the fans. They were hoping for a fare play game and for the better team to win. The referee let them down. In the first six minutes he had issued five yellow cards and under dubious circumstances. Most fans thought the referee was a lot overwhelmed by the occasion and some thought he somehow, for some strange reason favored Spain. The red card that came for The Netherlands was inevitable. However the fans remained neutral only favoring fair play.

Thousands of fans in a stadium that was full at more than 98,000 people were so happy that the event on African soil had been a success. The best World Cup Event ever. The spectacular show that preceded the game was so awesome! The former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela showed up. The crowd went wild!

The Netherlands was the only team at the World Cup to have won every one of its games except the last one. That was game number 64 of the tournament.

No matter what happened on Sunday in Johannesburg, a brand-new World Cup champion was crowned in what was a second straight all-European championship final. Only seven teams have ever won the World Cup since its beginnings in 1930, but now it is eight.

In fact, Spain had never been in a World Cup final and was attempting to become one of the few reigning European champions to follow up with a world championship. The Netherlands, on the other hand, was well-known for disappointment at the finals, having lost twice to host nations, in 1974 in West Germany and then in 1978 at Argentina. Both teams were considered the best to never have won a Cup. Now Spain has got it.

Apart from the actual football game Africa has given new vocabulary to the world:

1. Jabulani: the ball meaning “celebrate.”

2. Vuvuzela: The cheering horn. Traditionally made and inspired from the kudu animal horn. It was originally used to summon distant villagers to attend community gatherings.

3. AYOBA!! Meaning great! Or Enjoy! a slang term used by South Africans to express amazement.

4. Makarapa: The fancy very colourful hard hat worn by the fans.

5. Shibobo: Fancy style footwork of playing football.

6. Waka Waka: Fire-Fire or Hot-hot!

7. Idiski: Meaning football.

8. Tsamaya: meaning a breath-taking piece of skill.

9. “Ayeye” or “Ayoyoyo.”: It was originally meant as an approval/appreciation of good dancing.

10. Leraparapa: A variation of vuvuzela design.

These are just a few of the many words the visiting fans will take away from Africa.

Football may often be called the universal language, but when you are in South Africa, there is a certain terminology you need to know to ensure an unforgettable experience in the Rainbow Nation. Actually many thousands of fans from all over the world are now saying that during this World Cup 2010; “Africa has given birth to a Rainbow World!”

Most of the South Africa’s football lingo is borrowed from township slang or ikasi lingo as the locals fondly refer to it. This can be traced back to the 1950s when football was played predominantly in the townships in South Africa, although it has to be noted that the beautiful game also has roots throughout the rest of the nation.

South Africa is highly culturally diverse with no fewer than 11 official languages, though football fans across the country do pride themselves at discussing the sport in a way that transcends cultural boundaries. To get in the act yourself, just start referring to football as idiski and listening out for cries of ishibobo (nutmeg) and tsamaya (a breath-taking piece of skill). Thousands of visiting fans found themselves in the swing of things and feeling very much at home.

At the closing partying into the night on Sunday at Sandton City the DJ played the old song “Please don’t go!” and there were screams of “Thank you Africa!” from the visiting fans. It was an emotional end to a month long indulgency into the world of football.  

Photo: Octupus Paul made its debut at this World Cup by picking every winning team.