World Cup 2010

World Cup Wrap (Part 2):The Struggle

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Mandela must be shaking his head thinking when there were five days (of waiting time for tours) of mostly white folk lining to pay homage to his time on Robben Island in Capetown. His pilgrimage from his Soweto township to the town took 30 years while our World Cup one took 30 days. So much for our struggle and discomfort.


We just came to see a game and discovered more. Who said sport can’t make difference? I noticed all South Africans are extremely proud people and despite the differences most live, they continue on a path paved better than the rest of Africa. Not enough credit is given to the Afrikaan and Asian brothers who continue to work very hard to create a foundation for the future for all to share.


Our journey took us to places like Port Elizabeth where rather than selling our spare ticket to the Brasil-Holland game we treated a local hotel gardener, Mthetho (Law) to join us. He was one of the lucky ones who has a secure job and a caring boss (so much so as to give him the day off work). Like many others he works in the town but lives in the township. Law loves soccer and Brasil and I am sure he sees his country as them, the new Brasil: fair, fun and promising. He said his ticket would have cost him a months wages, what it costs to support his wife and one year old son. He is the future of SA and many more honest people like him.


We went on safari in Kruger and met what tourists call a witchdoctor who when challenged, correctly called (and despite bribes) clearly articulated a hard fought OT win to Spain in a Holland final. Where safari rangers played safari trackers in weekly games of soccer while sharing their magical wildlife world with us. And by pure chance Paris Hilton followed us from arrest in PE to safari in Kruger, where according to her twitter, was the first to discover tigers in Africa. I missed that photo opp. Of the tigers that is.


Poverty is relative term as it is usually measured on economic terms (we all know plenty of rich kids with poor mindsets). More than poverty South Africa showed us happiness. Let’s wait 30 years before we try to judge it’s success model.


St. Mandela saved a nation from itself and hopefully will be around to see it reach the Promised Land. Some say it is already here.


Lawrence Keenan supports Canadian youth soccer & the campaign to have the World Cup hosted in Canada in 2030.
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