As a nation with messy and entangled roots, no less than eleven official languages and a dodgy history, national unity is still on our ‘practise makes perfect’ list….unless of course we are talking ‘Sport’. Sport lives right up there along-side Nelson Mandela when it comes to national heritage that we all lay claim to. Needless to say, when South Africa won the Fifa World Cup Bid for 2010 the result was a fever that built into a burning, raging, excited, awesome, frenzied, uniting, nation building pitch.
South Africa received incredible exposure with people travelling from far and wide and even MOTHER came to the party. MOTHER? – an international ad agency made up of cool British types, based in London. MOTHER never misses a world cup. This lot of Londoners love to travel, love football and love getting involved. A connection with our local community development crowd resulted in games being organised between MOTHER and local teams in the most rural of settings where determined, bare-footed men in worn out gear were summoned from their villages with the call of a vuvuzela across the rolling Eastern Cape hills.
These guys returned to their dwellings sometime later, exhausted and victorious, with sweat on their brows and new kit on their feet.
The MOTHER visit culminated in a substantial financial contribution being made towards a much needed local sports and community centre with soccer field to boot. Last Saturday I joined the action as two of our youth teams ‘Barcelona’ and ‘17’ took part in a district tournament.
Chintsa East, South Africa. May 2012