Standing alongside a nation
Waking up today has been a rollercoaster of exciting, nostalgic memories.
Two years ago was the kick-off the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg. I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the opening ceremony at what was then known as Soccer City. I went along with other fellow journalists, but looking back, I had no idea of the scale of sensual assault I was to receive that day.
looking back, I had no idea of the scale of sensual assault I was to receive that day
I wore every colour of the flag and was hoarse before I even reached the stadium from the shrieking at friends on the phone about how I was headed to the ultimate stadium for what was bound to be an amazing opening ceremony and Bafana Bafana’s, our national team, first appearance in the tournament.
It’s such a blur now that it’s difficult to describe. I must’ve heard Shakira’s Waka Waka at least 150 times that day and enjoyed it every time. I ate stadium food and drank American beer and listened to the literal roar of the crowd under Soccer City’s ceiling that day.
The match was intense, expectations were high. And even though we didn’t win, I have never been prouder of my nation. It was gut-wrenching when the final whistle blew, I cried amongst all the patriots standing alongside me, but in that moment, there was more pride in my chest than my body could handle. It felt like it was going to burst out of me in a rainbow of South African flag colours.
And the best part of that entire experience? Knowing when I fell asleep that night, there was still an entire month of excitement, matches, dancing to Waka Waka and visiting stadiums left!
Also, head over to the Love South Africa Facebook page and check out our gallery of images from the tournament!
Let’s celebrate one of this beautiful country’s proudest moments!