Friday, 11 June 2010

Wave your Flag!



Last night saw the Kick-off Concert for the 2010 FIFA World Cup take place at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa. Headlining the concert were world famous names including the Black-Eyed Peas & Shakira. To be residing in South Africa to witness & be a part off the single most important event to take place on the African Continent since the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 is surreal to say the least. Being wife & mum to some serious soccer-nuts has meant that these past few years, months and, most recently, weeks have been adrenalin filled. The vibe around Durban has been one of energy & positivity, similar to that portrayed in the recent movie, Invictus, about Mandela's drive for South Africa to win the Rugby World Cup in 1995.

Of course we were all looking forward to seeing Fergie & the boys {on our TV-we didn't attend as the concert was held in another province to where we live} but they were stony-faced & disappointing live. They really didn't look like they were happy to be there & their showmanship was about as invigorating as a warm bath. Shakira on the other hand, completely stole the show with her killer smile {& body}, her inbuilt rythm & her energy & enthusiasm.
What a gorgeous girl...
Being Columbian her natural rythm was amazing!

Local boys, The Parlotones, sounded fantastic live, putting the Peas to shame actually...yet you wouldn't believe how difficult it was to find a decent image of them on the web. Hate the way that anything African is considered to be sub-standard by default, when so often quite the opposite is true.
The finale saw Shakira sing "Waka Waka", apparently written by her especially for the World Cup, although there is a lot of controversy locally as to what part local band, Freshly Ground, had to play in the songwriting & music composition. They performed alongside Shakira, who welcomed them on stage by name, but only after she had solo-ed for the first minute or so. If they did write the song, as some say, I think it's shameful that they didn't get to perform it alone, despite the fact that Shakira did it complete justice.

Today was an unofficial public holiday as everyone was keen to watch the opening match between South African team, Bafana Bafana & Mexico. DH was home by lunch with fresh boerewors {local speciality sausage} & rolls & got the braai {barbeque} fired up as we "settled down" to watch the game. "Settled-down" meaning that the kids got themselves hyped up into a complete frenzy, culminating in Reilly bombing into the pool when Bafana scored! {19 degrees here - flipping freezing compared to what we are used to!}

Fortunately he had his court jester hat to stick on to his wet head & a mum to make him a cappucino!

Our neighbourhood resounded with the sound of vuvuzelas {awfully noisy plastic trumpety-type contraptions} when the goal was scored but died down afterwards thankfully...

As you can see the four "little people" had a great day today & for once they could feel proud to be African! {A very strange & unknown sensation I might add...}

The other day I was having lunch in the mall with Jack after his weekend club soccer match & was approached by a middle-aged white man who commended Jack for being the only boy in the coffee shop without a Bafana Bafana shirt on {everyone is wearing them - like a uniform - at the moment - my kids included - & schools have initiated "Football Fridays" civvies days where the children get to wear the colours of the South African flag or their football FIFA endorsed World Cup paraphernalia. I told said man that the only reason Jack wasn't wearing his Bafana shirt was because it was in the wash. He looked visibly disappointed & asked how we could seriously support the local team. I told him in no uncertain terms that it was the right thing to do & how could we not? Needless to say that was a conversation stopper! {Fool...}

Chelsea was off to a gig at "Burn" tonight & ingeniously painted her nails the colour of the South African Flag! Aaah yes, it's been a momentous week!





10 comments:

Vicki said...

Guess you have to be there to get all the hype. Love seeing that your kids are sooo into it. LOL For us to see it at 1am was asking just a bit much. LOL. Might get a replay today if we're lucky.

Diana said...

Oh this is so much fun. Loved the post and the pics. Got a feel for all the great vibes over there. I'm not world cup crazy yet, but hope to warm up before it's all over!

Stefanie said...

I was so disappointed by the end result though. I do support Bafana bafana, but only after Germany.
Great pics, thanks for sharing.

Shayne said...

Stunning pics Helen - you're lucky your kids let you take. Mine are completely fedup with me!

This is surely a day that will go down in history, and let's hope it marks the beginning of political unity here in our little Country.

Cathy said...

Great pic.... you guys obviously had a ball watching the game... hope Reilly doesn't get pneumonia after his jump in the pool... silly guy!! hehe

Desire Fourie said...

What an uplifting post this is and makes one truly proud to be a South African ... way to go to your family!!!!
Hugs
Desire

Helen Tilbury said...

Yup Vicki if you were here you would definitely get it! It's about so much more than football - there is a unity in the air that is not usual for this political/racial climate. Definitely a great vibe to be a part of & I think, wherever you are, you should involve yourself in whatever is on offer on your doorstep ;-D

teacher jessy said...

I can feel the excitement already!! Your children is having so much fun!

Kirsty said...

lovely photos. you have gorgeous kids. Loving the atmosphere in this special country of ours at the moment. Long may it last x

Vicki said...

Wait till next year for us with the rugby world cup. LOL. Haven't really seen very much of the soccer but then NZ plays Tuesday so we shall see. LOL