So, the 2010 World Cup has finally begun. As promised, One Game, One World has gone all World Cup in the lead-up to the tournament and we will continue our coverage as the tournament progresses. We have some exciting stuff in the works, including some on the ground reports from our correspondent in South Africa, Yumna Mia.
The atmosphere inside Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday was something to behold and clearly showed how important this World Cup is to South Africa. For today’s kick-off we will get our first report from Yumna Mia who lives in Johannesburg.
Read on for an introduction of One Game, One World South Africa correspondent Yumna Mia:
“Let me introduce myself. My name is Yumna Mia, I am 28-years-old and was born in a little town called Swartruggens in the North West Province of South Africa. This is my hometown and some of the best years of my life were spent here. I always say that no school, University, Institution or company can teach me what I learnt there. It was my “University of Life”
I moved to Jo’burg when I was 9 years old due to circumstances not choice.
I hated it at first but over the years I have come to take this as my home as my entire family and many of my friends are here.
My love for football (or soccer as we call it) was borne as a result of my late brother. We were only 2 siblings, he being elder. Obviously as a younger sister, being a tom boy and having no father, he was my hero and over the years it was just natural that I would sit and watch matches with him. We always use to joke and quote Bill Shankly (one of Liverpools most respected and successful managers) by saying that “football is not about life and death, it is about more that that”.
And here is Yumna’s first report from Jo’burg on the atmosphere on the tournament’s opening day:
“Ke nako )it’s time)..the time has finally come. I know it’s clichéd but words cannot describe the atmosphere in SA today. I awoke today to the sounds of Jozi jo’burg) sounding the vuvuzela. I think the sound must have went on during the night, and had it not been for the fact that I sleep like a log, I would have heard right through. It’s a cold, cloudy winter morning here in SA but the sea of South Africans clad in there bright yellow and green colours in support of Bafana Bafana is enough to warm the hearts of all who are out to support this historic occasion. I think the sun would have been blinded by all this brightness should it have been out..maybe it’s hiding out of fear..I see glimpses of it trying to come out and join us in the festivities.
Most of us are working half day today, leaving at around 13:00pm so we can get to watch the opening ceremony. The atmosphere here at work is mind blowing.We have people dressed up in the foyer in different gear representing the 32 countries that are participating in the WC. Upon entering they were singing and cheering and handing out vuvuzelas to all the employees. They are also marching through all the floors singing different songs. There is also a giant Bafana Bafana T-shirt at the foyer on which staff can sign messages to the national team. ( I have taken some photos. I will upload it as soon as I can).”
As you can see, Yumna’s magical description of the atmosphere in South Africa is downright amazing. We will bring you more World Cup coverage in the coming days and weeks including some more of Yumna’s superb first-hand accounts of how South Africans are taking to the tournament.
For now, enjoy the matches in what is a month of pure football heaven!