We are privileged to have Yumna Mia filing us reports from South Africa during the World Cup. Here are her two latest stories, the first relating to the Brazil-Ivory Coast match she saw at Soccer City Stadium and the second her reaction to South Africa’s exit on Tuesday. Enjoy!
“I was there”. That’s right I had the great privilege of attending the match between Brazil and Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, 20th June 2010. In 50 years time (if I’m alive), I don’t know if I will remember that Brazil won 3-1 or that Kaka received a red card, but the fact that “I was there” will forever be etched in my memory.
How this came about is a story of pure luck. I was actually suppose to be attending a wedding in Lesotho (officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave—entirely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa) on that Sunday, but due to some issues with transport and the fact that was sick with the flu I decided not to go. I have never seen Lesotho so I was quite upset that I couldn’t go. However, I guess everything happens for a reason. AT around 15:00pm I received a call from my cousin saying that she might be able to get tickets to the match and if I would like to go.
I obviously, being a huge soccer fan and a Brazil supporter jumped at the opportunity even though I had the flu and it was extremely cold. I did not care if I got bronchitis or pneumonia as long as I could goJ.I adorned my green and yellow colours of Brazil with what seemed like a million other item of clothing just so that I could brace the cold. In total i wore 2 long sleeved tops , 2 jerseys and 2 jackets plus jeans, tights, 2 pairs of socks, boots, gloves and ear muffs. It must have been around 16:00pm and we still did not have the tickets in our hands. We eventually received a call from the guy telling us to meet him at the parking lot one of the hospitals nearby to collect the tickets. It was like a scene from a movie.
The two of us parked there with a stash of cash waiting for these people so that we could exchange it for the tickets. We eventually met up with the rest of the group that we were attending the match with. We all looked like bunch of green and yellow Eskimo’s each one stating how much of clothes we had on underneath. Despite the cold and the fact that we could barely move because of the number of clothes we had on we were still in high spirits.
As we drove towards Soccer City, I gasped in wonder at this giant calabash (Soccer city’s design is based on the calabash, an African pot) in all it splendor. It looks absolutely spectacular especially at night when it is all lit up. Despite having had park and to walk quite a distance to get to the stadium, it was worth it as we met all sorts of people on the way each displaying their support in for their teams in different colourful ways. Well in the end, despite the cold, a great time was had, the atmosphere was electrifying, the match was great (especially since Brazil won) and I got the opportunity to say that “I WAS THERE”.
And Yumna’s take on South Africa’s exit at the Group Stage:
Well the best way I can describe the feeling that is going through all our minds is, as my colleague put it is “ we are smiling but they are sad smiles”
We were allowed to dress casually with our SA soccer shirts and T-shirts and to leave work early yesterday so that we could watch the game. Many of us were laughing and joking saying that we know that SA is going to get knocked out but deep down inside we had hope that maybe, just maybe through some miracle we could pull it off and go through to the next round, especially since France haven’t performed up to standard during this World Cup. The entire country was united behind our National team, like I said before in times like this I think there is no language, cultural, racial or religious barriers.
Oh man, what a match though, we went out with guns blazing, and totally annihilated the French, especially in the first half. It was a fantastic performance from “our boys”. They really showed that they have what it takes, if only they had played that way in the previous matches. In the end I think that although our campaign has come to an end and it would have been awesome if had we managed to go through to the next round, most of us here are nevertheless proud of the fact that we played so well and managed to beat the mighty French.
We can’t let this bring us down as our duty is still to support and host the rest of the nations that are still participating in the World Cup.
For more information on the World Cup in South Africa including any specific questions you would like to ask Yumna, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as quickly as we can.