Never had I been so emotional, as when Simphiwe Tshabalala scored the goal which sparked the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup to life. I guess this emotion was building up. During the week, when I had returned home from varsity, I saw extensive coverage of the event from the major news channels from around the world. CNN had special half-hourly bulletins on the build up to the World Cup, with numerous reporters in settings around South Africa. BBC had the same, while ESPN, the American-based father of sports channels was also on set in the country.
When I was still at varsity, I did not feel the hype as much as I did when I left Grahamstown. The City of Saints was surprisingly very deadbeat around the World Cup, with only endless flags and Bafana Bafana Friday campaigns being the only visible commemoration of the soccer extravaganza. What the place was lacking was the vibe, which is what I was endeared to as soon as I left Grahamstown.
Utterances such as "Feel it, it is here", "this is Africa's time", and the now famous "ke nako" became a constant in my interactions with people. Believe it or not, I did not know about the Diski Dance until I left varsity. Perhaps it was this late introduction to the true euphoria surrounding this World Cup that led me to shed a tear for the first time in almost a decade when Simohiwe Tshabalala scored Bafana Bafana's goal in the World Cup opener against Mexico.
Seeing the likes of Alicia Keys and Shakira entertain the masses in the World Cup Kickoff concert, and that splendid opening ceremony fuelled my emotions. The knowledge of the low South African football was dusting itself from. The constant disappointment South African soccer had been in the past decade, to the immediete recovery in their performances in recent months, and to the undescribable atmospehere generated throughout the country in the build up to the World Cup, and to the eventual patriotism showcased, invigorated me in all ways possible