Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: world cup (Page 1 of 3)


I was delighted when I heard one of the Cape Town tourism people talk about an ‘afterglow’ instead of a hangover that Cape Town was experiencing after the mafifa World Cup. I loved the idea; it sounded positive and sustainable. But it seems the afterglow has turned into a hangover.

The WC month was nothing short of miraculous in many ways. South Africans were on their best behaviour. We all listened when Zuma asked us to behave! There wasn’t a peep from Mal-enema, embarrassing us with his usual uncontrolable spewage. Our politicians, in general, kept a low profile and were mostly polite for a change. On the ground, people made a brilliant effort to be friendly, engaging, hospitable and patriotic. Our TV screens were filled with colour, music and feel-good stories. Vuvuzelas were a global hit. Our cities looked magnificent and our stadia were commented on in glowing terms. Special courts dealt with crimes, special traffic cops managed congestion and we all seemed to follow all the rules so much better.  We really put on a great, glamourous show while the world watched.

But now that the cameras are no longer on us we seem to be sliding into that murky, messy ‘nobody’s watching’ behaviour. We seem to be taking the WC out of the World Cup. The streets are grimy again. Taxis are driving in the yellow lane. Mal-enema is back. The DA is accusing, the foreigners are fleeing, civil servants are threatening to strike. You know; the usual. We are probably no different from most countries in the world.

But for that month…

Prayer for Tolerance

On this last day of showing the world how beautiful

friendly and kind

Colourful and crazy

Generous and supporting

South Africans are, and can be.

On this last day

I am praying.

Hard and fervently I am praying

and making a call at the same time.

I am writing it and saying it.

I am praying and even begging

that not one person in this country does something

to somebody who isn’t originally from here.

Please. Let us all get ready to stop it from happening.

We are armed with good feeling.

We are padded with pride.

We are forewarned with reality.

Now, let us protect these lives,

from nations we loved when they were playing soccer.

Hup Holland Hup

Getting ready to go downtown.

Back to Reality World Cup

I’m sitting at OR Tambo airport in Jozi, waiting for my flight back to Cape Town and I confess I am feeling down. I guess it had to happen. After a four hour run in with SAA you can end up feeling like that, but that’s not it.

Let me rewind a bit. My brother wanted me to see the show that he and his partners produced, Beautiful Creatures, which finished its run at The Teatro at Montecasino today, so he bought me a ticket to come up for the weekend. Then my cousin asked me if I wanted to go with him to the Ghana Uruguay game at Soccer City on Friday night. It was a little miracle. I had fantasized about going to a game with little hope, since I myself had made no effort to get a ticket besides for wishing for one to land in my lap. Bingo. I was the luckiest person in the world.

I was delighted to arrive in Jozi. The energy at both Cape Town airport when I departed and OR Tambo when I arrived was electric. I love the mad Uruguayan supporters on the flight who took a poll for the game and were devastated that 90% of the passengers wanted Ghana to win. I was ecstatic to see, feel and be part of this magnificent achievement. I loved the great decorations on the side of the highway. I loved the millions of vuvuzelas. I loved hearing so many different foreign languages.  I loved the transport, the security, the magnificent Soccer City. I loved the 90 000 fans that streamed in with face paint, tattoos and supporter colours. I cried with 90% of them when Ghana lost! I loved the Rea Via bus trip into the centre of town after the game in the middle of the night.

I loved the after-game hangover we aIl nursed at Melrose Arch the next morning where every person at every table was speaking about their heartache, and where every somebody in a Uruguayan short was ‘skeefed’.

I loved going to Montecasino yesterday to see Beautiful Creatures and be part of the total delight of every child (and parent). I loved the huge crowds that started arriving at the fan park to watch the Germany Argentina game. I loved the outdoor restaurant we sat at in Rosebank to watch it.

I have been unwavering in my pride and praise of one of South Arica’s greatest achievements, this, the 2010 world cup, in spite of hard-core Fifa. I have been touched by how friendly, interested, passionate and hospitable South Africans have been.

No doubt, the few incidents of reported crime have been disturbing, but the media’s take on it has been that the incidents have been random, opportunistic and isolated. Of course, there has been the great publicity of the special courts that were set up, and the swiftness of the justice they have meted out.

I have been sharing in the delight of the Gautrain which I caught today, the sight of people reclaiming the streets of South African cities on foot, and the good word and reputation that South Africa is basking in, even though Bafana Bafana didn’t make it through the first round. I have been lapping up every good article, review and conversation.

That is, until today, at OR Tambo airport, where, while having my tiff with SAA at the passenger services counter, I met a man who needed their help to leave the country and fast. He was an American tourist to South Africa, for the world cup, who, after last night’s game, had been woken up, beaten and robbed, whose sister these bastards had threatened to rape, all in the promised security of their up-market Sandton hotel accommodation. He was in total trauma and was trying to get SAA to help him, and his brother and sister go to family in Namibia.

I cannot begin to express my shame. I cannot begin to express my absolute helplessness. I cried. I cried for his physical hurt. I cried for his material loss. I cried for how he was going to need help and comfort from others, and not from us South Africans. I hurt for how long it would take him to recover, after only being here for four days. And I want somebody to pay, to make it better, to fix it.

I am in the air now, sitting amongst locals and tourists alike. And I am struggling to control the desire to shout out, “It’s all bullshit! We are fucked! This country is a mess! Go home! Quickly.” I know it’s not true, but meeting one victim in the flesh is a shocking reminder that he is one victim too many. And I know that most tourists will go home having had the best time of their lives, but it will have been a ‘there but for the grace of the gods’ time. And I’m sorry, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.

negative natter

Ok, so I’m going to stick my neck out here. The real truth is that I know virtually nothing about football, but I have been making a huge effort, and I have been mostly loving the Mafifa 2010 World Cup here in South Africa. I have watched a lot of the games on TV, and while I acknowledge that anything I say about the game has absolutely no basis in experience or expertise, there is an area that I do think I know something about, and that’s the commentary.

I have done a bit of a google to try and put names to the commentators that I have heard on both DSTV and SABC (it sounds like the same guy every time, although I’m pretty certain that that would be impossible), and I’ve just heard one of the studio anchors say Gareth Bloom or Blum, but I googled those and nothing came up, so I really don’t know who they are. They sound British. Anyway, regardless of who they are, I want to complain about what they are; which is almost unnaturally negative.

If there is a bad thing to say about a player, team, ref, coach or attempt at a goal, it is said. Even the ‘colourful and noisy’ descriptions of the crowd and the fans sound negative or critical or condescending. Mistakes are highlighted and blame is dished out at every opportunity. Teams are brutally criticised. Previous failures are enumerated and dwelt on. The chances of anyone impressing are slim. It’s just so dreary! It’s like they are waiting to be disappointed. I have to say, that for me, a believer in the enormous power of positive, the constant talking down of everyone, and everything, including the damn weather, is totally off putting. This guy has just tried to pay the Dutch a compliment by calling them neat and methodical in their previous game, which they won by two goals! Hau!

I would love to do a study which could measure the effects of all the negative speak on the game and players themselves, not to mention us viewers. I guess that is one of the advantages of going to watch the game live. I am just going to sit here, with my vuvuzela ready, to drown out those words; difficult, unfortunate, frustrated, too late, weak attempt, bad move, lackluster, unhappy, cynical, hardly ideal, would have been, blah blah negative blah!

Bafana Babelas

Tears. Disappointment. Depression. I walked the dogs in an eerie silence that swept Cape Town this morning. There was criticism, anger, analysis, and that was just in the news headlines. Ag shame and askies Bafana Bafana! But really, SeffEffricans, what were we thinking? Bafana are only in this massive competition because we are the host nation! And I think that they have done extraordinarily brilliantly so far! We still love them. We still have umlungus blowing vuvuzelas. We still have a nation that has turned colour differences into a common acid yellow. We still have the eyes of the world trained on us as we prove that we can and will do it and it will be beautiful, even if we don’t win the game.

Last night’s game was a true test of how nasty, dirty and unfair this football can be, but let’s make sure that as supporters we don’t let our team down! Leaving the stadium because they were losing is a terrible show of sulking, and a lack of sticking power. We need to support them, win or lose! That’s our uniting lesson.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén