5/100 reasons to be in South Africa in 2010: Schools adopt a nation

Fact file: FIFA’s World Cup™ ethos of fair play will be carried out through the Schools Programme, where the ethos of healthy lifestyles and multiculturalism through sports, arts and culture will be brought to 12 million schoolchildren.

Forty thousand is a big number by any standards. Rands, toothpi.jpgcks, loaves of bread… but prostitutes? Forty thousand prostitutes destined for South Africa for the World Cup?! I wonder if there were similar tabloid stories for previous World Cup hosting nations – and to be honest – I have to say I am not sincerely interested or inspi.jpgred to research it. I am just gobsmacked that this stat has been released – and wonder how they got to that number. Did they go to some kind of prostitute convention and ask all those who were planning on coming to South Africa to kindly raise their hand?


Photograph by: Mark Wessels www.markwesselsphoto.com

It is interesting that while South Africans are embracing football Friday’s by dressing for the part, cars are branding their mirrors with the national flag and companies are doing their bit to fly the flag for their clients and our country, the media (both locally and overseas) seems determined to highlight negativity. It’s getting boring.  And do the future minds and leaders of our country need to be confused with all the cross messaging of ‘yay’ versus ‘nay’ of the opportunities that are looking back at us? They don’t, which is why it is heart warming to hear that schools across the country have embraced the ‘Adopt a Nation’ drive, within their provinces. This initiative – in conjunction with the Department of Sports and Recreation – means that each school chooses a nation to ‘adopt’ and then learns its culture, their anthem and some of the language. The culmination of this venture is a mini World Cup tournament between over 8 500 schools that ends in May. No doubt a great way to teach, live and share acceptance while adding to a vibrant global village. So these kids are having a good time, while no doubt role playing the roles (albeit as juniors) of their favourite football stars.

Come to think of it, I suppose that when all is said and done, their adult contemporaries are not not having a good time. Ergo, you could argue that forty thousand prostitutes is the antithesis of negativity.

– Muzi Mohale

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