Fact file: 44 years ago, the World Cup trophy was stolen from an exhibition in London. It was found a week later by a dog names Pickles, under a bush and wrapped in newspaper.
Good news for today? It’s the weekend! But wait… there’s more. We are not alone in our good-vibe sharing. As we get closer to the big day on 11th June 2010, it seems more and more people are blowing a vuvuzela for what this all means. Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane and MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation, Nelisiwe Moerane, are leading a traveling road show that intends to infuse World Cup spirit into the communities that it visits. Anyone present at these will be able to get involved in ball juggling, the diski dance, face paiting, five-a-side soccer tournaments and legend-lead coaching clinics by Philemon “Chippa” Masinga.
Not to be left out of the traveling fervor is none (or nothing) other than the World Cup trophy itself. Solid gold, coveted – and then some – and making its way around the country, the trophy will finish its 130 000km journey, which spanned 86 countries in over a year, to culminate in Soweto for the opening match between South Africa and Mexico. Residents from the 33 towns across South Africa can take a chance at being in the company of the desirable artifact, but should be well advised that to touch it is asking for too much. Protocol asserts that only heads of state and tournament winners are allowed to actually get that close. And so be it. If there weren’t an elevated sense of allure, this whole epoch would be about a bunch of friendlies between participating nations and would offer no real prestige at all. But it’s not. And this is prestigious. Right here, in our very own playground. The gold trophy has come to the city of gold. Now there’s a reason to be proud!