On the 13th of June 2010 myself and three friends set out on a 14hrs roadtrip to Bloemfontein from Cape Town for the Cameroon-Japan game.
Stopped over in Beaufort West and a few other small towns along the road. Our interactions with the locals was massive. The spirit of the World Cup, first ever on the continent was evident everywhere.
Arrived Bloem late night and spent the night at a B&B, very welcoming host. Next morning we went out to familiarise ourselves with the city and meet other Cameroonian fans. Amazing to see the amount of local support for the African teams. Had breakfast and lunch at a local restaurant, the food was just exquisite. Then arrived the stadium and met up with other fans both from Cameroon and Japan. It was just wow. Got painted with Cameroon flag.
The fun, the fanfare, photographs — never before had i experienced such goose bumps — and the vuvuzelas.
Then it was match time. The stadium though one of the smallest of the tournament was just as exciting. I personally termed it “THE AFRICAN WAVE”, (Waving of the vuvu’s). I carried my theory of the African Wave throughout the tournament and everywhere I went I made sure to transform the area into an African Wave.
The highlight of this was clearly visible at the Cape Town Stadium on the evening of the game between Cameroon and Holland. On this day both Cameroonian and Dutch fans turned the precinct into a sea of Green and Orange. After the game, despite our African team losing, the celebrations were “wild” just the way we made the “Dutch Train” feel at home.
The unifying effects were so real and palatable that we were continouos forced to reecho the words like “Ayoba”, “Once in a Lifetime” “Kenako” and many other slogans related to the African World Cup.
My experiences as a spectator, a volunteer, a researcher during the event, and just an ordinary observer made me grasp the fullness and wholeness of the event from all these different perspectives, but more importantly, it made me view Africa and especially South Africa (Cape Town especially) as a Country with such extraordinary people and potential.