Excitement grips flag bearers ahead of Bafana match

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pretoria- Nervousness and excitement was the order of the day for the flag bearers and ball crew who will make their mark ahead of Bafana Bafana's clash with Uruguay this evening.

"I'm nervous, happy and excited at the same time. I'm going to be out there and I might trip and fall," 16-year old Benite Tshiluma told BuaNews on Wednesday.

Tshiluma is one of the 24 children picked by Coca Cola South Africa to walk onto the Loftus Versveld stadium's pitch this evening as a flag bearer.

"I am going to be part of South Africa's story, part of the World Cup," said the girl who hails from USindiso ministries, a Christian shelter for abused and homeless women and children in Johannesburg.

Seventeen-year-old Sifiso "Cool" Sithole from Mamelodi who is in matric this year said he was a little nervous but also looking forward to the match.

"I want to see my role model [goal keeper] Itumeleng Khune," said Sithole who is also goal keeper at his school J Kekana high school.

Bafana Bafana's second match of the World Cup kicks-off at 20h30 this evening in the capital city.
Sithole is part of the 14 boys who will walk out into the pitch this evening.

The ball crew had their initial practice session earlier this month and the entire group comprising of the ball crew as well as flag bearers will have a final practice session this afternoon.

Sithole's friend Sam Matola said: "I feel special, not everyone gets such an opportunity. It is a story that I can tell my grandkids one day."

The friends added that they were immensely proud of the national team adding that the influx of people who have arrived in the country for the duration of the World Cup will boost the country's economy.

One of the girls Nandi Basson, 12, said she could hardly sleep in anticipation of this day.
"I only slept around 2am this morning," she said.

Coca Cola public affairs manager Sthombe Mere said some of the children were chosen via a recycling competition while others were chosen through the company's partnership with Powerade. "It is a brilliant opportunity for the youth," she said.