Football fever hits churches too

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pretoria - One would have been forgiven for thinking that Sunday was the World Cup kick-off as most church goers put on their Bafana Bafana best, blew their vuvuzelas and sang songs that exuded patriotism.

Congregations dedicated the last Sunday before the World Cup to Bafana Bafana and the rest of the participating teams and pledged their support for the country.

From two-year-olds to elders, churches were painted with Bafana Bafana's gold and green t-shirts, South African flags, soccer balls and vuvuzelas.

Pastor Humphrey Netshifhefhe from Agape Christian Worship Centre, who was wearing his Bafana Bafana jersey and jacket proudly, worn with a pair of sneakers and blue jeans led the congregation in singing the national anthem before the church erupted with the sound of vuvuzelas for 15 minutes to wish the team well.

"It doesn't matter where you come from, we welcome you. Its South Africa's first. With the vuvuzelas, there's no way that Bafana Bafana can lose," said an optimistic Netshifhefhe.

Netshifhefhe told BuaNews that the Sunday service was dedicated to the World Cup and the congregation decided to wear their soccer gear to show that they are also feeling the spirit of the tournament.

"We embrace the world cup as children of God and have prayed for peace throughout the tournament and asked God to protect us from any destruction threats," Netshifhefhe said while showing off his soccer skills.

Restaurant owners haven't been left out of the celebrations either. At some, customers are even being allowed to blow their vuvuzelas whilst inside restaurants. Customers at others are joining staff in showing off their diski dance skills and other new world cup moves until the wee hours of the morning.

In ensuring that visitors enjoy their time in the country, supermarket' owners have also stocked up on food from various parts of the world.

Pick n' Pay is one such chain that has joined in the hype showcasing foods from around the world through demonstrations on how to cook them.

The store's events organiser, Alice Kristen, said that Pick n Pay is hosting cooking demonstrations in approximately 143 stores nationwide and each day, a recipe from a different competing country is cooked in store.

To help shoppers cook the new and exciting dishes, Kristen said Pick n' Pay is also stocking a wide range of imported foods from each of the World Cup countries.

She said 34 recipes from the participating countries have been published in the June issue of Fresh Living, which offers all readers a complimentary World Cup supplement called 'Food for the Fans'.

"We are trying to let foreigners know what South Africans eat and for South Africans to know what foreigners eat. For two weeks, there have been a whole range of cuisines on offer - expect Locro Soup from Paraguay, Lamingtons from Australia and Caldillo de Congrio Soup from Chile.

"As soon as the games begin, the recipes will relate to the team competing that day, kick-off day is boerewors rolls with Chakalaka, once the pool games are finished, the demonstrations will relate to countries that have made it through to the next stage."