Pretoria proudly Bafana Bafana

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pretoria - Pretoria streets were a sea of yellow and green on Tuesday as South Africans wearing their Bafana Bafana jerseys geared up to celebrate the 100 days countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Speaking to BuaNews, with vuvuzelas in hand, the proud supporters said they wanted to be part of the celebrations and assured the national team that they were behind them.

A second-year student from the University of Pretoria, Samantha Naidoo, 21, said she couldn't miss the "once-in-a-lifetime" event.

Wearing her yellow jersey, Naidoo said she had already bought tickets for four matches, including the one for the opening game.

"It [tournament] is history in the making, which may never come back in our lifetime and I want the whole world to see how proud we are of our country," she said.

Nokwanda Makaula, 34, from the Eastern Cape said the tourney would put Africa, especially South Africa on the map.

"Generations to come will know that the first world cup in Africa was held here," she said, adding that she would be watching all the matches at the fan parks.

"I would have loved to go to the stadiums but I don't have the money, but I'll watch the games at the fan parks and big screens organised by the municipalities," Makaula told BuaNews.

For 40-year-old Bheki Mkhize from Sunnyside, the world cup will boost the country's economy.

"Everyone is looking forward to come to the country and that means more money for us.

"After today's celebrations, no one will ever doubt that the tournament is really coming here and we are ready," Mkhize said.

With the little income she gets from selling fruits in central Pretoria, Lynette Tau, 38, said she managed to buy the national team's soccer jersey.

"I was so excited and saved my money so that I can have enough to buy the jersey, and I did.

"I'm a proud South African and hopefully I will live longer to tell my grandchildren about it," Tau said.

She said it's more than winning the cup, but about proving to the world that the country is capable of hosting big events just like any developed countries.

The day has been earmarked as a day in which South Africans, locally and abroad, are called on to demonstrate their support, enthusiasm and passion for the tournament and the country.

The next 100 days will be a celebration of what the country has already achieved in preparing for the tournament, and a chance to get South Africans into the spirit of the world cup.

Durban is hosting the official launch of the 100 days countdown celebration. On Wednesday night, Bafana Bafana will play a friendly international match with Namibia.