Youth jet off to watch World Cup

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pretoria - Nine South African youngsters have jetted off to Brazil to watch one of the 2014 World Cup matches, thanks to national carrier South African Airways (SAA).

“This initiative is in line with South Africa’s 20 years of democracy and SAA’s 80th anniversary. Before 1994, the youth played a pivotal role in changing the history of South Africa, and today we are part of the global community.

“This trip will give the lucky winners a glimpse of what democracy has heralded: Taking Africa to the world. It is for this reason that they are referred to as Freedom Flyers,” said SAA Tlali Tlali on Friday.

The youth -- who departed from South Africa on Thursday evening -- represent each of the nine provinces and will watch the soccer match between Iran and Nigeria on Monday. The match coincides with South Africa’s Youth Day.

The 2014 World Cup kicked off on Thursday night with a dazzling opening ceremony and Brazil crushing Croatia 3-1 in the first match of the tournament.

The youth are going to Brazil as ambassadors of democracy with the trip believed to contribute towards their dynamism as future leaders who will become the voices of change.

The winners of the trip were selected from a radio competition on Metro FM where they had to leave a creative and interesting message in the format of a pilot’s in-flight welcome announcement, and motivating why they deserve a seat on the Freedom Flyers flight to Brazil.

The lucky winners who are travelling to Brazil are: Winnie Skhosana (Gauteng); Matshediso Mohono (Limpopo); Ayanda Manoka (Mpumalanga); Njabulo Shange (KwaZulu-Natal); Buyelwa Xundu (Western Cape); Zandisile Nimbama (Eastern Cape); Ursula Moalahi (Northern Cape); Phemelo Pooe (North West); and Lebogang Mosime (Free State).

Phemelo Pooe, 18, from the North West said: “I am excited to be part of this trip. It almost seemed impossible that one day I would be boarding an aeroplane to an international destination. I am grateful for this opportunity."

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was among those who were present at a send-off event for the youth.

“It is not a moment of adventure but it is exposure to the world to help these Freedom Flyers have a broader perspective on life.”

The youngsters will return on 18 June. –