Now that South Africa has proven that it can present a world class Cup and Closing Ceremony, what will it tackle next? Photo: AFP - Monirul Bhuiyan
The final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was played last night and Spain walked away with the cup. Now that the World Cup has come to an end, newspapers are already starting to ask “What next for South Africa?” How can we harness the positive energy generated during the past month to achieve much needed development objectives for the country?
IOL.co.za reports that “rarely can a global event have generated so much advance pessimism as the World Cup”, but South Africa has silenced all its critics by hosting a successful tournament. The closing ceremony held at Soccer City in Johannesburg last night was especially spectacular and of a world class standard. Images were projected onto the field, Shakira sang Waka Waka and hundreds of dancers demonstrated various South African dances.
Keep on Feeling it
Will the closing ceremony mean the end of the positive vibe in South Africa? Photo: www.shine2010.co.za via Flickr
“Feel it!” was the catch phrase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Ray Hartley writes “We felt ‘it’. Now let’s define and bottle ‘it’” in the Sunday Times. According to him everyone felt a certain emotion when Bafana Bafana sang the national anthem before the kick-off of this cup. And we kept feeling that emotion as South Africa showed that they could host a mega sports event.
Hartley says this “it” can probably be defined as patriotism. “True patriotism is very different to nationalism. It is closer to the notion of civic duty, the desire to do something to make your country a better place and to celebrate others who make the same effort.”
He says we should now find new outlets for this patriotism. “In this scenario, we would treat our major civic challenges – such as the delivery of houses, health, safety and education – in the same way we treated the World Cup.”
But our patriotism should not turn us into a “nation of spin doctors” that do not want to give criticism where it is due. After all, criticism can help you to recognise your weaknesses and improve on them.
Patriotism should also not turn into an ugly nationalism involving xenophobia, David Smith writes in the Mail & Guardian.
Should South Africa bid to host the Olympics? Image: Patrick Hoesley via Flickr
Some have suggested that South Africa bidding to host the Olympic Games next would be a way to keep the “high” produced by the World Cup going. But Danny Jordaan, chief organiser of the Soccer World Cup is quoted in the Mail & Guardian as saying: “There is a sense of pride and achievement. We’ll have to see how we will ensure that pride is not the pride of 90 minutes in a World Cup but a permanent feature. Some people say find it in the hosting of the Olympics, find it another big event. I think we must find it in addressing some of the issues — housing, health, education, economic growth. We have to come together to deal with some of these issues.”
A renewed focus on development issues within the country, with renewed vigour and passion would be wonderful. It is something that Creative Consulting & Development Works, as a research, evaluation and communications consultancy working in the development sector definitely supports.
Also read our previous blog piece on the legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and leave your comment.