- Post 12 June 2010
- Last Updated on 12 June 2010
- By Ola Onikoyi, Jr.
Has anyone seen the new Soweto? Its old dirty streets crammed with garbage and slums are now brimmed with modern transportation, tarred roads, coordinated kiosks and licensed traders. Finally, there is orderliness and organisation on these streets once known for its disrepute and impoverished fame. Thanks to the world cup, the present development in Soweto and other South African cities could otherwise not be seen until 10-15 years.
Amidst world cup preparations, South Africa has launched its fastest train while the state of infrastructure has been markedly improved. In addition to its expected FDI of nearly $4 bn. South Africa has raised the spirit of its people. For a nation once divided by apartheid, there’s no doubt that the spirit of all those who struggled for equality such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, and the rest of them would support the tournament which seeks to further heal the wounds of apartheid.
Today South Africa is ready to host the world upon years of preparations and I love this day, not just because it has brought a basket of development to our dear South Africa, but because it for once brings the world’s positive attention to Africa. Coming to Africa, the world will see that we are a people of interesting culture, warmth, hospitality and greatness.
Yes, we have our own socio-political problems and we’re dealing with it, but Africa if given more chance will prove itself beyond reasonable doubt. Why would anybody talk about development in Europe when almost half of European cities have hosted key tournaments like the World cup and the Olympics several times? Why would America shout about growth when it has hosted the world cup and the Olympics a couple of times.
The lesson here is that, each time such a tournament like the world cup is held, development becomes rapid and economic growth follows. If the world is going to be serious about development in Africa, let them give us more chance to host the world on tournaments which brings development. In this case, Africa also wants to host the Olympics; we do not want aids, loans and development assistance. All we want is a better share of Global Cake. We want to host the commonwealth games and hoping to host the world cup anytime soon again.
As it is in sports, so shall it be in politics. We want sits in the UN Security Council and more inclusion in Global decisions. We have had years of political and economic regressions and we are not happy about it. But who says Africans are dumb? No we ain’t, all we need is an unhindered platform to show the world that, yes there may be political uprisings in Nigeria, Angola, Congo and the rest. But yet, we are still a people filled with hope, fulfilment and one to watch out for.
As all the tourists, cameras and lights inundate the streets of Cape Town and Soweto over the world cup season; let’s give a toast to South Africa for its hearty host of the world especially in this period of financial crisis all around the world.
Viva South Africa!