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World Cup 2010: Flying the flag in Soweto, SA 0

A street in Soweto has taken heed of the call to support the 2010 World Cup, and is proudly flying the participating countries’ flags. Joburgers have been hit by the World Cup buzz and they are flying their flags to show their delight at South Africa hosting the greatest soccer show in the world.
Flags have been hoisted at office parks, shops and flats, and on cars; Soweto has been transformed by a magnificent display of flags lining the streets. Fly the Flag for Football, a national campaign to build public support and excitement leading up to the World Cup, seems to be working.

Nowhere more so than among the residents of Mojalefa Street, in Naledi, in Soweto. They have come together to transform their road into a colourful spectacle by displaying the flags of countries taking part in the World Cup. “Every house contributed R44 to buy two flags, as the flags cost R22 each,” said resident Takalani Mukwevho. “We are deciding to contribute another R22, so we can buy some of the flags that are missing.”

The street still needs flags for Ivory Coast, North Korea, South Korea, Greece, Serbia, Holland and Switzerland.

Ntombi Moloi, another resident, said: “We decided to do this because it’s the first time the World Cup is in the country and we as the people of Mojalefa Street are united in the spirit of the World Cup … Even when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, we decorated the neighbourhood but using ANC colours.”

Mukwevho added: “We are also planning to do a braai on 12 June to celebrate the World Cup. The mothers and grannies will be playing soccer, while the children will entertain with the Diski Dance while we braai.”

Despite the huge show of support on the street, the residents pointed out that there were no facilities nearby to watch the games as a community. “We need a park like Mofolo Park where we can come together as a community to view the games,” said Mukwevho.

It was a united community that always helped each other during good and bad times. “The people of Mojalefa Street are a united community and the spirit of the World Cup just reiterated the notion of coming together as a community.”

And they do not want to stop at flying flags. Moloi pointed out: “We are in desperate need of paint, to paint the flag colours on the pavement and to write the national anthem on the church wall so we can leave a legacy and everyone who passes will be able to learn the anthem, especially the Afrikaans part.”

Mukwevho and Moloi are part of a group of residents – mostly women – who decided to decorate and clean their street. Tisetso Phatela,, a budding coach, said: “I coach youngsters from here after school and would like anyone who can, to help with soccer balls and kits.”

Mukwevho also called for more local journalists to come “to see how beautiful we’ve made [the street] because journalists from abroad are always here”.

By South Africa Good News

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Direttore Responsabile Giuseppe Frangi