Soccer World Cup – more than just a game (letter to muriel)

I haven’t stopped crying muriel

Tears of pride, of joy, of utter love for my country South Africa and the hugely diverse people who live in it to make it what it is

I cried when bafana bafana scored its goals against france (we won 2-1). I mean who cries in a soccer match.

but this…it was more than just a game.

when the car guard next to me, swung me around when siphiwe tshabalala scored, I cried.

it was clear – this was more than just a game

when I saw a young son, holding onto the hand of his mama, a domestic worker, and blowing his small little vuvuzela, I cried

when staunch afrikaner rugby supporters, who months before had warned me about catching the trains, hopped on a train to newlands, and raved about how cheap it was, I cried

when an old man dropped on his back and did ululations while kicking his legs when bafana bafana scored, I laughed and cried

it was very clear to me, that this was more than just a game

when people in south africa who would never have met, sat side-by-side shouting for the same team, I cried

when a top dj who has played all over the world said the best gig he had ever played in his life was in mzoli’s in gugulethu township, I cried

i was convinced – this was  more than just a game

when I watched a young street kid proudly give directions to a lost german couple, I cried

it is more than a game

when I walked the streets and they were paved with people in yellow and our country flag ran high, I cried

when the poor and the homeless threw their own world cup, and kicked that ball so far, I cried

it is more than a game

when the cape minstrels paraded down somerset road, with their glitter faces and wide smiles, and entertainers walked on stilts, and people I’d never spoken to greeted me, I cried

For a moment in time, muriel,

we’ve stood united

we’ve been stretched

we south africans could see something so beautiful, so divine

– the possibility had become the reality

and it, my friend, is heaven

wish you were here xx

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7 responses to “Soccer World Cup – more than just a game (letter to muriel)

  1. Scattered Rayn

    Congrats on the win!!

    I think you just said it all. I could add my own story from when Denmark won the European Cup in ’92. Or the story of the day that a trip to the gym turned into an olympic celebration of London winning the bid for the Games of 2012.

    But what you said here says it all. It tells the story of why sports are so much more than “just a game”.

    I loved reading your story, and getting a feel for what it is like all the way down there… on the other side of the planet. And even though South Africa did not going through to the next round, I have no doubt that there is still loads of celebration left to share…

    Thank you all for being part of making this such a great World Cup event!

    • aaah Rayn, thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your lovely comments. And especially thanks for rooting for our team yesterday – we all know our boys played with all their hearts and we’re so proud of them even if we don’t go through to the next round.
      It really has been South Africa’s pleasure to host this World Cup – definitely more than just a game for sure 🙂
      lots of love from down south to you x

  2. and now i’m crying again….

    so blessed to be here, sharing this amazing, transformative energy with South Africans…Mandela knew what he waqs doing when he worked so hard for this. People overseas sit in their armchairs, criticising that money was spent on frivolous things instead of on direct funding to the poor and disadvantaged. what they don’t see is the value of spending on ENERGY, of positive vibrations….this momentum will carry everyone into a new level of consciousness – and really, it already has.

  3. i’m going to put a link to this post into my next one…hope you don’t mind, but people overseas really need to read this!

    • thanks so much di, and thank you for loving south africa so much. i’d be honoured to have this page linked in your next blog. i dont know much about all the facts and figures of the world cup but i do know the love and opening of hearts and just the stretching and breaking down of internal barriers, well you just cant buy that now can you 🙂 xxxxxxx

  4. My friend the writer.
    Simply love your writing, wish i had the talent.
    Soccer joy all around!
    xxx

  5. haz, angel, thank you so much for coming to visit me and for such a generous comment, – you are so full of talent, anyone who can take pix AND do the robben island swim has my awe, completely!:) xxx

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