Growing up with a love for the sport of soccer and spending my early childhood years in South Africa, World Cup 2010 is of great fascination to me as it is to billions of people around the world.
South Africa, the Rainbow Nation, the Hope of Africa, has had it's share of challenges and in numerous ways has not lived up to the expectations and hopes of many who saw the mantle of freedom sweeping across a magically, beautiful part of our world.
Despite horrid violence, poverty, an educational system that has yet to improve, and a country that has only recently recognized AIDS as something "real" to be dealt with, the World Cup may be the flame that reignites the hope that this country has.
Sports has a way of uniting people in spirit for a better future, one where countries and peoples see that we are more similar than different, that we are all of this earth, one people, woven into a magnificent tapestry of life.
However, the question still remains whether South Africa will be ready during the summer of 2010, to play host to this momentous world event? A few weeks ago, my advice based on speaking to friends and family who live there was, "wait until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil before you make such a journey, to experience a once in a life-time type event." However, a kindle of hope has remained, perhaps even a knowingness that the people of South Africa, their beauty, their passion, their resilience and their spirit, whose root seems to spring from the majesty of the land, can never easily be dismissed for accomplishing things that many would say are impossible or highly unlikely.
As the world knows, South Africa is a land of possibility and not a nation to be tossed aside simply because the odds of pulling off an event appear stacked against them. Nelson Mandela is a man who most people wrote off, yet he stands for the hope of change and possibility on this earth and among people, especially the people of Africa. The World Cup in many respects stands for the same thing. It's a coming together of the best of human-kind. Where we agree to let grievances go and watch nations compete in an environment of peace. It's a reconciliation.
Despite our best of hopes and dreams, somethings never come true, either because of a lack of resources or the ability to be resourceful. Fortunately South Africa as a nation has the resources. Whether they have the resourcefulness to pull this event off is a different question. If photos in this article, taken at the opening of the new Cape Town Stadium are any indication of possibility, the Rainbow Nation will be proud, ready and more than able to host a magnificent World Cup in the summer of 2010.