The long awaited Fifa World Cup is finally here, on African soil.
I am not a soccer fan – but I am a South Africa fan, and so, along with 86 000 others, was fortunate enough to attend the opening match of the cup.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know very well that capitalistic, consumerist and exploitative principles guide these kind of events, I also know that hedonism, intoxication and prostitution thrive during this time, and that the average man on the street does not really benefit from the proceedings. I know all these things, yet there is still something alluring about this time – I think it is the country spirit, with practically all South Africans coming together to support their team and country (and yes, I know nationalism carries within it a mechanism for its own self-destruction), I guess its just the “togetherness”, which has been acutely missing in our success story against apartheid.
I am, as this blog suggest, a “proudly South African Muslimah”, not because I am bounded by the borders of my country, not because of my race, religion or language, of which neither are indigenous to South Africa, but because I share joy in our triumph against injustice, because I hate racism, because I love Africa.
It was an electrifying feeling – being inside the stadium – yet I know how transitionary is was, and knew how quickly the euphoria would end – man made as it was. I wish South Africa all the best in this tournament, and I applaud our country for pulling off what the rest of the world thought Africa was not capable of – but I also hope that we all remember that this will come to an end, but our social problems will remain.