Pretoria – To mark the first anniversary of the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Jo’burg residents will gather at the Expo Centre in Nasrec on 10 June, where they will get to relive the magic.
“A year ago, amidst the blast of tens of thousands of vuvuzelas and cheering fans, Joburg took centre stage – exactly where we should be – as the country’s premier host of the lion’s share of the 2010 World Cup,” says the chief executive officer of the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC), Lindiwe Kwele.
Joburg hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as 15 of the tournament’s matches, including the first and final games, reports Joburg.org.
“Today we’re still enjoying the benefits of increased international interest, exposure and numerous legacy projects which have brought welcome injections into everything from our infrastructure to our civic pride and confidence,” Kwele points out.
In line with this, there will be events to celebrate the occasion all week long. Anant Singh’s 2010 – Once in a Lifetime: The Movie makes its world debut on 8 June, while on Friday, City officials and residents will gather to fly the flag in tribute to the city’s achievements.
It will signal a year since the Expo Centre burst at the seams with international press using it as their International Broadcast Centre (IBC) base.
Entertainment will be provided by local bands and deejays, and spot-prize giveaways will spice up the festivities.
Friday’s ceremony will not be all vuvuzela-blowing and diski-dancing. Executive Mayor Parks Tau will address guests, and all those attending are requested to take a blanket that will be handed over to the children of Inkwenkwezi Primary School.
As part of these legacy celebrations, the JTC is also inviting proud sports supporters to get back into the spirit of Football Fridays by submitting their most cherished memories of last year’s extravaganza to the Facebook fan page on their website.
“One of the World Cup’s most precious legacies, which we need to keep in mind and draw from, is the positive unifying effect this event had on our city and our country. We showed the world our mettle, and what can be achieved in a spirit of co-operation and goodwill.
“We need to remind ourselves – and the world out there – that Joburg is a year-round, lifestyle destination with global credentials and African soul, always sizzling with energy and opportunity,” Kwele said.- BuaNews