I am feeling very emotional today. When I first came to South Africa in 1986, it was the world’s pariah. Today we welcome the world.
South Africa was part of a three-month journey on my own that took me across east and southern Africa. I fell in love with Africa – especially South Africa. Two years later I emigrated from California. I’ve been here ever since sitting in a ringside seat to history.
South Africa was an entirely different country then. The apartheid government ruled with an iron fist, thousands of political prisoners were jailed, international companies were divesting, sanctions were growing tighter and it was the height of the state of emergency.
Now, I’m having a hard time coming up with the words to describe the feelings of being a part of this nation.
To be attending the World Cup in Soccer City, Soweto, is a thrill, an honour for me, second only to being there the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 and voting in the 1994 election.
Soccer fever is now gripping our rainbow nation.
Go Bafana go!
by Kristine Pearson.