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The world’s gaze turned to the African continent on the 11 June 2010 for the opening of the world’s biggest event the FIFA world cup hosted in South Africa. The event being held on African soil for the first time was a reason for doubt and fear for most on-lookers. As a resident in the continent ridden with disease, death and violence many thought that South Africa did not have the capacity and knowledge to host a tournament of this magnitude. Contrary South Africans looked to this event as an opportunity to change the worlds’ perception of South Africa and its people. To make it known that “Ke Nako” – we can.  To show people that despite our economical position in the world, the appallingly high crime rates and AIDS we were still a country alive with possibility.

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Africa has received largely negative publicity in the past decades. Images of the continent have portrayed Africa in two ways: either as the backward continent where elephants and lions roam in our back yards, or as the Dark Continent that is ridden with disease, famine and war. There hasn’t been advancement in the images which reflect Africa.

For the first time in awhile South Africa has been able to produce a positive image of the country and the continent. The opening ceremony was a beautiful moment for all those that were in South Africa. The country came to an absolute standstill as all South Africans stood united dancing and chanting along to the unmelodious tunes of the Vuvuzela and from that moment on the world saw a different side to the country.

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With sixteen years of democracy we had now morphed from victims to victors. The World cup was our opportunity to show the world that we were not the hopeless country that everyone thought we were. We South Africans have the aptitude and capacity to produce a world class event. With infrastructure that is comparable to several first world countries people finally recognise that even in Africa we have entered the twenty first century in all its technological glory. Yet unlike most first world country we are a country not defined by its wealth but rather by its heart. The warmth and positivity of the locals as they welcomed the world to its country brought out the endearing nature of South Africans. Amidst the mountain of problems that the country faces on a daily basis we are still able to sing and dance even when it is raining. 

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Bafana Bafana not being able to enter into the next round put a dent in the spirits of South African but nothing can keeps this country down for long. We now wait on the Black Stars Ghana to represent and make us proud.

The primary aim of this event was to allure more and more people to this beautiful country and change stereotypes but unexpectedly the event has played a far more influential role internally as the this beautiful sport called soccer has united South Africans and been the greatest nation building exercise since the first democratic election in