If you were at the Tri Nations game last week Saturday you probably flew a flag. If you did fly a flag you were part of a successful world record attempt.
South Africans smashed the previous record of flags flown at one time which stood at 6 600. The auditors are apparently still working like crazy to get the final numbers in but they are projecting close to 90 000 flags were flown at the South Africa vs New Zealand game at the FNB Stadium.
Free flags were handed out at the FNB Stadium and auditors believe the final number was in the region of 90,000. The previous record was 6,600.
Deputy MD of Draft FCB, Heidi Nelson, said they were just waiting for the final official confirmation.
“We just need the auditing process to happen with Guinness and for them to actually issue out with the certificate that says we have claimed the record but for all intents and purposes, South Africans did us proud on Saturday and we have broken the record,” she said.
*UPDATE: Tinus chimed in and kindly sent through the official image being used to verify the record. Here’s a snippet:
Last night was the first time I’ve been inside Soccer City. It was my first time driving in a crowd of 75000 people to a stadium to watch 11 men kick a ball around on a grass pitch. I can’t express sufficiently how unbelievably ecstatic I am that I forced myself to mission through the nearly 2 hours of traffic to get there. Johannesburg is ready for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, South Africans are ready and let me tell you so is Soccer City.
The drive to Soccer City in Soweto may have been epic in proportion but there was not a single minute that I didn’t have a smile on my face. People all around me where hooting in beat with other cars, blowing vuvuzelas, whistles and singing. This is in the street, on the highway, I’m not in the stadium yet.
I’m going to try and be as frank as I can about my experiences and preconceived perceptions going in to the game. I was incredibly nervous going in to the experience that I was over-hyping everything. That I would be looked at funny and frowned upon because I didn’t know enough about the team and players, because I was wearing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing or because I was white. I was wrong, on all accounts.
We parked (that’s an entirely different story that includes my car being parked in by over 20 other cars!) and walked from the Nasrec Expo Center. We then joined masses of people in the walk down Nasrec Road. We were in the middle of the Shosholoza crew it seemed. They sang and sang and sang until we arrived at the stadium itself.
The Vuvuzelas are epic, unrelenting and extreme energy creators. The crowd too was relentless and exuberant. The didn’t stop for a single second, whether we were down, up or on a par with Columbia there was a song going, a Mexican wave flowing or tune blowing from a Vuvuzela.
With that said though, I must admit that I found the crowd to be extremely disinterested in the actual game being played. They watched and waited for the big moments, the free-kicks, the goals and penalties but not for the moments of flair and brilliance that one needs to pay attention to notice. There weren’t many occasions when good play was applauded, with thanks to the Vuvuzelas whether their were applause or not, you wouldn’t have heard them. So that’s my only criticism I think; I wish the crowd would have paid more attention to the game.
But all in all I was incredibly proud to be a part of that crowd, to be a part of this nation and to call myself South African. If ever there was doubt about whether we were ready for the World Cup, let me put many concerns to bed. After what I saw last night, we are ready and waiting. Bring it on and welcome to Africa.
Oh – yes, Bafana Bafana won in a relatively controversial game of 3 penalties (4 if you include the first one being taken twice). What a great way to open Soccer City to international Football, a victory much needed!
Here are the prices from the website: Entry fee R10, Power Swing R350, Viewing Platform R50, Tandem Swing R500. A power swing for R350! I think that’s a pretty reasonable price and the view is phenomenal!
Over the past ten days I cannot express to you effectively the magnitude of incredible things that I have done. But the trend that I seem to have been following on my excursions is to be dumbstruck and in awe of the smaller things, the details that make me African and not the grand gestures and excursions.
One such moving and riveting experience was a trip to Soweto.
The first thing that really struck me is how embarrassed I am that I have not spent more time in Soweto just going around the places that defined the uprising and struggle through apartheid. I literally felt embarrassed.
Then there was something that really bugged me. Most of the trip I have enjoyed travelling the country as a tourist, not a local, but this part of the trip I actually felt ashamed that I was sitting in a bus filled with [relatively] wealthy American tourists looking out of a window in to the lives, the real lives, of so many people just going about their days in Soweto. I didn’t enjoy that at all and have a disdain for these “white bus trips” through Soweto. But moving on.
We got to see the only street in the world where two Nobel prize winners have lived, Vilakazi street. We saw the spot where the ’76 Soweto uprising began and the memorial built in honour of Hector Pieterson. This is the part where I began to feel affected.
During my three year journalism and politics degree i studied in great detail the Soweto uprising, I have met with journalists who were there, I have met with photographers who took the photos that we reviere today and I have debated the ins and outs of the happenings of that period at length. But I had never been there, seen it, done it, felt it, watched the people who survived it. I had just never done it. And I was shocked at myself for never having done it, I think that was half of the feeling.
Hector Pieterson Museum
The other half was self-depricating white hate. I am not really classified as a white male if you were to look at me, I am more coloured than anything else! But I truly felt shocked to my core and riveted by the images that I was seeing at the Hector Pieterson museum. They are printed out on a massive scale, they follow you, they haunt you and taunt you. But the most surprising thing for me was how many of the photographs featured smiling, happy and peaceful looking youths.
If you step outside at the museum there is a demarkated area for those who died in the uprising, mini tombstones if you will. They area is eery and has a sense of sad upliftment about it. I read each and every name on the ground, many of which were simply marked “unkown”. We have come a long way.
Soweto Holiday Inn
We then headed to our hotel for the evening; the newly opened Holiday Inn in Kliptown.
It is a uniquely South African Holiday Inn that I can promise you is not replicated anywhere else in the world. This makes it a wonder to behold. It is decorated as one would imagine a Sowetan Hotel should be, with images of the struggle heroes plastered in every possible corner, African jazz whistling in the background and a sense of accomplishment evident in every staff member. A phenomenal experience if you have the time and money to venture in to the soul of the city.
That evening we headed to Namisa’s for dinner and a bit of a party. The food is exquisite and once again uniquely South African. Pap, Samp and dumplings featured and I was grateful that the US Bloggers on the trip got to experience a truely local meal and not one prepared at some five star hotel.
The funniest experience at dinner was seeing a table of Soweto locals laughing at all the white American tourists sitting at the table across from them and taking photos of our group. I can only imagine the stories being told the next morning while looking at those photographs!
We then moved next door the more happening part of Nambisa’s. Unfortunately the masses seemed to have found a hotter spot for a Friday night jam so the place wasn’t as full as one might’ve hoped but nevertheless we got to dancing. Hilarious to see rigid white folk jamming it up with the sultry, grooved out locals.
The next morning, hangover and all, we took the streets of Kliptown with Bolo, our tourguide for the walk. Bolo is a Kliptown local who insists that if you cannot speak at least 5 African languages in Kliptown you are in trouble. We saw the living monuments erected in remembrance of the struggle, the uprising and those who died fighting for our freedom. We went through the monument erected in honour of our constitution and the massive X’s laid in brick to honour the “X” vote of democracy which is laid out throughout Kliptown square.
The markets in Kliptown are thriving although Bolo told us that majority of the market stalls are run by foreigner Africans because locals in Kliptown are too lazy to start their own businesses on the streets. Nonetheless the place buzzes and exudes potential.
The Soweto Gospel Choir have won the Grammy for Traditional World Music Album: “African Spirit.” What an incredible acheivement for everyone involved. Two in a row. I feel as if the floodgates for SA talent are about to open. Now lets get ourselves a best R&B or Rock album next year!
I am always reluctant to blog about Nelson Mandela in spite of the undoubted affect he has had not only on SA but on the world. I am reluctant because I personally feel that the exposure he constantly receives has desensitised South Africans to his incredible achievements.
It is always refreshing to see where our leaders, icons and heroes have come from. This is where Mandela started:
Madiba’s first home was a tiny ‘matchbox’ house in the older area of Soweto called Orlando West.
His first son was born in this house. I am sure that this makes the home even more special and holds fond memories for Mandela.
Heritage is what we make of it and the future is what we learn from our past and subsequently alter. Much has been learned from a man like Nelson Mandela and I am sure he is not done imparting knowledge on the world.
I am very interested to find out if South Africans have had their fill of the man? Not taking anything away from his astounding past and incredible presence, but do people rather want to learn things like this about the man or rehash the knowledge? I personally am more interested in the random facts and interesting historical tidbits regarding his past and his heritage. I have studied the struggles that he overcame and the history that he made, I want to know about the man, not the achievements.
What would you ask Mandela if you met him? Have you met him?
I have on a few occasions and I must say that his presence is quite overwhelming. His humble nature is grounding and his humour is extremely surprising!
This is amazing news and great for the SA music scene. It might not be mainstream but the Soweto Gospel Choir won the Grammy Award in the “Best Traditional World Music Album (Vocal or Instrumental.)” category.
South Africa can now add Grammy to the awards cabinet along side Oscar. Brilliant.