Lihle Tshabalala
Lihle Tshabalala

Zakumi and me

One morning, recently, I woke up to realise that this 2010 thing is happening. You know what 2010 thing I am talking about, right? I have not bought into it and I am in the passive revolution against it. Please do not get me wrong, I am usually very optimistic (NOT), but it’s just the thought of all these people cramping our space, eish it’s too much space-sharing pressure.

But seriously though, preparations for the 2010 World Cup have personally consumed my life. I am sure the same can be said for many of you out there, but I feel no remorse, you deserve it because you are actively part of it. I mean I listen to people in taxis daily still talking about the big 2010 dream and the pot of gold we will all gain from it. Heh, I wonder!

The warm fuzzy feeling people get from wearing those football T-shirts on Friday does not move me, ahhh, and do not get me started on that silly soccer dance. This thing must end already seriously.

OK enough complaining from my side. I know a dude who should be complaining more about this whole saga. A character who was just sitting, minding his own business, until someone decided to make him the business.

Poor Zakumi, how I feel for him. On my way back from Durban after the opening of King Shaka International Airport I saw him. Never has a fluffy mascot looked so sad. And I can totally understand his sadness. Forty days before the big gig and brother Z, a teenage cub already flooded with adolescent insecurities, is being neglected.

I mean all stakeholders are getting their fair share of the game. People know where the 2010 hot-spots will be, many homes in Soweto are being renovated in the hope that the tourists might flood into Vilakazi Street and realise that the place is not enough for 600 000 of them and opt for the other parts of Soweto, they do exist you know.

And while everyone gets their piece of the action, what is Zakumi doing? Nothing.

Put aside the fact that the grin on Zakumi makes him look like someone just splashed a bucket of ice-cold water on his face, oh and that the shade of his green hair is different on every other clone I have seen thus far, yeah forget all of that. Zakumi is still the “official” face of the tournament regardless, and he deserves all the shine.

I mean even the SABC, an utter abomination of a broadcasting corporation, is proudly announcing its status of being the official broadcaster. “Feel it, it’s here”, yes that is what they say every second, of every minute, on every single SABC radio station.

I bet you R150, cash (you can use it to buy yourself a ticket for the game) that many of the people who are so utterly engaged in this football frenzy don’t even know who Zakumi is, and if they do, they think he is a lion. Even the “official” Fifa website does not know what to say about him, they said so themselves.

I guess what I want to know from all those who have “officially” fallen for the hype: why is there no sufficient recognition or official praise of Zakumi? I think Zakumi should be celebrated more than Bafana Bafana, I trust that (ugly as he may be) he will not fail us in doing what he is supposed to do, whatever it is that he is “officially” meant to do for the “Official Fifa World Cup 2010”.