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July 11, 2010

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The Final

By Cynara Vetch

For the last game we projected the match wide and high across the wall of a town hall of Ward 13 in Jozini town, Kwa Zulu Natal.

Phineas Mpanza, the councillor of Ward 13  spoke to the crowd. “Feel it!” he cried, “It is here!” shouted back the crowd. Sthandwa Mnqayi, a Research Manger from AMREF who we were partnering with, explained “That ‘s one of the slogans for the World Cup and for the first time tonight it really is here for them.”

Phineas was also in a celebratory mood “I feel good…that in my lifetime the World Cup is coming here. I was thinking can we do this? We are a small country  but as it continued and continued we saw that we are coming to a global world in South Africa and many people around here are very, very happy.”

We handed out HIV information packages in football bags and soon everyone was clutching one flicking through their booklets and examining their posters. Then we sat down for a One Love video about a couple who are both having extramarital affairs and how one HIV positive individual puts them all at risk.

As we projected the closing ceremony before the game, the crowd built up and filled the space. Shakira did her thing and the vuvuzelas blared out, the sound bouncing against the concrete walls and echoing around the room. Finally it was time for the match, the noise swelled and then died out as the players ran onto the pitch.

Spain seemed in control for much of the game with the Dutch looking nervous at the opening of the match. The audience was evenly split between Dutch and Spanish supporters and both sides were frustrated about the lack of goals. After going into extra time it looked like we had to get ready for a penalty shoot out but after a tense 28th minute Spain managed to score a goal and we had a victor.

Now it’s all over and we’re driving to Johannesburg trying grasp the fact that the journey’s finished, mission accomplished. We’ve had the most incredible month. There has been malaria, countless car issues, some pretty sub standard food and sleep deprivation but there’s been so much more to outweigh that.

It has been 30 days of beautiful landscapes, unexpected moments and inspirational people. We’ve shared the love of football and pride in the African continent that won the right to host such a prestigious tournament. We’ve also worked with health workers and HIV activists in their drive to tackle the spread of the virus. So much work is being done, so much energy and inspiration is being directed towards this issue and we are proud to have supported some of the groups across Eastern and Southern Africa who hope to make Africa free from HIV.

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Beatriz Fernandez
    Jul 14 2010

    You’ve done good. You have done very good! and you will remember this for the rests of your life! and whom every you are that writes the up dates….. (on top of everything else that you might be doing to make this childrens dream a reality) Thank you! I have appreciated them

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