In Garangkuwa, Peter Malherbe has spent thousands of hours building model 2010 stadiums out of – wait for it – matches. In Cape Town, Michael Souter heads a team of workers from an informal settlement who make 2010-themed Makarabas out of plastic mining hats. And Katlehong resident Doris Shikwambane is already stockpiling hand-made World Cup bead bracelets and necklaces.
These are just a few of the thousands of African artists who are drawing inspiration from the 2010 World Cup. With the unofficial unemployment rate hovering at around 30%, millions of people have turned to the informal sector to put feed themselves and their families. Global Brands, the master licensee for Fifa merchandise, is now working on a deal that could help local street traders cash in on the World Cup.
The company says the plan would enable the informal sector to retail exclusive World Cup goods in the build-up to 2010. It is reportedly developing a programme where hawkers could buy the licensed products and sell them around the country. Clothing represents the biggest percentage of the licensed merchandise, while soccer balls, toys, publishing and headgear make up the balance.
Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan has long supported a World Cup tournament that aids the economically disadvantaged in South Africa and other countries around the continent. Jordaan says that 2010 organisers are operating with a World Cup budget of R3.2bn and the intention is to create jobs and encourage the formation of more small, medium and micro enterprises.
After all, the 2010 World Cup must showcase African flair – both on and off the field.
By Craig Urquhart