The following report was sent in by Swarthmore College’s Micah Rose who, as we explained earlier, is hanging out in the Eastern Cape, holding soccer clinics and watching the World Cup in a rural Xhosa community. The solar powered TV is made possible by SolarWorld.
Hello from South Africa’s Wild Coast!
For the past few days, I’ve been living in a traditional round hut with no running water or electricity. The Xhosa community here has graciously taken me in. They came together Friday at the church building directly across from the Zwelenqaba School to watch their Bafana Bafana take on Mexico.
More than 100 people crowded into the building to watch the opening match on a solar-powered television set donated to the community by SolarWorld. By the time I arrived a few minutes before match time, the chairs that had been arranged for viewing were all occupied and the crowd was buzzing with excitement. You really could “feel it.” The South African World Cup’s motto was never more appropriate than when Tshabalala galloped onto a through ball and seized the occasion to arrow the hosts into the lead. The room erupted into pandemonium.
So what if Mexico came back to equalize on a positioning error by the otherwise exemplary South African captain Mokoena? Bafana Bafana scored the first goal of Africa’s first World Cup. And here, across the muddy road from the Zwelenqaba School, the power of the sun allowed dozens of South Africans to share in their country’s triumph. Together, soccer and sun have brought joy to this region.