The 2010 World Cup has been a memorable and momentous occasion not only for me, but for South Africa, the African continent and the rest of the world.
It has indeed been incredible. It has been a unifying factor, with people beginning to appreciate the importance of their national symbols such as flags.
As a photographer for an institution such as Reuters, one can say that I have been privileged to be a part of this historic occasion. It was indeed a privilege to be among hordes of international media covering the event. I was here during the Confederations Cup, but the feeling of covering the World Cup is enormous – it is part of history.
This has changed the perception of those who doubted that South Africa, or Africa as a whole, could stage such a magnificent tournament. Everywhere, people have been consumed by the World Cup. Cars have been decorated with flags, houses and shops – many with the South African flag.
For me, the opening ceremony will forever be etched in my mind and engraved in my heart. The feeling inside the full-packed Soccer City Stadium was awesome. It was incredible seeing people shedding a tear during the national anthem. They were moved and all I could think of was the sacrifices made by the Class of ’76, those who sacrificed their lives so that we have a united, non-racial, non-sexist South Africa. As the ceremony unfolded, I said to myself: “We are reaping the fruits of June 16, 1976.”