Hugh Masekela has been sounding off again. He's currently in New York reviewing footage for Umlando, an ESPN documentary about his life which will air during the World Cup.
Hugh was interviewed by the New York Times today, “I don’t look at it as a miracle. All these things revolve around people who can afford to go to the World Cup. There are 47 million people in South Africa, maybe 20 million of them are dirt poor; I don’t think the World Cup is even going to touch them. The realities of South African remain, regardless of big events...Nothing can come to a place that has been beaten up for three, four centuries, come for a month and fix it,” he said. “It would be nice if the World Cup stayed in South Africa for 20 years.”
Hugh is right about the World Cup. It is not a miracle. It is expensive. It is outrageous that millions of South Africans exist in dire poverty. The tournament will not effect tangible change to most people's lives in South Africa. And it will soon be gone.
But it is for the intangibles and the impossible that the World Cup has gained its reputation. Many more millions all the over the world will have their lives influenced in some significant way by the passes and moves, the tackles and kicks, and the shots and saves that will be beamed from South Africa during the World Cup. I believe most South Africans and their brothers and sisters across Southern Africa will be touched too. On this, I disagree with Hugh... Iball yam ihahlekile!
I would also like to see like the World Cup stay in South Africa for 20 years, but I would have liked to have seen Brenda Fassie hang around and sing for another 20 years also.