Mandela seals successful World Cup
AS if to seal the massively successful first World Cup Finals to be held on the African Continent, Africa’s biggest statesman, the Madiba himself, 91 year-old Nelson Mandela (who will be 92 next week), in company of his wife, Graca Machel, rode on the very turf where the brand new champions of the world were crowned yesterday to mar the climax of the impressive closing ceremony before the World Cup final between Holland and Spain got underway.
The 95,000 capacity Soccer City Stadium at Johannesburg rose and waved in salute and emotional response to the Madiba’s broad smiles and greeting with both arms raised. Men, women, and even young ones shed tears of joy in appreciation of an uncommon opportunity to see the father of their nation in such good spirits.
Even Nigeria’s former international-turned television commentator, Daniel Amokachie, tried vainly to hold back tears dropping from his eyes, as he told a world-wide audience: “This is my way of appreciating the living legend and father of our dear continent, who sacrificed so much of his life to get Africa to where it is today… South Africans, indeed all Africans, should see Mandela’s presence at the final as an icing on the cake on a hugely successful Mundial.”
Riding on a motorised golf buggy, Mandela and wife rode around the stadium, waving heartily to all sides of the packed stadium.