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June 11, 2009

One year to kick-off!

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A Capetonian proudly blows a vuvuzela in celebration of 365 days to kick-off today

Here’s the thing. If you want to be a real soccer supporter in this country, you have to get your lips around a vuvuzela. Today, I survived vuvuzela initiation; I have the numb lips and deaf left ear to prove it. As part of the Cape Town 2010 FIFA World Cup One Year To Kick-Off campaign launch today, I was on Cape Town Tourism’s LOUD bus.

“Live It! Love It! Louder!” is Cape Town Tourism’s campaign to get Capetonians excited and involved (and not grumpy that the World Cup will merely mean worse traffic jams). The campaign launched this morning with a ride through the city on an open-top double-decker bus (my one good ear is still ringing as I write this) and the enthusiastic support from the people on the street was both humbling and energising. For the first time you can feel the excitement as we draw closer to kick-off.

A truly beautiful blue-sky day in Cape Town (it’s hard to tell today what all those mumblings about rainy, cold Cape winters are about) made our trip up to the cable car station breathtaking. (Only the hikers we passed on the way up could have been more breathless.) The media were having a field day with the public’s response, which couldn’t have been staged better – vuvuzelas going, dancing, drums, whistles, Cape Town Tourism’s bright branding and general loudness.

Sergio Dos Santos (a 2010 ambassador and football coach) officially marked the beginning of the campaign with a kick-off from the top of the cable car station.

Cape Town Tourism has spent R1.1-million on outdoor billboard advertising and launching its new 2010 site (you’re on it now!) to get Capetonians supporting the World Cup and visitors championing the city.

A truly inspiring day – numb lips, ringing ears and all. I’m off to practise my new-found musical talent. Who knows, I might be in the vuvuzela orchestra in 365 days (yes, there really is such a thing!).

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