Walking tall, walking wide

A Pinelands mother and her 18-year-old son are embracing the World Cup in their own unique and highly entertaining way.

She is designing what is destined to be the widest, most colourful skirt in all of Cape Town, while he is seeing life from a highly (pardon the pun) unusual vantage point – 4m long stilts, on which he balances with consummate expertise.

Wendy Hayes, 38, and her son, James, are preparing to play their own special part in welcoming thousands of foreign and local fans as they pour into the Cape Town Stadium for the eight World Cup games to be played in the city.

The two will be part of the contingent of entertainers lining the road to the stadium, welcoming fans as they make their way to the venue.

Wendy, a senior shop supervisor, says it all began in 2009, at the switching on ceremony for Cape Town’s Christmas lights.

“We wanted to take part in the festivities, so I made a beautiful black outfit, adorned with an electric fan as a “back piece,” covered in Christmas lights, while James was transformed into a giraffe on stilts. As luck would have it, someone involved with the World Cup saw us and asked if we would like to be part of the entertainment at the Final Draw. The rest is history,” says Wendy.

She wanted to do something even more striking for the Draw, and came up with the idea of an amazing, six metre-wide skirt. Along with Charlize Theron and David Beckham, this vibrant Pinelands mom was one of the star attractions of the evening.

“We were then asked if we would like to take part in entertaining and welcoming fans as they walked to the stadium on match days. It was an opportunity we grabbed with both hands,” says Wendy.

But this time, she vowed to “really blow their socks off”. If you thought a six metre-wide skirt was pushing it, hang in there. This time, the innovative mom is fashioning (if that, indeed, is the word) a skirt so wide, and so striking, it is destined to be the talk of the town.

This highly creative 12 metre-wide work of art will be black, yellow, green and red in colour, and on its massive outline, Wendy is attaching colourful soccer balls and the South African flag, for good measure. She says at the Draw, “for the first time in my life, I was treated like a VIP. People were taking pictures of
me, and it was an incredible experience. I felt so proud. I thought to myself, if this is the attention this outfit receives, wait till they see me at the World Cup!”

For her and James, being part of the pre match entertainment is “a once in a lifetime opportunity”, and her excitement is infectious.

She says she is thrilled at the prospect of meeting so many people from other countries. “I can’t wait. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be part of this amazing event, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, says Wendy and James epitomise local involvement in the event.

“I said recently that the Mother City will soon start dressing up for the occasion. But I didn’t expect this,” she smiles.

You may be wondering, though, what keeps the skirt “afloat”, so to speak. Well, the answer to that is blowing in the wind around Cape Town Stadium. Every girl is entitled to her secrets…

If you would like Wendy to make an unusual costume for you, for the World Cup or otherwise, you can contact her on Cell: 0721333504.


For further information about the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Cape Town or Cape Town Tourism, please contact Cape Town Tourism’s PR and Communication Manager Skye Grove, skye@capetown.travel, +27 (0)21 487 6800.

blog comments powered by Disqus