ONE radio presenter remarked that Carol Manana carried South Africa's name on her shoulders at the Fifa World Cup draw in Cape Town.
Only, he failed to mention that she did so with excellence and did the whole nation proud. She was simply amazing.
What is worrying, though, is how the local media overlooked this young woman's amazing performance. I have followed media reports and, sadly, appreciation for her stunning world-class work is largely absent.
The attention she received only extended to interviews on how she felt and so on.
We need to state clearly that she did exceptionally well. Especially since it is not every day that an individual sells our country to a world audience. Her performance also served to reiterate that, given a chance, Africans are able to hold their own and shine like anybody else.
This fact of life is what sceptics feared most when they tried their damnest to block the World Cup from coming to these shores.
Danny Jordaan, Irvin Khoza and the rest of the local organising committee had to spend so much energy after being forced to "defend" their actions to bring the World Cup to South Africa and Africa.
As with Manana, hardly any appreciation was shown for their magnificent efforts.
True to form, the South African media only concentrated on negativity, including how "greedy" they were for accepting the rewards they were offered for their tireless contribution to the prosperity of this country.
Many other people are doing great work in government, business, entertainment, NGOs and so on, without much appreciation. The spotlight only falls on negative situations. This has devastating and a demotivating effect on individuals. I wish to encourage the nation builders. They need to know that we, the silent majority, appreciate and value them.
The lesson for all Africans is you need not spend your energy trying to please those who only want to put Africa down. You are capable of lifting yourselves and the nation up and of achieving great success. We need to love ourselves first and put African development at the top of our collective agenda.
I applaud all the people who are for Africa and who are working to build the continent for all its people.
Zuzu Mdluli, Gauteng