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Is Manana the face of 2010?

By Edward Tsumele | Dec 22, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

DURING the 2010 World Cup Draw in Cape Town recently our confident Carol Manana, who in real life is not that tall, stood tall and gave a spectacular performance.

DURING the 2010 World Cup Draw in Cape Town recently our confident Carol Manana, who in real life is not that tall, stood tall and gave a spectacular performance.

She made a good presentation to about 200million television viewers from all over the world. Not that she has not stood proud and impressed soccer lovers on television screens before.

It is just that this time around it was different.

What with the ongoing debate, just before the draw happened, as to who of the two most prominent sports presenters, Robert Marawa or Manana, would represent South Africa.

There were the worries of the developed world. Well, it is understandable when it comes to hosting big events. Most of the African countries are Third World, their infrastructure is bad, the roads and air transport facilities leave a lot to be desired. The skills to host and produce big events are far and few between.

And now the Soccer World Cup is taking place for the first time in Africa and South Africa, having been chosen to host this soccer jamboree, is being scrutinised from all sides.

So like the Fifa Confederations Cup that South Africa successfully hosted in recent months, the big draw was regarded by people as a dress rehearsal for our hosting the World Cup next year.

Everything done with regards to the World Cup is therefore looked at critically, with detractors exploiting genuine, small, mistakes and magnifying them, just to show that South Africa, and by inference Africa, cannot handle big events like the World Cup. Talk about Afro-pessimism.

It is against this background and in thisa political context, actually the usual power game between the West and Africa, that our Manana was chosen to be the face of the draw, and in the process edged out of the competition for this glamorous job the better liked, and perhaps the better presenter, Marawa.

Personally, I do not know who is the best. But it looks as if those in the know, in terms of our sport, suggest that they respect Manana, but their man remains Marawa when it comes to presentation skills and the knowledge of the game.

Anyway, Manana was the one chosen by Fifa and the SABC to host the draw.

One would not go into the reasons bandied about in media circles as to why Manana and not Marawa was chosen for this role. What I can reveal is that Manana was no disappointment', and e. Even those who are die-hard fans of Marawa seem to have been impressed by Manana's confidence andcomposure. She was well-dressed too as she faced the world at that important moment of the draw.

Even better-known South African, Hollywood star Charlize Theron looked ordinary, compared with Manana.

"I only knew about the draw four months before the event. It never dawned on me that it was going to be such a big event," Manana says.

"I only knew shortly before the time who was on the guest list, and then, only then did I realise what a moment it would be. Charlize is awesome, but I knew my advantage was the fact that I am more knowledgable about sport than she.

"That gave me the confidence to co-host with her.

"This certainly was a big career boost for me. Even Fifa, during the preliminaries, said they were happy and confident about my abilities."

Is she going to be the face of the World Cup? Well, nobody knows right now. But if she does not get it it will not be because she did not do a good job at the draw.

"I am not sure, but I know that there will be a lot of functions Fifa will organise during the World Cup, and maybe I will host some of the functions," she says.


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