SANDTON City exploded into a colourful carnival yesterday as thousands of soccer fans congregated in a show of support for Bafana Bafana just a day before the World Cup kick-off.
Desmond Tutu's Rainbow Nation came out in full force across the country as an estimated 250 000 soccer fans went out to wish the boys the best of luck as they got ready to take on Mexico in the opening match at Soccer City tomorrow.
With the sound of vuvuzelas, kuduzelas, hooters and shouts, the players and coach Carlos Parreira basked in the glory of a loving nation.
Supporters stood united in their green and gold as they blew their vuvuzelas and held up their boards with slogans of support and waved their flags.
"It is a great feeling to see that everybody is behind us," said an excited Itumeleng Khune.
Nomfundo Ndaba, a fan who travelled from Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal just to see Bafana, was very excited.
"It was great, not like anything I had ever seen before, seeing the players, it was worth the trip."
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane showed her support and enthusiasm by chanting gospel songs with some of the fans.
People draped themselves in flags and blankets and stuck flags into their winter beanies and their braids as they walked down the street shouting "woza-woza".
Bank clerks, office workers and shoppers joined in the celebration, many wearing wigs or top hats adorned the South African flag.
Schoolchildren enjoying the start of their winter holidays hung out of bus windows shouting, and in Rissik Street in the Joburg CBD a large group of people wearing Bafana Bafana T-shirts danced around the cars passing through and waved "Unite 4 Bafana" posters.
At the nearby Central Methodist Church, home to many African refugees and asylum seekers, a vendor sold makarapas decorated in the colours of various countries, and painted flags on people's faces.
In Braamfontein police had to cordon off Jorissen Street as the crowds swelled. The call to take to the streets and make a noise was made to mark the final countdown to the long-awaited soccer spectacle.
In Soweto, thousands of people spilled onto the streets, armed with flags and vuvuzelas, sang and danced.