'2010 WORLD CUP A BOON'

HAPPY MAN: Zimbabwean Austin Chikovo is now able to support his family selling the national flags of countries participating in the Fifa World Cup. PIC: THULI DLAMINI. 20/05/2010. © Sowetan.
HAPPY MAN: Zimbabwean Austin Chikovo is now able to support his family selling the national flags of countries participating in the Fifa World Cup. PIC: THULI DLAMINI. 20/05/2010. © Sowetan.

THE 2010 Fifa World Cup might not bring immediate benefits to everyone , but a Zimbabwean selling the national flags of participating teams on the streets of Durban says it has changed his life for the better.

Austin Chikovo has been in South Africa since 2004. He says life has not been easy since he has struggled to make ends meet. But since he started selling the flags of participating countries, he is smiling again.

"The 2010 World Cup has changed my life for the better. Since I started selling flags on street corners I am able to do things I struggled to do before," he says.

Chikovo says he now supports his family, sends his three daughters to school, buys uniforms and pays schools fees and the rent.

"Though I am not making much of a profit because I buy flags in Johannesburg, I make enough to pay the bills," Chikovo said. "This tournament has done a lot of good for me and my entire family back home."

But it's not just about selling flags. To score a sale Chikovo has to know "a lot about participating countries and their players".

"I have to know the differences between similar flags as people pull up next to me and name a player and I have to provide the right flag," he explained

He hoped one of "Africa's six-pack" would reach the finals.

"It will be a dream come true," he said.

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