Patriotic fervour

PERCHED on opposite ends of Johannesburg, there is, at the best of times, very little in common between Sandton and Meadowlands in Soweto.

Given their economies, they are poles apart.

But yesterday at around noon, the chasm between the two narrowed as they, for a moment, became a mirror of events throughout the country. As office workers left their desks to blow vuvuzelas in response to a call to support Bafana Bafana, the same cacophony of sound rose to the skies in the opposite end of the city. Men and women forgot about their joblessness and were joined in song and dance by their children - currently out on the winter school break.

As those with jobs returned to them after an hour's jol, those in places like Meadowlands knuckled down to the sacrifice of daubing the streets in a rainbow colour of souvenirs.

You didn't need to listen hard enough or watch too carefully, but everything said and done was in support of the national soccer team during the World Cup that kicks off tomorrow.

The Mexicans, who have the misfortune of being the first in our line of fire, were at the receiving end of choice phrases, all said in the banter of sportsmanship, of course.

For a while, the whole country stood four-square behind one cause - to show support for our heroes in this, the first soccer World Cup on African soil.

If there's indeed a Higher Force that stands guard over all of us, He or She must have nodded satisfactorily as every single South African pledged their patriotic solidarity.