Sunday, 20 June 2010


The World Cup is a convenient distraction for what is really going on in South Africa.

It cost the South Africans $3.7 million to put on this tournament. Okay, the stadiums are impressive, it's a spectacle (at times), but what about the towns on their knees across the country? Somewhat of a kick in the teeth.

Same old story: "Let's show them how 'far' we've come...just hide the poverty while the world is here".

But not for long. The media haven't had to go far from Sun City to discover the cloudy backdrop that we shouldn't ignore.

Alan Shearer went to Guguletu, one of the wealthier townships of Cape Town, to find a black man who had lived through apartheid. He spoke of drugs and prostitution - not vuvuzelas and the 'beautiful' game.

"After the show is over, it's back to square one", he said.

Over in Nyanga, a young boy told Shearer of his excitement of the world's biggest tournament coming to his doorstep. But he will realise it won't pay for roads, it won't cut crime, it won't improve the poor conditions that he has to live with.

A BBC 5Live reporter saw how dirty water went straight from a reservoir into the stomachs of South Africans.

After all, this is what those people need. Blatter didn't want to bring the World Cup to 'ordinary' people anymore than I would want to be deafened by those ridiculous vuvuzelas.

Talking of Blatter, he couldn't even get the ball right. They might as well be playing with a balloon.

And what about the half-empty stadiums? I'm sure the kids of the South African townships would happily fill the empty seats left by FIFA's "corporate family" who are back home watching the games safe in their mansions.

$3.7 million. To think of what those hidden communities would do with a shred of that figure...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


I have to say, I'm liking this observational form of journalism, I seem to be doing it in my head a lot.

Here's something I wrote out on my phone while I was waiting to be called by the nurse.

Waiting for the nurse. Late as usual. Four kids make incessant noise with their toys. So aggravating. To my right, a TV with advice on skin cancer and diabetes. So grim, is this what's in store? One trip a year, then one a month, then one a week. I don't think I could handle too much medication. Certainly couldn't handle too many trips to this place. A picture of a needle. I hate needles. I always get nervous at the doctors or the dentist or some place like that. Why?

I was only waiting five minutes or so. It seems so much longer when you're in a place like that. Just think what I could have moaned about if I had half an hour there...!