One of the biggest moments in the short history of South Africa's democracy is just around the corner. Naturally, its inhabitants have been gripped by the unique fever the imminent arrival of the FIFA World Cup™ is delivering.
This includes young school children, some of whom have been reshuffling their schedule so that do not miss out on watching the world's best players perform on their soil. Take Zanele Mazibuko, a 14-year old girl from Misoiri Secondary School in Johannesburg. She lives about 30 minutes from the Soccer City Stadium, which is on its final leg of construction. She is not from an affluent family and, with attending matches therefore unrealistic, she was ready to visit the fan-fests that will be held over the country.
However, the launch of the ticket fund has given Zanele hope that she might be among those on stands to witness the world's greatest showpiece. The fund aims at affording a rare opportunity to South Africans who would otherwise not have a means of purchasing tickets.
"It will be great to see the likes of (David) Beckham in our country," she enthused. "I have always been a huge fan of him, he is such a great player. However, my favourite team is Brazil because they play such entertaining football.
"I watched them on tv during the Confederations Cup and they were amazing. It will be good to see them again in our country. I think this is our only change to see the stars, and I'm looking forward to it."
Unlike some of her compatriots, who are hoping for more job opportunities post-competition, Zanele's only ambition is that after the tournament, her country been seen through a different lens. "I hear a lot of things said about us, but I believe we will show people that this is a good country and we love sport," she explained."
Even though she was born exactly a year after change had arrived in South Africa, Zanele is aware of what happened there and is, therefore, eager to be part of an initiative that will write a new chapter in the country's history. Part of the ticket fund will focus on creating awareness at schools and running campaigns aimed at encouraging learners not only to get involve in national building initiatives but to look after their environment. This will be spread through the country's nine provinces.