626 days before the start of the first African FIFA World Cup™ at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on 11 June 2010, the cloud of secrecy surrounding the Official Mascot has been lifted.
Embedded in a vibrant African-themed live TV show that was broadcast nationwide, Zakumi today (22 September 2008) made his official debut in front of an audience of millions on South Africa's primetime SABC Coca-Cola Soccer Zone.
The Official Mascot, a leopard, has been designed and produced exclusively in the host country. The name is a composition of "ZA", standing for South Africa, and "kumi" translating into "10" in various languages across Africa. Inspired by his football idols, Zakumi has dyed his hair green as he felt it would be the perfect camouflage against the green of the football pitch.