14 October 2009

Zakumi ...coming out?

With the 2010 World Cup on our door step, I was wondering if the soccer frenzy has also spilled over into our gay community. I don’t want to generalise, but we all know the sport mostly watched by gay people are swimming, diving, gymnastics etc. Don’t get me wrong you do get the gay ‘groupies’ who like to braai while watching the rugby (biltong and koeksister included), or the ones that will skip a night of partying because there is some major F1 race the following day. But where does it leave Soccer…the reason for the 2010 World Cup happening in South Africa.

I must confess that I was never an avid follower of soccer – until I experienced the absolute adrenaline rush of being swooped up by a cheering crowd of 60 thousand soccer fans and what seemed like a million Vuvuzelas blaring during the Confed Cup that took place in June/July this year. I always thought that I would get irritated by the Vuvuzela noise …but I can honestly say that it had no impact on my enjoyment of the game (I will even go as far as to say it contributed to the enjoyment …and this is not because I went out and bought my own Vuvuzela and cant wait to use it again).

I really think that our mascot Zakumi will at the end help with getting more gay and lesbian people to support the 2010 Soccer World Cup and actually go and watch a match or two. The first two letters of Zakumi are the country's initials in Afrikaans and "Kumi" means 10 in many African languages representing the year of the tournament. Zakumi also joined the ranks of SA's born-free generation as he was accorded with the birth date of June 16 1994, meaning he will turn 16 in 2010.

As he tries to be representative of all the different ages, races, languages etc …I am sure he also would like to see a stronger gay following. If presented with a gay flag, tiara and maybe a gay mag or two – I am sure he will grab his Vuvuzela and strut his stuff on the field without a worry in the world. Whatever your opinion …you have to agree that he is adorable. I hope I get invited if he ever decides to have his Coming-Out-Party ….

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