Friday, 11 June 2010

We made this happen

So the World Cup kicks off today. The first time on the African continent and in, of all places, South Africa.

Just over 100 years ago Britain was engaged in a war in South Africa, just under 100 years ago The Natives' Land Act (1913) started the march towards segregation and apartheid. After Nyerere asked that we didn't buy South African produce politics arrived in the grocer's shop and we didn't buy Outspan oranges. For more than thirty years people in Britain played a small part in showing South African that apartheid was wrong. Sports were boycotted and pitches dug up, we didn't bank with Barclays and we sang about releasing Nelson Mandela and not playing Sun City.

And now, 20 years after Mandela's release, the world is in South Africa to celebrate the biggest sporting tournament and lots of us made a very modest contribution to making this possible. Sometimes things do work out the way they should.

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