South Africa : Artists countrywide gear for 2010

By Craig Urquhart

Johannesburg - Thousands of singers, painters and other artists countrywide are gearing for the largest football spectacle which comes to South Africa next year, the FIFA World Cup.

The KwaZulu-Natal Gallery in Glenwood is currently hosting All Eyes in Africa, a magnificent exhibition of mosaics by Mbhekeni Mbili which carry a 2010-theme, reports

Last year, the gallery hosted artist Sicelo Ziqubu's 2010-themed papier-mâché decorated thrones.

In the Cape Town suburb of Tafelsig, resident Desmond Kannemeyer is removing gangster grafitti from the walls of his neighbourhood, planning to replace them with giant 2010-themed murals.

Tomas Majebe from Cameroon is selling magnificent oil-on-canvas 2010 stadium paintings at flea markets in the Western Cape.

Pretoria jeweler Ceciwe Khonje has launched a range of (FIFA-approved) 2010 white gold cufflinks.

In Garangkuwa, Peter Malherbe builds model 2010 stadiums out of match sticks. In Polokwane, Joe Moyo is doing the same but with wire and beads.

A Port Elizabeth-based ostrich-hide exporter has sealed a deal with a Mexican to have soccer boots made out of ostrich leather - a world first, just in time for Africa's first World Cup.

In Cape Town, Adam Carnegie and his team are churning out kelp (seaweed) vuvuzelas - the trumpet of choice for South African fans. Around the country, thousands of makaraba football helmets are being manufactured.

FIFA Media Officer Delia Fischer said there is a golden opportunity for South Africans to capitalise on the 2010 World Cup.

"European and English fans won't want to buy 2010 memorabilia, they will want to buy something African to remind them of the good time they had here," said Mr Fischer, adding that South Africa must decide what it wants to show the world.

"Certainly, if we get this right, the world cup will fuel an enormous industry on the sidelines of the month-long event." - BuaNews