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Diepsloot Celebrations

Davison Mudzingwa/ Twenty Ten

Associated feature: Mixed Feelings (Text feature)and Diepsloot Fan Park (Photo feature in English and French)

Location: Diepsloot, Johannesburg

AUDIO - World Cup opening match in Diepsloot settlement.

CUE: June 11 dawned as any other for the desperately poor and crime-ridden settlement of Diepsloot, on the northern outskirts of Johannesburg, but there was an air of anticipation heralded by the piercing cry of the vuvuzela.

That chilly winter morning on the Highveld was the day that the Soccer World Cup came to Africa, and the warmth of football coming to the mother continent penetrated even the most miserable of South Africa’s shantytowns. Twenty Ten reporter, David Mudzingwa was in Diepsloot as the excitement swelled at a communal viewing area.

LINK 1: It’s the historic day that all Africans, and especially South Africans, have been waiting for. The first FIFA soccer World Cup on African soil is kicking off, with the hosts Bafana Bafana taking on more highly rated Mexico.

FX: ATMOS—00:05 (Play, Fade Under)

LINK 2: It doesn’t take effort to feel the air of anticipation and joy in Johannesburg. It’s a sea of green and yellow, the South African national team colours. And the sound of the controversial vuvuzelas can be heard almost everywhere one travels to, even the usually quite and reserved suburbs of the wealthy.

FX—CAR MOVING—00:05 (Play, Fade Under)

LINK 3: I’m on my way to the informal settlement of Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg. The majority of the estimated 200 000 people stay in corrugated iron or wood shacks. I am not sure what to expect from the place. Being a foreigner, a Zimbabwean, I have my own reservations about this assignment especially after the 2008 xenophobic violence that also swept through this community.

FX—COMMUNITY ATMOS—00:05 (Play, Fade Under)

LINK 4: Arriving at a public viewing area at 10 in the morning, there is not much activity. Only a few kids could be seen singing and dancing. I whisper to my colleague that the euphoria about the World Cup might not have had an impact here. Maybe it’s still too early, he says.

FX—FOOT TRAFFIC—00:03 (Play, Fade Under)

LINK 5: As the day progresses, a long winding queue forms outside the public park serving as the viewing area. An hour before kick off, the 4000 capacity facility is jam-packed. Singing and dancing fans overfill the park that had been empty just three hours before.


FX—SINGING—00:10’ (Fade In, Play, Fade Under)

LINK 6: Just before the kick off, with anxiety high, and vuvuzela sound levels too high to get a clean recording, I ask around the feeling of a dream coming into reality.

VOXPOP—00:35’

LINK 7: As the match begins, supporters cheer on their team as if they are heard.

FX: CHEERS FROM SUPPORTERS—00:04’ (Play, Fade Under)

LINK 8: The park is filled with celebrations when the hosts score the first goal of Africa’s world cup through midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala.

FX: CELEBRATIONS—00:05’ (Play, Fade Under)

LINK 9: Losing concentration for a few seconds, my eyes drift from the big screen, I’m astounded by a sudden reduction of vuvuzela noise. “Mexico has equalised,” my colleague exclaims.

FX: RELATIVE SILENCE

LINK 10: As the match ends here, the community of Diepsloot is engulfed in celebrations. I could feel the sense of unity. It’s dark as I leave, but the level of friendliness here makes me comfortable, to come back for the next match.

Davison Mudzingwa, Twenty Ten Project, Johannesburg, South Africa.

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