For the past three weeks I have been working with local and international colleagues overseeing and handling tourist arrivals and departures from Cape Town International. Logistically, transporting 1300 – 2000 people in one day can be a daunting task, thus pre-planning and effective organisation within the team is critical in delivering a good score card.
During this time I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a vuvuzela played singularly or in unison and what keeps striking me is how visitors have responded by adopting this simple instrument as a form of communication. Strangers will face each other for minutes on end, blasting a call and waiting for a response. In the stadiums, groups of fans blow in unison to show support of their team. At three in the morning, the quiet spaces of the airport are interrupted by a lone call – a reminder that there is life in a seemingly deserted area.
As we look forward to celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July, South Africans are encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time, by supporting a chosen charity or serving a local community. The significance of 67 minutes is that Nelson Mandela has given 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. Just as many have been inspired to take up the vuvuzela, may they be inspired to continue to give of their time to those less fortunate, for in so doing we will continue to unify our land.