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FIFA World Cup 2010, Press Review, Topnews

19. January 2010

World Cup fever spreads abroad

A group of South Africans living in Korea have started a project called "Hug a South African" to help promote Africa’s first football World Cup in June. The project was started by ten South Africans. They wear T-shirts with the Fifa 2010 World Cup logo and give out pamphlets on the streets of Seoul, informing people about the World Cup. They carry placards that say, “Hug a South African” and hug any interested individuals that approach them.

Vusi Ndlovu, one of the South Africans involved in the project, says the aim of the campaign is to dissolve the negativity and stigma Africans face in many developing countries.

“I definitely believe we have come a long way, as a country and as a people. Being proud South Africans, we have decided to contribute whatever or by whichever means possible, to ensure that our event is well known.”

Ndlovu said they are working closely with the South African embassy in Korea, which has agreed to supply them with more resources.

“We do not wish for any financial funding. We are doing this willingly and will use our own finance for the trips and all related matters. Our aim is to show the other South African people out there that you can help support your country with minimum resources available,” he said.

Making a difference
The campaign, which kicked off in December 2009, has been well received by locals in Korea. Many stop to receive hugs and take pictures with the group.
“The locals have been getting quite involved. They take pictures of us to share with their friends and family. This also ensures the promotion will continue beyond our campaign,” said Ndlovu.

South Africans living in other countries have shown interest in the project and are working on setting it up where they are currently residing.

Michelle Pearce, a South African living in Japan, has been coordinating with South Africans in the Kansai region to start a campaign. Kansai is in the southern-central region of Japan's main island of Honshū.

Pearce said they have recently received word from the South African embassy in Japan that they support the campaign and are willing to help with the venture.
Daniel Rossouw, living in the United States, said he is also trying to round up South Africans living in Florida, in the south-eastern region of the US, to start the campaign there. “I think this is a great campaign; it encourages pride in our country. It also helps with promoting our country and this big event [Fifa 2010 World Cup]. It's great to do something for your country.”

Source: MediaClubSouthAfrica


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