As 2010 WC promotion campaign starts in Rwanda
Rwanda has kicked off her promotion campaigns for the 2010 World Cup as well as this year’s Confederations Cup due in South Africa.
The promotion campaign started at Kimisagara Youth Center in Kigali yesterday and the ceremony was attended by among others the Minister of Sport and Culture Joseph Habineza and other football dignitaries from South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya.
The promotion is undertaken by participants from regional countries under an umbrella called Caravanamani which is led by former Bafana Bafana player Mark Fish.
The aim of this Caravanamani is to publicize the 2010 World Cup throughout East Africa and will wind up their campaign on March 29 in Kigali after going to Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
“There is only one country that will host this World Cup and that is South Africa. The World Cup in South Africa is for all Africans,” Fish said.
“We want the people of Africa to own the World Cup and we want to use the World Cup to promote peace and development on our continent.
“Caravanamani trip will take us through all East Africa countries. It’s more about letting people realise that we’re bringing the World Cup to the Africans.
We are all part of this 2010 World Cup, it is to show that we all have to be united to make sure we have a successful world cup,” Fish said.
WC Official Mascot unveiled
Meanwhile, with less than 1000 days before the start of the first Fifa World Cup on African soil on 11 June 2010, Zakumi – the tournament’s Official Mascot was unveiled yesterday in Kigali.
Accompanied by Fish, Zakumi made his first official appearance in-front of hundreds of enthusiastic Rwandans at Kimisagara Youth Center, a suburb of Kigali city.
According Fish, the Official Mascot, designed in a leopard form, was designed and produced exclusively in the host country.
The name is a composition of “ZA”, standing for South Africa, and ‘Kumi’ translating into ‘10’ in various languages across Africa.
Inspired by his football idols, Zakumi dyed his hair green as he felt it would be the perfect camouflage against the green of the football pitch.
“Zakumi represents the people, geography and spirit of South Africa, personifying in essence the 2010 Fifa World Cup. We are certain we will have a lot of fun with him in the lead-up to and during the Fifa Confederations Cup and the Fifa World Cup,” Fish said.
The tradition of the Official Fifa World Cup Mascot has been in place for more than 40 years. World Cup Willie was the first-ever Fifa World Cup Mascot, invented for the 1966 tournament in England.
Official Mascots have come to play a more important role in the Fifa World Cup as with their infectiously positive attitude, they have over the years added to the atmosphere of each competition in their own unique way.