Meet Zakumi, the 2010 mascot

first_imgZakumi, the 2010 Mascot was revealedto  hundreds of guests in Johannesburg. Fifa 2010 LOC CEO Danny Jordaan And SABC group executive Mvuso Mbebe hanging out with Zakumi at the launch. Soccer Legend Mark Fish and Zakumi Enjoying themselves at the launch. Zakumi showing off his soccer skills. Khanyi Magubane “He’s young, vibrant, energetic, enthusiastic, sociable, self-confident and ambitious.” That’s how Danny Jordaan, head of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee, described Zakumi, the football tournament’s mascot.Introduced to the world at a lavish event at the South African Broadcasting Corporation headquarters in Johannesburg yesterday, Zakumi is a fluffy young leopard with green dreadlocks and a wide smile.Until the launch his identity was a closely guarded secret, to build up the hype and excitement around the tournament.South African football star Mark Fish introduced the mascot in an exclusive media briefing, after which the two showed off their football skills in front of the crowd by kicking a ball around the stage.“Zakumi represents the people, geography and spirit of South Africa, personifying the essence the 2010 Fifa World Cup,” Fifa general-secretary Jerome Valcke said at the event.“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.” The creation processZakumi was designed and his costume produced exclusively in South Africa. His name is a combination of “ZA”, South Africa’s domain name, and “Kumi”, which means “10” in a number of African languages.A number of South African companies were asked to design a mascot for the 2010 World Cup, one that would represent both South Africa and Africa as a whole. The mascot had to be easily identifiable and had to represent the World Cup in a way that would leave a lasting impression.After a long process of elimination, Fifa decided on a design by Cape Town designer Andries Odendaal.The costume itself was produced by Cora’s Costumes of Boksburg, east of Johannesburg. Owned by Cora Simpson, the company has 22 years of experience in costume making, and has made other high-profile costumes, such as the US cartoon figures Bugs Bunny and Tweety the bird.The man behind the actual creation of the figure is David Mbewe, who has worked with Cora’s Costumes for over 20 years. After meticulously choosing the right mix of fabrics and colours, Mbewe and his assistants assembled the costume, sewing the leopard spots by hand – no easy task, Simpson said.Who is Zakumi?Fifa have given their mascot a distinct personality and personal history. Zakumi was born on 16 June 1994, a day and a year of great significance in South Africa.The 16th of June 1976 saw the beginning of the Soweto youth uprising, when schoolchildren took to the streets to protest against apartheid, many of them cut down by police gunfire.And 1994 was the year that South Africans of all races cast their votes for the first time to elect a new post-apartheid democratic government.With the slogan “Zakumi: the mascot with an attitude”, Fifa describe Zakumi’s personality as lively, outgoing, adventurous and spontaneous – a “shrewd little fellow”They say he loves to perform and always follows his instinct and intuition, and has the tendency to exaggerate.But, say Fifa, there is one thing that’s undeniable about Zakumi: he loves football. He sees it as a great way connect with others and break down language barriers.As a sign of his undying passion for the game, he always carries his football around which he will use to invite people to play with him.“He wants to create a good mood for the fans and raise the excitement for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the first on African soil,” said South African soccer legend Lucas Radebe.“He is a proud South African and wants to ensure that the world will come together in South Africa.”For 40 years each Fifa World Cup tournament has had its own unique mascot. The first was World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 event, hosted by England.Added benefit for 2010 buildersMeanwhile, Fifa is two award two free World Cup tickets to every construction worker involved in building the tournament stadiums, some of which are expected to be completed in time for the Confederations Cup in 2009.The ticket bounty was announced by Fifa president Sepp Blatter during a four-day visit to South Africa in mid-September.“I have good news for the workers,” Blatter said. “We have decided, with the Local Organising Committee, to offer about 20 000 workers two free tickets to the stadiums where they are working.“It’s a merit to the workers in recognition of their work in preparing for 2010.”Tickets for the confederations cup will go on sale on 23 November, a day after the draw for the competition. Tickets for the World Cup go on sale from January 2009.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected] articlesWorld Cup 2010: fast facts Fifa World Cup host citiesTen stadiums for the 2010 World CupFootball in South Africa Useful linksThe Zakumi page Fifa South Africa 2010 Planet World Cup Cora’s Costumeslast_img read more


first_imgThey’re calling it their first ever stadium gig! For local Coffs Harbour pub band `Rhemus’ their performance at the 2004 National 18 Years Championships was their first inside a main arena. Used to pub gigs and community benefits Rhemus played at the Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium last night, in front of around 1000 players, spectators and officials. After feedback from previous 18 Years functions, which included venues that were too small, not enough live action or freedom to move around or catch up with friends; Tournament Director John Pratt decided that something needed to change this year. And so it did. Instead of heading out for the function, caterers came to the Coffs Harbour stadium, cooking a delicious barbeque spread, adding salads and bread rolls for all players and officials to enjoy. “The ATA decided we needed to change the format of the function following the survey feedback gained from all participating permits,” Mr Pratt said. “We decided to hold the smorgasbord dinner, with a live band and in a secure location.” “It was a very successful night, particularly with the live band and an excellent meal,” he said. The band provided an atmosphere for the players never seen before, with players singing with the band and dancing to win touch footballs signed by Benji Marshall and Joe Williams. Rachael Behan from Central Queensland kicked the night off, jumping out of her seat to race down the front and sing a song for the crowd. The 15 year-old at her first National 18 Years tournament wowed us all with her guts as well as her singing. The players enjoyed the night, Kelly Jones from the Brisbane Cobras echoing the general consensus: “It was good food, good service and the band were pretty good too,” Kelly said. “It was also more relaxed because you could move around and talk to everyone.” With such a successful night, it will no doubt be on the cards again for the 2005 National 18 Years Championships. “It was definitely a great success, the one area we will continue to work on is the structure of food delivery to ensure a shorting waiting time for teams, but overall it was a great night,” Mr Pratt said. By Rachel Moyle, [email protected]last_img

Online TV service Hulus studio backers are close

first_imgOnline TV service Hulu’s studio backers are close to buying out private equity partner Providence according to various reports that surfaced last night.Disney, Comcast and News Corp will reportedly buy Providence’s 10% share in the online catch-up and original programming service for about US$200 million (€150 million).Should a transaction be executed for that amount, Hulu would be valued at about US$2 billion.
Separately, Hulu has added a new gay and lesbian genre category to its service. The programming line-up runs to over 60 movies and TV series including Queer as Folk and The Big Gay Sketch Show.last_img