As a kid growing up, I had one or two questions that couldn't be answered. Number one on my list was apartheid in South Africa. It was the only thing that really angered me. I was about 14…Well, everyone’s a starry-eyed idealist at 14, but most of us grow out of it.
My MTV shows were broadcast in South Africa for 10 years. I was often invited to gig there, but always found a way out despite 15 years of emancipation in the country. I didn't want to witness the inhumane townships so often seen on TV.So, no problem getting paid for it, just a problem with actually visiting the place?
My parents are St Lucian, but we have no idea of our African heritage.And why should you?
So during my descent into Jo'burg I felt quite emotional, tweeting that I had just landed in the motherland, to the derision of my African friends who said that all black westerners say that, and it's corny…I think self-awareness isn’t Trevor’s strongest talent…
The airport terminal was new, with more staff than seemed necessary, ready to greet the invasion of fans. The roads into town were newly surfaced and it felt as though I was in a European city, and then I saw the townships – a constant reminder of this country's past. I had a sense of shame watching people shuffling around with no work or prospects while I had a driver to take me to my lodge.That driver was just doing it out of the good of his heart, then? It wasn’t a job, I suppose?
My mission was twofold: to find out how the people really felt about hosting a World Cup that will cost their country close to £5bn; and whether it will leave a lasting legacy that really trickles down to the people who actually love and support football: the black population.There are no white people in South Africa who love and support football? Really?
I had lots of memorable encounters, mainly positive. But I kept being reminded of that feeling I had as a child just before Christmas, only for January to arrive with my parents moaning about having no money for my birthday. Is that how it will be for these guys? They don't have a great team and are only at the World Cup because, as hosts, they didn't need to qualify.So all the advantages that will bring them are worth nothing? Those roads would have been newly surfaced without it?
With huge levels of unemployment, people take to unlicensed street selling of just about anything you might need, from food to football flags – something that Fifa doesn't want anywhere near the stadiums. The organisation has a vice-like grip on the merchandising and is set to enjoy its most lucrative tournament.I gather Trevor’s not a believer in the ‘trickle down’ theory…
I was even a guest on a local radio breakfast show, declaring my new-found love for South Africa. Yes, I could live there because I am a black professional with a career and would no doubt have a decent lifestyle. But if I were an uneducated person with only manual skills, it just wouldn't be the place for me.So having wallowed in the misery, you promptly flew home to do, what? Endeavour to help make changes to the country? Campaign for better opportunities for the people?
Ah. No. Sit back and watch TV:
As far as football goes: well, it is the biggest religion in the world. I will forgive politicians, Fifa and a racist past just for those 90 minutes of joy.Well, this misery tourism is all very well, isn’t it, Trevor, but god forbid it means you should make any changes to your lifestyle….
I take it he didn't stay in a shack in a shanty town, then.
Just a guess here, but a large room in the Michelin-starred, 5* Hotel de Posh (or whatever)
Keepin' it real, man.
There's an old quote (goodness knows where from) that if you're not a socialist when you're young, you have no heart. But if you're still a socialist when you're older, you have no head.
I guess poor Trevor just never grew up.
He works for Radio One - nuff said....
He didn't decide to invest some capital in South Africa, then? Say, to support a few new companies that are starting up creating jobs and new products?
No, oddly enough, he didn't do that.
Just a standard lefty obsession with race. Never changes.
Mr Nelson is strangely silent on the subject of corruption and mismanagement of the now black-led country - but then that's probably all whitey's fault.
Hey, I really must thank this pampered blackamoor - luxuriating in the comforts of a civilisation he despises - for his 'forgiveness'.
I really am so, so grateful.
"There are no white people in South Africa who love and support football? Really?"
Generally the blacks follow football and the whites rugby. The film Invictus shows the support that Nelson Mandela had to pump up from the Blacks in an attempt to unify the nation.
As to my motherland. About 15 generations back I can claim my ancesters were Vikings. Should I get all tearfull when I fly off to some Scandanavian country. Where do you stop looking back in your history for your motherland. Why not just accept the place where you were born as your motherland?
FIFA is extremely protective of it's image just like the Olympics are of theirs. Only official merchandise allowed to be sold by official retailers. In fact the UK has introduced a law specifically for the Olympics which makes it a crime for a company to use the Olympics as part of their advertising.
If you don't like the townships or anything else about South Africa, don't moan to us, tell President Zuma
@John R: I believe you'll find it is one of Churchill's.
As for FIFA having a grip on the merchandising, he'd would have found that the same applies to any big sporting event regardless of the sport involved.
I'm assuming also that he doesn't mix with the plebs at concerts else he'd know that venues tend to operate a captive market policy with respect to food, drink and merchandising inside their doors.
"Keepin' it real, man."
As real as it gets, from Islington..
"I guess poor Trevor just never grew up."
Like so many CiF contributors.
"He didn't decide to invest some capital in South Africa, then?"
Oh, no. Of course not.
"Mr Nelson is strangely silent on the subject of corruption and mismanagement of the now black-led country - but then that's probably all whitey's fault."
I wouldn't be too surprised. Peter Tatchell is still blaming 'homophobia' in Africa on imported Western influences, after all.
"Generally the blacks follow football and the whites rugby. The film Invictus shows the support that Nelson Mandela had to pump up from the Blacks in an attempt to unify the nation."
I've been meaning to watch that. It looked good.
"Where do you stop looking back in your history for your motherland."
When there's no longer anything you need to excuse, is the standard CiF line!
"I'm assuming also that he doesn't mix with the plebs at concerts else he'd know that venues tend to operate a captive market policy with respect to food, drink and merchandising inside their doors."
Yes, some of my work colleagues have been complaining about that recently, with their sons and daughters off to music festivals and complaining bitterly about the cost, and the rules they impose to prtevent people bringing in/cooking their own food...
UK has introduced a law specifically for the Olympics which makes it a crime for a company to use the Olympics as part of their advertising
Nu Liebore's cartoon porn laws might apply as well if you do a look-alike of the 2012 Olympic logo.
Good to see South Africa come on leaps and bounds ever since whitey was kicked out of government...
Who is Trevor Nelson?
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