Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The sega is both the national dance and musical form of Mauritius. Introduced by African slaves during the French colonial period, the sega is an exotic, often erotic dance. Women in colorful skirts twirl and undulate, using graceful hand and arm motions while their feet shuffle along the ground. Sega music is said to have been influenced by reggae, creating a fusion music locally known as seggae.


Slaves singing and dancing the Sega

"As far back as 1768, travellers to Mauritius were bringing back tales of slaves' singing and dancing which seemed to their entranced eyes so different and special.

Bernardin de St Pierre then, spoke of the slaves' passion for music and of the soft harmony of unknown instruments to match songs with every present love themes. Milber, in 1803, spoke of sensual dance steps that clearly show their warm intentions, and Rousselin, in 1860, was one of the many to be inspired to attempt the capture of the atmosphere of slave dancing in drawings. They had all witnessed the magic of the the black shega dance or music, or as it soon came to be known; the sega. They had all heard the music born of African souls soothed in their lost homelands on rapid drumbeats and pounding rhythms. African souls now caught in an island's fragrance and soft beauty. From this unison came the sega.

The dancing the travellers had marvelled at, is the body language of slaves forgetting, leaving pain and sorrow behind at the end of a hard day's work. Le Morne beach, on the south west of the island is linked to the history of sega. In its legend, the beach is moonlit and cool, a fire burns glowing over the faces, hiding the flaws of the shacks nearby. The dancers wait and watch as the musicians heat the ravane. Maybe some landlords have brought over a few friends from overseas. They too wait to watch. They may even, if they have thought to bring and offer a few rhum caskets, hear their praises being sung in Creole, raucous French cooked in African spices. The songs come straight from the singer's heart. They were in these days, hardly ever rehearsed.

Stimulated and inspired by local rum, the fishing folks gather around a camp fire and give full vent to their emotions. Very often they dance without any music at all and are accompanied only by the sound of the Ravane, the tinkling of spoons, the rattling of seeds in a tin, and the clapping of hands of spectators who eventually join in the melee."

Photos by Sajid Malik

"The dance itself is the rhythmic swaying of the hips to the pulsating rhythm of the Ravane. It starts with a gentle swaying, to a slow and solemn tune, which gradually rises, consuming the dancers and setting their bodies jerking, stretching and swaying with animated movements to keep pace with the ever-increasing tempo.

The beat creeps inside you and as your body responds to the rhythm, you are carried to heights of ecstasy, generating a vibrating force that shakes the "lead" off your feet and inspires you to a high-spirited and unrestrained way of dancing. Tiring perhaps, but ex-hilarating! Never mind if your movement does not follow the rhythm ... just carry on dancing and you will be amazed how rhythm and movement synchronize afterwards." Source http://www.encyclopedia.mu/Society/Music/History.htm


Mauritius Sega Music (AWESOME LOVE THIS CLIP)

Amazing Mauritius ~ Sega Dance

Mauritius Pot Puri Sega


History of Sega

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Picturesque Goree Island or as is commonly known in Senegal Île de Gorée

The island of Gorée is reported to be one of the first places in Africa to be settled by Europeans, with the Portuguese setting foot on the island in 1444. The Dutch are said to have bought the island from a local chief for a trifling amount and took control over the island in 1588. Gorée became a way station for Dutch ships plying the route between their forts on the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and the caribbean West Indies. The Dutch named the island after the Dutch island of Goerée. or according to some—for its sheltered harbor, “Goode Reede” (good harbor). Gorée changed hands many times. The British took it from the Dutch; the Dutch then recaptured it, but had to give it up again to the French during French maritime expansion under Colbert. In 1802, by the terms of the Amiens peace agreement, the island became French and remained so until Senegalese independence in 1960.

Harbour in Goree Island
Photo by Giel F

Gorée was the principal entry point off the coast of Africa for slavers and merchantmen flying the French flag. After the abolition of the slave trade in France in 1848, Gorée was an outpost for policing the seas. As its role in trade declined, it became a stepping off point for French colonization of the interior of West Africa. Goree Island is one of the major tourist attraction site in Senegal because of its history as a major slave-trading center.

Slavery depiction, Maison des Esclaves
Photo by Brian McMorrow

House of Slaves, Île de Gorée. The House of Slave was designed to detain slaves awaiting to be sold and for shipment.
Photos by Brian McMorrow

Slave House (Maison des Esclaves)

"The owner's residential quarters were on the upper floor. The lower floor was reserved for the slaves who were weighed, fed and held before departing on the transatlantic journey. The Slave House with its famous "Door of No Return" has been preserved in its original state."
Source: Goree Island

Sketch depicting slaves aboard a ship
Photos by Robin Elaine

Leg irons for slaves
Photos by Robin Elaine

Slave Holding cell

Door of No Return
The slaves went out through this door never to return

Slavery Freedom Monument in Goree Island
A monument symbolizing the end of the slave trade

Photo by Carostan

Fort d'Estreés now houses the Historical Museum

"The shipping of slaves from Goree lasted from 1536 when the Portuguese launched the slave trade to the time the French halted it 312 years later. ...The surrounding waters are so deep that any attempt at escaping would mean sure drowning. With a five kg metal ball permanently attached to their feet or necks, a captured African would know what jumping into the deep sea would bring.


The island, with some 1,300 inhabitants is said to be so tranquil that there are no cars, no crime, and those who visit Goree are said to behave more like pilgrims visiting a holy shrine than as tourists.

Most visitors don't even spend the night on Goree. There is only one hotel.

During his visit to Goree in 1981, the former French prime minister, Michel Rocard, said, "It is not easy for a white man, in all honesty, to visit this Slave House without feeling ill-at-ease".

The Pope also visited Goree in 1992 and asked for forgiveness because historians say that a lot of Catholic missionaries were involved in the slave trade.

The slave house at Goree has also been visited by South African President Nelson Mandela. He toured the island three years before his election, and insisted on crawling into a cramped holding cell."

Bill Clinton visited the island in 1998

Text source: Goree: The Slave Island BBC

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush tour the Slave House on Goree Island, Senegal, with President Abdoulaye Wade and Viviane Wade of Senegal, Secretary of State Colin Powell, far left, and National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice Tuesday, July 8, 2003. White House photo by Paul Morse

"For hundreds of years on this island peoples of different continents met in fear and cruelty. Today we gather in respect and friendship, mindful of past wrongs and dedicated to the advance of human liberty,"

Bush speaking at Goree Island 8th july 2003

In 1978 Goree Island was designated a UNESCO world heritage site.

Life in Goree today is pleasant however the buildings in island are a constant reminder of its dark history

UNESCO Goree Island Senegal

Sunday, October 21, 2007


The Lozi people of western Zambia have been marking Kuomboka, an annual traditional ceremony in honour of their king or Litunga.
Photo by Baroste Land

Kuomboka which means ‘to get out of water’ is a traditional ceremony, which attracts and fascinates many tourists in Zambia. The Kuomboka isheld annually when the Upper Zambezi river rises and floods the Bulozi plain forcing the Lozi Litunga or King evacuate his people to higher ground. This event is usually held at the end of March or beginning of April. However the date for evacuation is normally determined by the Barotse Royal establishment.

The Lozi kingdom - known as Barotseland - was a protectorate under British colonial rule and became part of Zambia at the country's independence in 1964.
Photos by Baroste Land

Its origins date back centuries, when the chief of The Lozi, Litunga established his headquarters at Leaului, which he soon discovered became submerged when the river rose during the rainy season. The hasty evacuation to a new capital Limulunga, is today celebrated with great pomp annually. As floods threaten a flotilla of canoes headed by the royal barge takes over five hours to reach the new capital, where crowds celebrate with dancing and singing.

It is said that in olden days the Kuomboka took place in the context of crisis as gardens and grazing were inundated and when the mounds on which so many of the inhabitants of Bulozi lived, became host to millions of rats, snakes and the fearless white ants that could consume the very buildings that people constructed to live in. Even the snakes could not handle the ants and would hang in bushes to try to escape the attentions of the ants! The concept of Kuomboka was invented by the early Lozis as an answer to this annual problem. Not just people but cattle too had to be swum to the plain margins to graze on the harsh woodland.

As the flood recedes, the king is enjoined by the royal drummers to move back to the plain so that the people can return to their normal economic pursuits. At this time, the king makes his return journey along a canal dug by one of his predecessors. This trip is accompanied with far less ceremony than the original voyage entailed. Upon the return of the king to his capital, much dancing, especially of the ngomalume (royal dance) variety, takes place. This ceremonial occasion takes place around mid-August.



The history of the Barotse Kingdom is reported to have began with the southward movement of the Luyi people sometime around 1600. Luyi history is characterized by a series of expansionary conquests and the absorption of numerous other peoples under their rule. Luyi domination was temporarily interrupted when they were conquered by the Kololo, a group of invaders from the south, who ruled the kingdom from 1838 to 1864. In 1864 one of the Luyi (now known as Lozi) princes reestablished his group's dominance by conquering the Kololo. By then, however, British and Portuguese interests had begun to penetrate the area. The first treaties between the British and the Lozi, signed in 1890 and 1900, placed the Lozi under the authority of the British South Africa Company, but allowed them considerable autonomy in self-government. During the twentieth century, there were a series of changes in the larger political institutions to which the Lozi were subordinate. From 1924 to the 1950s, they were a part of Northern Rhodesia, under the rule of the British Colonial Office. Subsequently, they were incorporated into the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and in 1964 Barotse Province became part of the newly proclaimed Republic of Zambia. Each of these political developments brought changes to the sociopolitical organization of the Lozi; the indigenous political organization increasingly lost power and functions, and the territorial extent of Lozi domination was constricted.

The Lozi consist of a number of interrelated ethnic groups located along the Zambezi River in Barotse Province of western Zambia. Lozi (Kololo) is the common language of Barotse Province, although many inhabitants speak other Bantu languages as well. The Lozi occupy small, compact villages, often surrounded by a fence or palisade and usually arranged with a cattle corral or open plaza in the center. The Lozi dwelling is a simple round hut with a low cylindrical wall of rush mats or of wattle and daub and a conical thatched roof. The Lozi are primarily monotheistic, but they retain a number of beliefs about spirits and other supernatural beings. Sorcery, divination, exorcism, and the use of amulets are all elements in the Lozi religious system.

Living in a habitat characterized by great seasonal and ecological variation, the Lozi subsistence economy is both mixed and complex. The Lozi agricultural produce comprise of cassava, millet, sorghum, maize, potatoes, groudnuts, beans just to mention a few. Most Lozi also keep domestic animals such as cattle, poultry, goats, and sheep. Hunting, collecting, and fishing are all important adjuncts to their subsistence economy.

The Lozi are also known as skilled iron workers. Blacksmiths smelt the iron ore obtained from stream and river beds and from swamp soils to produce axe, hoe, and mattock heads, snuff spoons, crocodile hooks, knife blades, dagger blades, iron ankle-rings, hammers, and other items.


The Lozi possess no unilinear kin groups. Despite a slight patrilineal bias, kinship is reckoned bilaterally, with relations traced as widely as possible through both consanguineal and affinal ties. They have eight noncorporate name groups called mishiku (sing. mushiku), and a man can claim membership in any or all of them, provided that he is a direct descendant in any line of a person who was a member.

TRADITIONAL HEALING Diviners usually dance to work themselves into a frenzy and into a state of spirit possession to cure their patients. According to the Lozi, almost all disease is caused by sorcery. To combat these diseases, a witch doctor (naka) is called in to perform rites of exorcism over the patient. The naka, who possesses real if limited medical knowledge, may be a member of the local community or may be invited from a neighboring village or from an outside tribe. The diseases treated by exorcism are psychic disorders that are usually attributed to possession by a malevolent spirit. These disorders are called maimbwe, liyala, macoba, and kayongo. The method of curing involves exorcistic dancing combined with the inhalation of the vapor from boiling concoctions of bark, roots, and leaves. There are also a number of less common curing ceremonies, such as the one performed when a child becomes possessed by a hunter ancestor.


At the point of death, the individuals eyes and mouth are kept open. The body is flexed so that the knees come up under the chin. The body is then removed from the hut through a special opening cut in the side of the dwelling for this purpose. As the body is taken to the cemetery for burial, spells are scattered on the road to prevent the return of the ghost to haunt the village. Men dig the grave while women stand around the grave site and check to see if the grave is deep enough. Men are buried facing east, whereas women face the west. When the grave is ready, two relatives of the deceased climb into the grave to receive the body. The personal possessions of the deceased are then placed around the corpse. Relatives kneeling around the open grave then gently push dirt into the hole, while those within place dirt around the body. The grave is then completely filled. On top of the grave are placed a broken anthill and a wooden plate or some other object that has been broken with an axe stroke (dead like its owner), in the belief that they will accompany the individual to the other world. The grave of a person of status, which is situated to the side of the commoner s cemetery, is surrounded by a circular barrier of grass and branches. After returning to the village the people mourn for several days. As a sign of grief, the kin of the deceased wear their skin cloaks inside out. The hut of the deceased is pulled down, the roof being placed near the grave, while the remaining possessions of the dead person are burned so that nothing will attract the ghost back to the village. Sons and brothers of the deceased build miniature shelters in their courtyards, bearing the name of the dead, in which the spirit may come and find protection. At times of sickness or disaster, the kin of the deceased go to these shelters to worship and seek the spirit's aid.

The funeral rites for a king are far more elaborate. Before his death, each king selects or builds a village in which he will be buried, peopling it with councilors, priests, and other personnel. At his death, the king is buried in a huge grave at this site. This is then surrounded by a fence of pointed stakes and the markings of royalty erected around the location. Trees, obtained from the bush, are planted at the royal grave so that from a distance the site stands out distinctly on the flat plain. The Lozi believe that these royal graves are infused with great supernatural power, affecting the lives not only of the royal heirs but of all the inhabitants of Loziland. Each grave has its resident priest, who makes offerings at the site. The royal ancestors are believed to act as intermediaries between Nyambe (the supreme god) and man.

At death, the spirit of the deceased goes to a "halfway house" on the way to the spirit world. Here the deceased, if a man who has the appropriate tribal marks (matumbekela) on his arms and holes in his ears, is received by Nyambe, or if a woman, by Nasilele (Nyambe's wife), and then placed on the road to the spirit world proper. If matumbekela and holes through the ears were lacking, the man was given flies for food and not welcomed; he was put on a road that meandered and became narrower and narrower until it ended in a desert where the man would die of hunger and thirst.

Zambia Ministry of Tourism
Eye on Culture
Barotse Land

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Saharan Vibe today mourns the sudden demise of Lucky Dube who was killed in an attempted car-jacking as he dropped his children off at a relative's house in the Rosettenville suburb of Johannesburg. The incidence occurred at approximately 8pm on the 18th of October. Police reports suggest he was shot dead by carjackers in front of his son and daughter. He is survived by his wife, Zanele, and his seven children.

I cant believe you are gone Lucky.


Sunday, September 23, 2007


Dr. Samuel Esson Jonah KBE, Mining Engineer, International Chief Executive, Diplomat, Management Consultant, Advisor, Entrepreneur, Educationist, Role Model and Administrator

Sam Esson Jonah is a prominent Ghanaian business man. Samuel Jonah was born on the 19 November, 1949 in Obuasi/Adaugi in then British Gold Coast colony(Ghana). In 1969 Sam applied for and won a trainee position with Ashanti’s Ayeinm mine that included an Associateship (ACSM) in Mining Engineering at the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall, England and subsequently completed an MSc in Mine Management at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. He rejoined Ashanti Goldfields Corporation in 1979, working in various capacities, including underground operations, and he became the Chief Executive Officer in 1986 at the age of 36. Ashanti started as a single mine (Obuasi) located 180km north west of the capital of Ghana in 1895 and first listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) two years later. The company was acquired by Lonrho in 1968 and delisted. Under his able and dynamic leadership from 1986 until June 2004, when he was the CEO of Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited, he led the transformation of Ashanti from a one-mine operation into a multinational. In 1996, Ashanti, which had listings in London & Ghana, became the first operating African company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

He is the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, a private equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the non-executive president of mining giant Anglogold Ashanti Limited, and is also a director of Anglo American Corporation of South Africa and Anglo American Platinum Corporation. Sam Jonah is a member of numerous advisory committees, including South African President Thabo Mbeki’s International Investment Advisory Council and President Kufuor’s Ghana Investors’ Advisory Council. He is the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.He also serves on various boards including Lonmin, the Commonwealth African Investment Fund (Comafin), the Advisory Council of UN Secretary General’s Global Compact. As well as his directorships, Mr Jonah is a member of the Advisory Board of the London Business School.

He has been decorated with several awards and honours, among them an honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc) degree awarded jointly by the Camborne School of Mines and the University of Exeter (UK) in 1996. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain conferred on Sam Jonah an Honorary Knighthood in recognition of his exceptional achievements as an African businessman, a leading business executive from the Commonwealth and an international public figure. The award KBE stands for Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Since Sam Jonah is not a national of the the United Kingdom he cannot use the title 'Sir Sam Jonah'.

Sam Jonah at Ashesi University College 2005 commencement ceremony where he was honored with the degree Doctor of Humanities.
According to a recent article in The Economist Magazine Sam Jonah seeks to raise $250m to build long-distance roads across Africa—the lack which is one of the most obvious failures in the continent’s infrastructure. His goal is to find 50 successful African business people, each willing to invest $5m in the fund, and then to use multilateral funds to leverage the money into the billions. “People in Africa, if they come together, can make a big difference,” says Mr Jonah. “What I want to do is put my money where my mouth is.”There is increasingly a pro-African mood in the global business community nowadays, says Mr Jonah. “Access to finance is much better; now when I go to New York seeking a lot of money, I get a warm welcome.”
Sam Jonah is reported as being optimistic in his new venture and acknowledges Africa’s post-colonial difficulties. “People fail to appreciate the huge challenges African countries faced at independence,” he says. “When you think where we have come from, there has been tremendous progress.”

Sam Jonah believes that African companies and governments must be held to international standards but that the southern hemisphere often gets the raw end of trade deals. "Globalization can bring tremendous benefits to Africa," says Jonah. "But there is no level playing field."
By Simon Robinson/Johannesburg CNN

He expresses his disapproval to the help Africa has elicited from foreign agencies as having been the wrong prescription.

"By way of illustration, Mr Jonah points to three once impoverished European countries—Spain, Portugal and Greece—that might have stayed poor had they not been “rescued by their sugar daddy, the European Union.” The point, he says, is that richer European countries invested in these poor countries, “not as charity, but because they saw a win-win opportunity.” The same is now true of Africa, he argues. With a handful of headline-grabbing exceptions, “everyone in Africa is now getting their act together, with free markets and democracy.”

Regarding the west backlash against Chinas involvement in Africa Sam notes “...we are amused that suddenly we are getting all this attention from the West,....You must start from the presumption that Africans know what they want,” he says.

The South African The Gibs Review reported Sam as stating “Africa is ready for business and the continent’s much improved business climate is attracting all sorts,” says Jonah, adding that Russia and China are making serious inroads to the African economy.

“China’s heavy presence in all aspects of business throughout Africa is evident and SA companies are running into fierce competition for mineral assets in the Congo, Angola, Tanzania and Guinea.”

Jonah says in the energy sector, China and India are everywhere and are also investing in natural resources, property and infrastructure. “China is currently building a US$200 million resort complex comprising pagoda roofed holiday homes, a golf course, a five star hotel and a helipad in Sierra Leone, as well as constructing three new and renovating two existing stadiums in Ghana for the 2008 African Cup of Nations,” he adds.

More Information:
The Sunny Continent - Africa's optimistic businessmen
Aug 21st 2007 The Economist.com

Foreign investors conquer Africa as SA slumbers- Improved business climate attracting all sorts
The Gibs Review January 2006

Sam Jonah launches Jonah Mining, will soon announce coal division By Mining Weekly South Africa Magazine

Who's Who In South Africa Sam Jonah Resume By 24.com


Sam Jonah and the Remaking of Ashanti by A. Taylor

Author: Ayowa Afrifa Taylor


Matches for the 2010 World Cup will be hosted in nine South African cities (clockwise from top left): Johannesburg in Gauteng province; Rustenburg in North West; Pretoria in Gauteng; Polokwane in Limpopo; Nelspruit in Mpumalanga; Durban in KwaZulu-Natal; Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape; Cape Town in the Western Cape; and Bloemfontein in the Free State.

The Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg is to undergo a major upgrade for the 2010 tournament, with a new design inspired by traditional African pottery and a revamped capacity for 104 000 football fans. The stadium will hold the final and opening matches, five first-round matches, one second-round match and one quarter-final. (Image: South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee)

Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg is to undergo minor upgrades for 2010. It has a capacity of 60 000 and will host five first-round matches, one second-round and one quarter-final match. (Image: South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee)

The Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Free State province, is to undergo a major upgrade, with the addition of a third tier increasing its capacity to 45 000. It will host five first-round matches and one in the second round. (Image: South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee)

Artist's impression of the 30 000-seat Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga province. It will be specially built for 2010 and host four first-round matches. (Image: Mbombela Local Municipality)

Artist's impression of the 40 000-seat Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo province. It will be specially built for 2010 and host four first-round matches. (Image: Africon)

The King Senzangakhona Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, is to be specially built for 2010, with a capacity of 80 000. It will host six first-round matches, one second-round, and one semifinal match. (Image: South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee)

Artist's impression of the 50 000-seat Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. It is to be specially built for 2010 and will host five first-round matches, one second-round match, one quarter-final and the third-place playoff. (Image: South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee)

Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, Western Cape, is to be specially built for 2010, with a retractable roof and a capacity of 70 000. It will host six first-round matches, one second-round, one quarter-final and one semifinal match.
(Image: South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee)

SA 2010: Did you know that there are robots on the street corners in SA?
Here are some of the frequent questions SA Info website addressed.

Images Courtesy of SA Tourism

Why did Fifa award the World Cup to South Africa?
Fifa decided that the 2010 tournament would be hosted by an African country, with five countries - South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya - in the running. In 2004 the organisation's inspection committee announced that South Africa had the potential to organise an "excellent" World Cup - compared to Egypt and Morocco's potential to organise "very good" World Cups, Tunisia's potential to organise a "good" World Cup, and the probability that Libya would "face great difficulties in organising a World Cup to the standards required".

Well, what's the place like?
Believe it or not, we have cities. With roads. And skyscrapers. And electric lights. And traffic jams. South Africa is the powerhouse of Africa, the most advanced, broad-based economy on the continent, with infrastructure to match any first-world country.

You can drive on wide, tarred highways all 2 000 kilometres from Musina at the very top of the country to Cape Town at the bottom. Or join over 7-million international travellers who disembark at our airports every year.

Two-thirds of Africa's electricity is generated here. Forty percent of the phones are here. Twenty percent of the world's gold and 77% of its platinum is mined here. And almost everyone who visits is astonished at how far a dollar, euro or pound will stretch ...

Images Courtesy of SA Tourism

South Africa? Where's that?
We're on the southern tip of Africa (that lozenge-shaped continent east of America, south of Europe and west of China), where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. We have nine provinces: Gauteng, the smallest and most densely populated, adjoins Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga in the north; the Northern Cape, the largest province with the smallest population, is in the west; the Free State is in the middle of the country; and the coastal provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape lie to the south.

Images Courtesy of SA Tourism

And the people?
South Africa is a nation of over 46-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. Africans are in the majority at 37.2-million, some 79.4% of the population. The white population is estimated at 4.4-million (9.3%), the coloured population at 4.1-million (8.8%) and the Indian or Asian population at 1.1-million (2.5%).

And we're good company. "We can say that the people of South Africa were always friendly, very boisterous and constantly celebrating during our visit to the country," Fifa's inspection team said in their country report. "[They] would stop and show their joy and support of the country's commitment whenever our group passed by."

Should I come even if I can't get tickets?
Of course! The 2010 tournament is guaranteed to be, as we South Africans say, a jol. As in Germany in 2006, public viewing areas accommodating vast numbers of fans watching the games on giant screens are likely to be set up. And you can always watch the tournament and get to know the locals at our numerous pubs, restaurants and sports bars.

Images Courtesy of SA Tourism

What's the beer like?
Cold and delicious. South Africans generally drink bottled beer, although most pubs offer a range of draughts. The major producer is South African Breweries, now a huge multinational doing business across the world. Lager is probably the favourite, followed by pilsener. In and around the stadiums, though, you'll only be able to drink beer produced by Budweiser, an official Fifa sponsor.

Are there lions in the streets?
Um, no. But if you want to see lions - and leopards, elephants, rhinos, buffalos and more - visit one of the many wildlife lodges and game parks across the country, which include the huge and magnificent Kruger National Park.

What benefits will South Africa get for hosting the World Cup?
It's been estimated that the 2010 World Cup will create some 129 000 jobs, contribute around R21-billion to the country's gross domestic product and another R7.2-billion in government taxes, with the 350 000 visitors spending a whopping R9.8-billion.

Images Courtesy of SA Tourism

Are South Africans nice people?
Visitors to the country always remark on how warm, friendly and welcoming South Africans are. We've had a difficult past, so we don't waste time being difficult people. And we're expert at having fun.

Can I use my hairdryer?
Electricity is generally 220/230 volts, 15 amps, and is supplied through either 15-amp three-prong or 5-amp two-prong plugs, in both cases with round pins. If you're bringing anything electrical, bring an adapter – or you could buy one here. Generally, the 110V video chargers work safely on the 220V supply. Television is on the PAL system.

Is it true that there are robots on the street corners?
Yes, there are. In South Africa, traffic lights are known as robots, although no-one knows why. A pick-up truck is a bakkie, sneakers are takkies, a barbeque is a braai, an insect is a gogga and an alcoholic drink is a dop.

All the Information and Text from South Africa Tourism
For More Information