Sunday, June 27, 2010

Missing! - Has Anyone Seen Zakumi, the Official World Cup Mascot?

For the last four decades the FIFA World Cups have had unique mascots for the different tournaments and the tradition continues this year with Zakumi.

Zakumi is the official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The green-haired leopard symbolizes the hopes and dreams of South Africa and the African continent through his self-confidence, pride, hospitality, social skills and warm-heartedness. He is lively, fervent, jovial, and a go-getter. He also loves football.

According to the official International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) website - "one thing is for sure, Zakumi will be first on the dancefloor and last off it at the biggest party in the world - the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa."

How Zakumi Got His Name:
Zakumi’s name comes from ZA, which is the international code for South Africa, and ‘kumi’ which means ‘ten’ in various African languages, making him a truly African mascot who will be the best host to all the fans visiting South Africa for the exciting football event.

The Importance of Zakumi’s Birth Date:
Although Zakumi was presented to the world on 22 September 2008, his birthdate is 16 June 1994, causing him to turn 16 in June 2010. This is an important day for South Africa, now celebrated annually as Youth Day, because it saw the beginning of the Soweto youth uprising as they protested against apartheid. The year 1994 is also an important year as it marks the first democratic vote for all people in the nation. Zakumi, therefore represents South Africa’s hopes and dreams.

However with the tournament into its third week I have yet to speak to anybody who has actually seen this character out and about performing his hosting duties - whether it be in person at a game, on or around the streets of any stadium, on billboards, through the media, or simply on our television screens!

Have YOU seen Zakumi?
Does Zakumi really exist?
Perhaps Zakumi has been abducted or kidnapped, and is being held to ransom!

If you have spotted Zakumi let me know when and where?

1 comment:

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