Years ago my dad took my brother to the Rugby world cup in France. As I looked on in admiration , he said “you’re next”. I assumed he was joking. It never crossed my mind that I would be seated in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup 2010. Not only was I destined to go to a World Cup (the holy grail of athletics for an aspiring soccer player of any age), but I was to attend the first world cup ever to be hosted in Africa. This was history in the making and I was part of it.
“Jambo, jambo bwana, habari gani, mzuri sana, wageni mwakaribishwa, Tanzania yetu Hakuna Matata….”
Who knew that Hakuna Matata actually meant “no worries!” Well in kiswahili, it sure does. In fact many a Lion King reference turned out to be surprisingly accurate including the monkey named Rafiki (meaning “friend”) and Simba (meaning “Lion”) etc. This cheerful song, welcoming visitors to Tanzania, was originally written for Kenya but was soon adopted by the Tanzanian people with slight alteration. More importantly, these were the words that welcomed me to the country I would call home for 3 months in the summer of 2005.