News / Africa

Nigerian Fans Catch World Cup Fever in Johannesburg

Nigerian fans parade through the Hillsborough neighborhood of Johannesburg before their team's first game in the World Cup tournament.
Nigerian fans parade through the Hillsborough neighborhood of Johannesburg before their team's first game in the World Cup tournament.

Multimedia

Jeff Swicord

World Cup Fever has taken over the city of Johannesburg.  Pubs and restaurants are filled with fans watching the matches.  But the atmosphere is even more electric when an African team is playing.  We spent the day recording the sights and sounds of Johannesburg's Nigerian community as they watched the Nigerian team take on Argentina in the first round.  

As Nigeria and Argentina prepare to meet on the Pitch, an impromptu pre-match parade through the streets of Hillsborough, the heart of Johannesburg's Nigerian community.

This World Cup has special significance for the people of Hillsborough.  It is the first on African soil.

Philip, who is on his way to the stadium told us having the World Cup in Africa is one of the greatest moments of his life. "I spend money to buy my ticket and I will be the happiest person to go to the stadium today and watch the football and see my brothers there," he said.

Despite football being the most popular sport in Africa, ticket sales across the continent have been less than expected.  Many told us, even here in Johannesburg, it is difficult to get a ticket.  We met Prince, the Secretary of the Nigerian Union in South Africa at a Nigerian pub in Yoeville. "I think there should be another system of getting tickets sold to people.  It is not that easy, you know what I am saying," he said.

For those who cannot get a ticket, pubs like this one are the venue of choice.  Here at the The Green House, the party started early, and the drink was flowing freely.  That made for some unusual predictions from the crowd.  Charles Umeh was among them. "We know already that Nigeria has won, we are just looking for the replay," he said.

The crowd breaks into a Nigerian folk song as the teams come out to the pitch.

Nigeria gets off to a good start and almost scores.

But a few minutes later, Argentina answers with a goal.

By half-time, the mood in pub has grown somber.  Some, like Ike, are hopeful.  He remembers what happened when the two teams met at the Atlanta Olympics. "They were one goal up, we still come back.  They give them penalty or controversial penalty, we still come back and later we win the match," he said.

This time it was not to be.  Argentina holds on to win.

It was a tough night for Nigeria on the pitch, but a good time to be a football fan in Johannesburg.  This party goes on late into the night.  There will be more matches tomorrow.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid