Last week I wrote about the charity ‘Match in Africa’ between two tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, in aid of the Roger Federer Foundation, played in the Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening 7 February. Figures presented in it were estimates, but the impact of this star event for Cape Town, our country, and Southern Africa is even bigger than anticipated.
For those that attended, and from what I saw on TV and videos, it was a magic evening, with an amazing gees and a united country in the Stadium. Two further VIPs playing an opening Doubles Match with Federer and Nadal, Bill Gates playing with Roger, and Trevor Noah playing with Rafael, added to the stature of the evening. But it was Roger’s mother Lynette Federer who brought the house down, chatting in fluent Afrikaans after all the years of living in Switzerland, when she was interviewed and she did the toss for the Doubles Match.
Entertainment preceded the show, with our America’s Got Talent highly crowned Ndlovu Youth Choir singing and dancing whilst the Zip Zap Circus performed trapeze acts.
Records were broken, in that 51954 persons attended the event, the largest in the world for a tennis event, earning the event a Guinness World Record, and $3,5 million was raised for the foundation, when 50000 attendees were expected and $1 million was expected to be raised. It was Federer’s first tennis match played in Africa.
Roger Federer won the ‘Match in Africa’, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and he won it for more than his tennis playing skills in a hotly contested game, also for the statesmanship he showed throughout the event, making him a loved VIP with South African genes, with no airs and graces. A key moment was when Springbok captain Siya Kolisi went to present Roger with his own Springbok rugby jersey, with his name, which Roger put on immediately on being gifted it.
It is speculated that Federer, and perhaps other members of his VIP entourage, stayed at Ellerman House in Bantry Bay, given that they were seen practising at the Bantry Bay Tennis Club. What is definite is that Federer ate at Eat Out Top 10 restaurant Salsify in Camps Bay, a huge feather in the cap for this restaurant.
At R250 per ticket, the evening was win-win for every person who was lucky enough to get tickets, for the Roger Federer Foundation, for the VIP players, for Cape Town, and for our country, being reported internationally.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein