Hands On The Wheel, Emil!

Posted December 12th, 2010 at 7:36 pm (UTC-4)
3 comments

My big sports trip this year took place in June and July when I made my first visit to South Africa to cover the World Cup football finals for the Voice of America.  In fact, it was probably the biggest sports trip I’ve made in my 22+ years at VOA, based on the historical significance of the event and because I broadcast to Africa.

I’ll remember the first football World Cup ever staged in Africa on a lot of different levels.

The atmosphere at the stadiums was fantastic, with almost a carnival feel at the venues.  I took this up close and personal photo of an American fan outside Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Sonny at Soccer City Stadium

Seeing former South African President Nelson Mandela on 11 July at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg was also a thrill.  There was a lot of doubt that Mr. Mandela would make an appearance because of his frail health, but he came out before the final between Spain and the Netherlands, waving to the cheering fans who rose out of their seats.

Emil Blows His Vuvuzela

My media seat that night was virtually at the top of the massive stadium, and it seemed like every fan was blowing a vuvuzela, the long plastic horn that provided the signature sound throughout football’s premier event.

My friend Emil also blew his vuvuzela a few times before I left South Africa.  Emil was my main taxi driver in Johannesburg, and we would debate that day’s matches and the teams that were playing well on our way to either Ellis Park or Soccer City.  Occasionally, though, Emil would get a bit carried away with his vuvuzela, and I’d have to remind him, “Hands on the wheel, Emil!”

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

3 responses to “Hands On The Wheel, Emil!”

  1. Sonny,what a wonderful time you had in South Africa,with your taxi driver Emil.I think,the world cup experience in Africa, is one of those memories that will linger for a long time.The football fiesta,gave the entire continent the opportunity to show case its love for the round leather game..

  2. Elvis Nzekwe says:

    Well, it was a great and remarkabel event indeed as it was the first in Africa.
    We, the fans of Sonny Side of Sports, thank God that our Sonny did not have accident while Emil was blowing his vuvuzela.

  3. Sonny Young says:

    Thanks for the comments, Elvis & Magnus. Emil is an excellent driver – even while blowing his vuvuzela! 🙂

    Sporty regards,

    Sonny

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

The Sonny Side of Sports is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT. And on Fridays at 1730 UTC/GMT, Sonny has an expanded 30-minute sports show.

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