Here it is: the official Mascot of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
It is a young leopard, called Zakumi and was born in South Africa in 1994.
“The name ‘Zakumi’ is a composition of ‘ZA‘ standing for South Africa and ‘kumi‘, which translates into ‘10‘ in various languages across Africa.”
“He symbolizes South Africa and the rest of the African continent through his self-confidence, pride, hospitality, social skills and warm-heartedness.”
“He loves to play football as it is a great way to connect with others and break down language barriers. He always carries his football around which he will use to invite people to play with him.”
“He does have one striking weakness. With all his energy, he needs frequent rests. Occasionally, in-between performances on stage, he may suddenly fall asleep on the spot at the most random times! But rest assured, these are only short breaks that a leopard of his calibre needs to recharge his batteries.”
“Zakumi’s main priority is to turn the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa into one huge, joyful and unforgettable party and show the thousands of international guests the warmth and spirit of the African continent.”
“He wants to dance and entertain as many people as he can. He is an animator for fans, players and officials, for schoolchildren, teenagers and big kids alike!”