The official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has been unveiled. It is a leopard with green hair and a wide grin known as Zakumi.
The mascot was conceptualised, designed and produced entirely in South Africa, and is as such an ideal ambassador for the first African World Cup.
Even its name is South African: “ZA” stands for South Africa, while “kumi” translates into “10” in various African languages. Zakumi boasts a proud history.
He was "born" in 1994, the same year as the country's democracy. He is young, energetic, smart and ambitious, “a real inspiration for young and old, not only in our country," explains 2010 Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan.
"Zakumi represents the people, geography and spirit of South Africa, personifying in essence the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
We are certain we will have a lot of fun with him in the lead-up to and during the FIFA Confederations Cup™ and the FIFA World Cup™," says FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.
Soccer hero Lucas Radebe says Zakumi "wants to create a good mood for the fans and raise the excitement for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the first on African soil.”
Each World Cup™ over the last 40 years has had its own mascot, which helps shape its identity. For more information about Zakumi and previous World Cup mascots, visit his official website, www.FIFA.com/Zakumi.