Davos, Switzerland: The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzwerland came alive in the last 24 hours with the euphoria of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and with the South African colours splashed across the snow white Swiss town. In the midst of the excitement, Anant Singh and Videovision Entertainment have played a role in bringing attention to the South African presence at the Forum.
The kick-off, in what is branded ‘South Africa Day’, at WEF was a thunderous, vuvuzela driven announcement to the delegates of the upcoming World Cup in South Africa with football stars Mark Fish, Lucas Radebe, South African government officials among whom were Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordan, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Buyelwa Patience Sonjica; Director General of Trade & Industry, Tshediso Matona; a host of business leaders and the 2010 mascot, Zakumi taking centre stage at the main congress hall.
Speaking at the kick-off, Minister Manuel said, “We as South Africans stand as a single team raising the profile of our country here in Davos. We are glad to see so many people wearing the scarves and identifying with us. This kick-off is very important to us as the World Cup in 2010 is South African, but more importantly it is African. The World Cup is not just about sport, its about creating opportunities in different ways. We have our stadiums ready, games have been played in all of our stadiums, crowds have been seated. We are ready ! That’s a very important message. Hosting sports events is only one of the things we can do and more importantly, we a country and a region that is opened for business.”
Commenting on the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Matona said, “We are very excited and can’t wait for the event to take place. It will be a huge boost for the South African economy.”
The inspirational film of organized football on Robben Island which is produced by Anant Singh and directed by award-winning film director, Junaid Ahmed was screened this afternoon. Following the screening, was a panel discussion with Singh and Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel which focused on the role of sport in transcending differences and bringing people together in the pursuit of a common goal and shared values. The event was attended by a range of high profile international businessmen and Mrs Hilde Schwab, wife of Prof Klaus Schwab who heads the WEF.
The day is set to end with a grand soiree tonight hosted by South Africa, with entertainment provided by South Africa’s leading entertainers, including Freshly Ground, Jimmy Dludlu, KB, the Afro Tenors and the Moyo Dancers. Providing a backdrop to the entertainment is a high tech multi screen film produced by Singh and directed by Junaid Ahmed that tells the story of South Africa from its apartheid past to the glory of democracy, the country’s many achievements and the excitement of the upcoming Football World Cup. The film will be played on giant screens that range from 17 to 21 metres long and from 2 to 3 metros high, showing in a majestic and larger than life manner what South Africa is and has to offer the rest of the world. The content was customized to fit the large screen sizes and this is the first time that a South African company created content for this large format.
Apart from all the events hosted by South Africa, Singh also participated in various other WEF activities as a member of the Board of Governors for Media and Entertainment and as a member of the Cultural Leaders body of the Forum. Last night, Singh participated in the Cultural Leaders’ Discussion where he spoke about the impact of the World Cup in South Africa and the influence of South African culture on visitors to the country.
Commenting on the events in Davos, Singh said, “It is an absolute thrill to see Davos come alive with the colours of South Africa splashed across the town. South Africa has taken over Davos with people dressed in scarves in the South African colours, with buses and key points branded with ‘experience South Africa’ campaign. We at Videovision Entertainment are delighted to be part of the South African branding effort in Davos and we are pleased to have created the film which showcases our wonderful country.”