Soccer City stadium construction worker, Luis Moshi shares his passion about being involved in one of his country's most important projects.
When growing up at his small village near Polokwane, Luis Moshi, who is amongst the construction workers at the Soccer City Stadium, had a strong desire to be a professional footballer.
It was at the time when the country's football was in its prime, even though South Africa was not competing at international level. But Luis soon realised that he was not talented enough to compete with some of the country's most decorated stars like Jomo Sono, Doctor Khumalo, Ace Ntoelengoe and many others.
However, he has embarked on a unique journey that may, in some small way, have compensated for his failure to register his name amongst the football greats. Now, at 40, he is part of the team building a place fondly referred to as the ‘Cathedral of Football' or the ‘African Calabash' in South Africa, the Soccer City Stadium where some of the world's biggest stars will be parading their skills during the FIFA World Cup™ next year.
"I'm excited to be part of this project. I'm part of history. Everyone who is involved with building this stadium will leave a lasting legacy for South Africa," Moshi told FIFA.com.
Moshi is among approximately 1,000 workers at the Soccer City stadium who are turning their country's dream into a reality by building a stadium that will be symbol of triumph in the new South Africa. The newly-built state-of-the-art Soccer City will host the opening game as well as the Final.
"When we started this project, I don't think most of us realised its magnitude, I don't think we were fully aware of the scale of work and prestige involved. The stadium has attracted a lot of attention all over the world," continued Moshi.
This is a special stadium, it is where South African history was written and for me to be part of a project of this magnitude.
He knows that his work, as one of the construction workers at Soccer City, is not only important to him, but also to his country's reputation on the international arena as the ‘Rainbow Nation' awaits the hosting of the world's greatest show on earth.
"I can't really explain the feeling I have inside whenever I walk on the site to work, it's a special feeling," he said. "This is a special stadium, it is where South African history was written and for me to be part of a project of this magnitude.
In his village in Polokwane, people are passionate about football and he hopes to tell his story to his grandchildren one day. "Where I come from, people love the game," he smiled. "The memories I have about building this stadium will last forever in my mind. To be honest, I never thought I will be part of making a World Cup happen, it's special, really special."
The stadium is still on schedule and is expected to be ready for top-flight football early next year in preparation for the tournament. A stadium must host at least three test events before kick-off of the tournament and Soccer City will be on time according to officials.
Currently, the roof requires some final touches before completion while the structural concrete and pre-cast concrete are at 100 per cent. The brickwork is 95 per cent complete, while the internal finishes are at 70 per cent. The external earthworks that will complete the façade of the stadium are at 35 per cent.