"Portraying a country in the shape of a man heading a ball is a new idea with potent symbolism. For me, football is all about emotion and passion, which is why I was particularly attracted to this poster. It invites the world to join in the celebration of the greatest football event on earth, while highlighting the pride and passion of the African continent and her people. It represents the African dream come true. The South Africans made a good selection for the poster, which will represent their country all the way up to 2010," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
For the first time in football history, the FIFA World Cup™ will be hosted on African soil from 11 June to 11 July 2010. The artwork depicts a celebration of the African continent as well as everyone who calls it home. The simple and yet iconic rendering is symbolic of the relationship between football and Africa and captures a sense of excitement, awe and aspiration. It also reflects the positive impact that the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ will have on Africa. Africa is the "hero" of the official event poster. The unique shape of the continent almost naturally lends itself to the shape of a man's profile, while the face represents every single African supporter from Morocco in the north, Gambia in the east, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia in the west to South Africa in the south.
Bright, vibrant and celebratory, the colours of the poster are inspired by the South African flag, but also draw upon the African continent. The strong yellow background symbolises the sun as the source of warmth, energy and life.
From a total of 16 creative entries, all submitted by South African-based agencies, three proposals had been pre-selected for the public vote by South African residents. The jury was made up of FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke, CEO of the 2010 South African Local Organising Committee Danny Jordaan, Minister in the South African Presidency Essop Pahad, Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi, South African playwright and author Wally Serote, and artist and director of the Vega School of Brand Communication Gordon Cook. Following on from the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Germany, this was the second time that residents of the host country have been actively involved in the selection of the official event poster.
The Official Mascot, a leopard, has been designed and produced exclusively in the host country. The name is a composition of "ZA", standing for South Africa, and "kumi" translating into "10" in various languages across Africa. Inspired by his football idols, Zakumi has dyed his hair green as he felt it would be the perfect camouflage against the green of the football pitch. "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," said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. The original creator of the design is Andries Odendaal from Cape Town, and the mascot costume itself was produced by Cora Simpson of Cora's Costumes cc in Boksburg. "Zakumi is a proud South African and, as such, an ideal ambassador for the first African World Cup. 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," explained Danny Jordaan.
This year's Final ball, named Jo'Bulani, will feature many of the same features and technology as the much lauded Jabulani football revealed last year. The Grip'n'Groove profile remains, but the major difference is the addition of 11 golden threads. The Eleven represents the 11 players in every team, the 11 official languages of South Africa and the 11 South African tribes that make the country one of the most ethnologically diverse countries on the African continent.
The newly developed “Grip’n’Groove” profile intended to provide the players with "an exceptional ball flight and perfect grip under all conditions".
The new name of the ball is inspired from the Final's destination - Johannesburg - or Jo'burg as it is commonly known. Hence Jabulani + Jo'burg = Jo'Bulani!