Journalists are among the rare ones who know that they would qualify to watch the final of the World Cup. They cover matches and stay till the final match. Players do not belong to that group.
No matter how good a team or player is, once you do not qualify from the group stages, you automatically head home. If you are lucky to move into knock out stage, you continue to toil. Once you are knocked out you head to the airport for your journey back to where you came from.
But out here, things are no longer at ease for the special ones – journalists. Most journalists would be knocked out in the first round and head home. Only the powerful ones who have the might would automatically stay behind for the grand finale. Journalists are paying so much for accommodation that it would be difficult for one to last the distance in the first world cup in Africa.
Hotels that ordinarily charge $40 per night have renovated their places and re-painted, re-branded and constantly reminding us that things are not as it used to be. Such hotels now go for $450 a night ( bed and breakfast) .
Some shylock landlords (Not only in Nigeria, they have a union worldwide) have vacated their homes and put them up for rents. They, too, want to reap from the world cup. The homes are not affordable. A room goes for $250 a night. You have a choice to move to the hotels or stay in the homes.
There is no better option. The Rand, the South African currency is so powerful that it dwarfs the almighty American Dollar.Â With a Rand so high in exchange and hotels bills so huge, one is paying through the nose.
What a Randsom?Â It is so bad that those who tried to befriend their calculators to solve this arithmetic equation of how to survive in South Africa have discarded it. It is of no help. With an unfriendly weather, the Ojuelegba option is out of it. You canâ€™t stay in the open.
The South African World Cup would definitely make it into the history book where Journalists returned home before the final.
Itâ€™s like facing the Devil and the Red Sea. And there is no Moses here that would hit the rod on the Red sea to provide a way for the Israelites.