Zakumi

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Zakumi.gif

Zakumi is the anthropomorphic leopard mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa.

[edit] Character

He is a teenage leopard with green, dreadlocked hair. In official advertisements he wears green shorts and a t-shirt bearing the insignia of the 2010 World Cup.

His color scheme was chosen to be green and yellow to match national sport uniforms, which are best recognized as the South Africa national rugby and football team's kits.

[edit] Date of birth

Although he debuted on the SABC (the country's national broadcaster) on September 22, 2008, his birthday is designated by the South African organizing committee to be June 16, 1994 - June 16 being the day in 1976 when the Soweto Riots occurred (memorialized as South Africa's Youth Day) and 1994 being the year that apartheid was dismantled and Nelson Mandela elected president of the country.

[edit] Name

His name is a portmanteau of "ZA", the two initial abbreviations for South Africa in the Afrikaans language (Zuid Afrika), and "kumi", which means "10" in most languages of the Nguni subfamily, which predominate (especially isiZulu and isiXhosa) among the majority populations' home languages in South Africa.

He was conceived and designed by Andries Odendaal of Cape Town, Western Cape.

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