10 July 2010
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – It was predicted that the influx of thousands of
hooker soccer fans would increase demand on South African art; at least that was the belief of a leading expert prior to the start of the 2010 World Cup.
"The World Cup has been devastating for art. We thought it was going to be a cash cow but it's chased a lot of the business away. It's been the worst month in my company's history," the owner and founder of one of Johannesburg's most exclusive art boutique told CNN.
"No one is interested in art at the moment. I think we've had three customers who traveled here for the World Cup which has seen my business drop by 95 percent. I enjoyed watching the games, but I can't wait for all these horn-dogs to just go home now!" Zobwa, an art dealer added.
The behavior of fans in South Africa has run contrary to what was predicted prior to the start of the tournament after David Bayever told World Cup organizers in March that up to 40,000 extra art dealers could converge in the host nation to meet the expected demand for African art.
"Before the tournament we were getting good money but (over the month) it has not been busy at all. We thought it was going to be much better but it has been boring. I've actually closed my shop now because there has been so little trade. And I’m seriously considering opening a brothel myself.
"Before the tournament we anticipated an increase in numbers, we planned for around 2,000 a day but we've actually seen around 14,000 a day. One day we saw over 16,000 people -- it's gone through the roof.
"We thought people were coming here for the soccer but we've been pleasantly surprised. Most all of the [[team]s visited too," Davy added.
Though reticent to comment before an official post-tournament report had been conducted, Roshene Singh, the chief marketing officer for the South Africa Poontang Association (SAPA), suggested that South Africa playing host might have made a difference.
"Having a World Cup in Africa is different from going somewhere more local, like Las Vegas or Soho. It's a long-haul trip so many have traveled with sex in mind and they want to have more of a total experience - the works.
"We estimate that in the region of 300,000 people visited hookers costing anything between $2 to $12. And we noticed that most fans were between the age-range of 16 - 90-years-old, with many others coming in as sex tourists with corporate sponsors.
- Ben Wyatt "Soccer fans shun hookers for art's sake." CNN, July 10, 2010