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JOHANNESBURG – The soccer World Cup in less than two months will be South Africa’s greatest opportunity to show off the diversity and potential of the nation and the whole of Africa, President Jacob Zuma said recently.

Zuma spoke at April 21 festivities to mark the 50-day mark in the central town of Kimberley, site of a 19th-century diamond rush that was a key event in the development of modern South Africa.

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“This is the single greatest opportunity we have ever had to showcase our diversity and potential to the world. We must rise and tell the story of a continent, which is alive with possibilities and resilient people who embrace people from other nations and cultures,” Zuma said.

Danny Jordaan, head of the local organizing committee, said at the same ceremony that the World Cup would be a defining moment comparable to the release of Nelson Manuela from jail and the end of apartheid.

He said the attention of the entire world would be on South Africa for the month of the globe’s most watched sporting spectacle: “The same South Africa the world once called a miracle nation when in 1994 we made a peaceful transition to democracy, defying all the skeptics.”

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