It isn’t every day that we get to see two international tennis greats play on South African soil. But the crowd at Cape Town Stadium on 7 February were lucky enough to witness history in action, when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal went head-to-head in the Match in Africa, raising USD 3.5 million (approximately R54 million) for the charitable Roger Federer Foundation. The Match in Africa was the sixth edition of this event, but the first to take place on African soil. And the crowd set a new World Record for the largest attendance at a tennis match.
The atmosphere in the capacity stands was electric as Bill Gates and Trever Noah joined the two champions for a curtain-raising doubles match, with Federer and Gates facing off against Nadal and Noah. Fans were ecstatic to see Trevor Noah back on home soil as both he and Bill Gates convincingly proved that there’s more to them than their less sporty day jobs and that they were fully committed to a good cause.
The Match in Africa also showcased a host of local talent in between the matches, which kept excitement high, including the legendary Ndlovu Youth Choir and the energetic Zip Zap Circus – a Cape Town-based social circus that was founded to inspire young people and to help build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal did not disappoint, launching into an exciting rally of world-class tennis that had spectators on the edges of their seats. The players matched each other lobby for lobby and ace for ace throughout. The thundering contest was tense to the last minute.
The event raised a total of USD 3.5 million (approximately R54 million). And all the net proceeds generated by the Match in Africa will be donated to the Roger Federer Foundation, to support education in rural South Africa. The Roger Federer Foundation has been supporting education programmes for over 16 years and has invested extensively in educational initiatives throughout Africa.
Following the match, Roger Federer says, “What an unforgettable night. We raised more than two-and-a-half million US dollars for vulnerable children in the region, achieved a world record for the largest attendance at a tennis match and had so much fun on the court. Thanks, Rafa for a great match, to Bill and Trevor for stepping out of their comfort zones, and most of all, thank you, South Africa, and thank you Cape Town, for all your overwhelming support and for making a difference to those who need it most.”
For more than sixteen years the Roger Federer Foundation has been engaging in charitable programs in Africa and Switzerland giving children a good start in education. Over 1.5 million children have benefitted from the interventions with a total expenditure of more than USD 52 million.
The foundation only works with carefully selected local organizations in long‐term partnerships and seeks to bring about systemic change and have a sustainable impact. It aims therefore to enable and empower the local population to assume responsibility for finding solutions to problems while also determining the content, organization and finances of these solutions. The Foundation is running School Readiness Initiatives in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Switzerland and has invested more than 52 million USD in educational programs in 7000 primary schools and preschools since its establishment.
Dare to dream with the Zip Zap Circus at The Match in Africa. Zip Zap Circus is a Cape Town-based social circus that uses the circus arts as a powerful tool for youth development and social transformation. Zip Zap works with a diverse community of children from all backgrounds to help bring their dreams to life.
They wowed the world on America’s Got Talent. Now they’re back to perform at The Match in Africa at Cape Town Stadium. See a true South African success story in action as the Ndlovu Youth Choir delivers an exclusive performance before Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal face each other for the first time ever on African soil.