It was not Michael Jackson. But the diski dance moves your body in ways you never dreamed of. It was a toe-tapping, hip-swaying rhythm that had all of us at the South African consulate make-believing we could also be like MJ the moonwalker. I couldn't help it. Not with the infectious attitude of Tembi Tambo, South Africa's consul general in Hong Kong, who joyfully presided over a press conference to mark the one-year countdown to the soccer World Cup in her country. I have had my share of press conferences, the majority of them as boring as watching Legco. But last Monday, the jaded Hong Kong media were treated to a fun briefing where the PR puff was forgotten in the presence of the jovial Tambo. How many diplomats would pick up a vuvuzela - a metre-long plastic trumpet which sounds like an elephant on steroids having a ball, and is the noise-making instrument of South African football fans - and blow it? Which ambassador would wear a Makaraba - uniquely sculptured hard hats, again worn by the fans - and sway to the diski. By the end of next year's World Cup, every football fan in the world will be familiar with the vuvuzela, the Makaraba and the diski. Even Tambo admits she is still getting used to them all. 'I'm not a football fan, but I'm learning the game. We are also learning the diski at the consulate,' she laughs. 'In the next few months, I want Hong Kong to embrace it. I want the kids here to love it.' She could well have her way. The rhythm is catchy and contagious. With such a beat and a happy host, you can't help but think the first World Cup in Africa will be nothing but an unqualified success. True, there are still many obstacles. Fifa president Sepp Blatter highlighted the dangers when he said South Africa still 'has to do a little bit more' following the Confederations Cup which ended last Sunday. 'I would say you [the organising committee] are at 7.5 out of 10 [marks]. I hope you will be at eight by the time of the draw [for the finals in Cape Town in December] and 10 out of 10 when the World Cup starts,' Blatter said. The biggest worries are transport and security, while accommodation is also a concern. But in true diplomatic fashion, Tambo downplayed all the anxieties. While saying steps taken to improve transport and accommodation were on the way to being completed, Tambo said visitors shouldn't shy away because of horror stories about crime. 'Crime doesn't happen because there is a bunch of bad people,' Tambo said. 'There is always a story behind why people choose that lifestyle or why they get forced into crime. In South Africa, most of the crime is due to people stealing to feed their families, unlike in developed countries where crime is a career choice. You are stealing because it is your job.' That will be small solace to a mugging victim. But, as Tambo says, crime happens everywhere. That shouldn't be a reason to stay away when the world celebrates its most popular sporting event from June 11 to July 11. To get Hong Kong in the mood, Tambo and her colleagues are planning a series of events counting down to the World Cup. Among them is flying in South African Nobel Prize laureates for the Literary Festival in March. Tambo revealed 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu had already accepted an invitation. On the sports front, there are plans to have a mini-World Cup for Hong Kong schoolboys aged 10-11 on the eve of the main event, complete with cultural entertainment. 'We hope each of the consulates from the four Asian teams who have already qualified - Australia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea - will adopt a team,' Tambo said. 'We wait to see if a fifth Asian country will qualify but we hope to have teams of Hong Kong children adopting the identity of all the countries at the World Cup.' Tambo hopes the Hong Kong Football Association will get involved in the organisation of this fun event, where the winners will be given a one-metre tall Makaraba. 'We don't want to give the usual trophy. It would be nicer to give a Makaraba, which would be remembered for ages,' said Tambo. There are also plans to bring the Springboks to Hong Kong in the next few months - 'so they can say why rugby is less popular than football back home' - as well as Danny Jordaan, who led South Africa's bid for the World Cup. Tambo, who revealed a Hong Kong company was behind World Cup mascot Zakumi - 'ZA' stands for South Africa and 'Kumi' means 10, the 10 other official languages of the country apart from English - said it was in the nature of her countrymen to involve the world. 'We South Africans are collective. It is part of our culture. When we have good news we share it with everyone. When we have bad news we share it with everyone. We celebrate misery and we celebrate joy. People just turn up at weddings and it is the same at a funeral. 'So at a time of joy like this, we don't want to keep that within us. We want to spread it. That's why it is important we feel everyone is part of it. We want Hong Kong to be part of it, too,' she says. We were part of it the other day. And the passion and excitement convinced us the World Cup next year will be a huge success. It might not be as slick and efficient as Germany in 2006, but I bet it will be more fun.