roger.jpgAnother day, another celebrity, or so it seems to be lately. This morning it was tennis superstar, Roger Federer, and at midday, Shakira strode the halls. (You might remember it was only last week that Angelique Kidjo and Youssou N’Dour stopped by.)

While I can tell you absolutely nothing about Shakira, except that I accidentally borrowed some of the hairclips she in turn had borrowed from a friend, I can say a whole lot more about the tennis champ.

Federer is so much more than a pretty face and a tennice ace. And just a glimmer of his wit and sensitivity shone through the media mastery at an event to commemorate his appointment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in New York.

roger2.jpgAfter speaking of his commitment to humanitarian work, a journalist asked him how he planned to fit more of it into his busy schedule. He replied that this was a matter of planning, noting humourously that, “I really wanted to be here today, and if I hadn’t… got so far in the competition, well, I would have had more time to prepare.” The audience laughed appreciately, as Federer had just flown up from Miami after winning the Nasdaq-100 Open title the day before.

As a South African, my heart was truly warmed by the time he spent to acknowledge this heritage. (His mother, Lynette, was born and raised in South Africa, leaving for Switzerland in 1973.) Federer highlighted the work being achieved through The Roger Federer Foundation in the New Brighton township outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. (You can read more about this project here.)

[Note to the guy I saw on TV while working out: Yes, camera phones will change the politics of paparazzi. But no, not quite yet, as you can tell from the dreadful quality of these pix!]

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