African Google Doodle winner squares off against international competition

Young artists from all around South Africa have been have been hard at work creating Google doodles for the search giant’s “Doodle 4 Google” competition, this year themed on “I love football”.

Since the competition began in April, more than 35 000 children across 17 countries have submitted their designs. Now it’s time for South Africans to rally behind their local winner as the competition enters the global voting stage.

Last week, South Africa’s winning doodler from Port Elizabeth, Nikisha Lalloo, 13, had her design shown on the Google South Africa homepage on the opening match day, after the public chose her Doodle as their favourite.

The panel that helped choose her doodle included award-winning cartoon artist Zapiro, former Pop Idols Africa presenter, Lebogang Mzwimbi, Director General of Education Duncan Hindle and Sandra Fivaz, Editor of Sunday Times Read Right.

Nikishha’s Doodle was accompanied by her statement: “I love football, especially the unusual actions, e.g., the bicycle kick, which, when performed successfully is absolute poetry in motion. The skills, dexterity and bravery involved is second to none.”

Now Nikisha’s design will compete against winners from all the other countries in the contest to have his or her work featured on the Google homepage of participating countries on 11th July.  Voting for the international winner will be open between June 21 – 28.

The international winner will also win a trip to South Africa for themselves and their family, courtesy of South African Tourism.  The runner-up will win 2 VIP tickets to a Premier League football match in the UK, offered by Sports New Media.

Julie Taylor, Communications Manager for Google South Africa said, “We’re really excited to see who the winner of our first international Doodle for Google competition will be.  We have had thousands of submissions from around the world, with many creative and inspiring ideas, and are now waiting for the public to cast their votes. So, don’t forget to vote for your favourite Doodle, and we wish our South African contestant Nikisha the very best of luck”

The customisation of the Google logo started in 1999 by Google Webmaster Dennis Hwang, whose work is seen by millions every time he and his team exhibits on the Google homepage. The 29-year-old calls these drawings “doodles”. The Google Doodlers have celebrated and marked worldwide events, anniversaries and holidays with doodles that incorporate the Google logo.

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