newritings

March 26, 2010

Some South African music on youtube

Filed under: manifesto,opinion article,Uncategorized — newritings @ 8:06 pm

There are quite a few that you can catch. I wanted to introduce some of my favourites to friends. One I really love, African Market Place by Abdullah Ebrahim (Dollar Brand) from which this picture is the CD cover is not available. Some have only audio,and no live show or promotional videos.

Hass

1966 interview Miriam Makeba

1979 inteview Makeba

1966 the click song – miriam makeba

Miriam makeba and paul simon

Abdullah Ebrahim – tuan guru

Abdullah Ebrahim (Dollar Brand) – Mannenberg

scatterlings of africa

Asimbonanga

soweto gospel choir

ladysmith black mambazo- hello my baby

Ladysmith black mambaso-homeless

MFAZ’ OMNYAMA-NGISEBENZILE MAMA

sibobgile khumalo – thandos groove

Letta Mbulu and Caiphas Simenya – Diphendule

Hugh Masekela – stimela

winston mankunku ngozi
Winston “Mankunku” Ngozi – Yakhal’ Inkomo

bheki mseleku
1-4-j

busi mhlongo
urbun zulu

busi with jabu
Jabu Khanyile and Busi Mhlongo Live. Ngiyababonga abazali.

Freshly ground

Doo be doo

South Africa – Zim Ngqawana – Qula Kwedini

Lucky Dube (RIP) – The Way it is

Gloria Bosman (world music potpouri)

Pops Mohammed (world music potpouri)

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March 21, 2010

The forgotten leagues…

Filed under: Uncategorized — newritings @ 8:42 am

Dancing shoes was there

It is interesting how many people are asking about those who lost out. I stumbled accross this question, on a website_

Bernard Hartze Where Are You?

Can Anyone Please Help Me Contact South African Footballer Bernard Hartze
Does he still live in Africa?
It is regarding his football/soccer career in the United States of America, in 1975 he played for the TAMPA BAY ROWDIES in the North American Soccer League (NASL).
Please could you leave a private message, if you can help me.
Many Thanks

Thats good but for  many it is too late. They are dead and we must ensure that they are remembered for  their contribution to non racialism in society. IN the old FPL we supported Bluebells United. We loved Bells but  have to turn my mind around and recollect, it was for the type of football they played and their fight for sports facilities and equality in sports and society. If I recall correctly, we rarely won major tournaments but we were happy…

SASF and FPL

SASF/FPL Main Cup Competition

Mainstay Cup

1969    Aces United

1970    Verulam Suburbs

1971    Maritzburg City

1972    Glenville

1973    Verulam Suburbs

Coca Cola Shield

1974    Berea                   4-3   Cape Town Spurs

1975    Cape Town Spurs         bt    Bluebells

1976    Berea                   3-3   Sundowns                [replay 6-3]

1977    Manning Rangers         1-0   PG Bluebells

1978    Durban City             bt    Suburbs United

Seven Seas Cup

1979    Glenville

1980    Cape Town Spurs

1981    Vereeniging Old Boys

1982    Bosmont Chelsea

1983    Maritzburg United

1984    Tongaat Crusaders United

1985    Lightbody’s Santos

Golden City Homes Cup

1986    Real Taj

1987    Jakes Autolot United

1988    Lightbody’s Santos

1989    Battswood

1990    Lightbody’s Santos

FPL Other Cup Competitions

Osman Spice Works Cup

1985    Manning Rangers

1986    Real Taj

1987    Jakes Autolot United

1988      unknown

1989      unknown

1990    Real Taj                bt    Maritzburg United

Ohlssons Cup

1990    Lightbody’s Santos

I say thanks to Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation and the Author: RSSSF (karel@rsssf.com)  whom we must contact to update and correct data.

http://www.rsssf.com/tablesz/zafcuphist.html

March 20, 2010

The South African Federation Legends – still living and fighting

Filed under: sports,testimonies — newritings @ 6:21 pm

the Gauteng leadership

This afternoon was another memorable day. Old players and administrators from the SA Football Federation (FPL) met to  discuss how they can recuperate the memory of their struggles for building non-racial sport in South Africa. The coordinating committee of SA Fed Legends, led by some able administrators from yester year – Don Mudaly and K Pops Chetty, the current chairperson of the iniative which was established in Kwazulu Natal in 2007 -, had come to Johannesburg, Gauteng to form its provincial structure. They are building up towards a national meeting after visiting all provinces where the FPL had some foothold.

Alan  Moonsammy, Virgil Padiachee, Smiley Moosa and a number of ex-players were present to support the able adminstrators such as Billa Singh, Kokie  Singh, Boetie Eshack and others in this endeavour.  Community radio East Wave promised to host talk shows and explore a dinner dance to celebrate the heroes of non racialism.

The draft constitution lists some of the objectives as follows:

To unite, give recognition and support to  players and officials of  the South African Soccer League and the Federation Professional League from 1960 to 1990.

_ To render moral and physical support, counselling and aid to families and of  players who may need assistance.

_ To unite players and officials of the SASL and FPL from 1960 to 1990.

_ To give recognition and honour to the players and officials who fought  for the cause of non racial soccer.

_ To encourage and promote the spirit and  camaraderie among The Legends through sporting, recreation and social activities.

The Legends initiatve agreed to form a Trust to  support ex-players of non-racialism that are in need. To date the organisation has assisted former Verulam star Vasu Chetty who is now a paraplegic, by providing him with a wheel chair, and have also donated a buffing machine to his former teammate, Valiant Alley, who lost a foot due  to illness. It is hoped that he will be able to have  greater mobility throught their assistance.

I attended the reunion and loved meeting some of my heroes of yester year.

“You guys have nothing to be apologetic about”, I said to Smiley Moosa, who had to play white turning up for Berea Park to show off his  skills as a skilful  player. Essop was not white but he was fair  in colour and just in spirit. I told these comrades that they fought the  good fight, and “if we are fighting to recuperate the memory in politics of men (and mostly women) who have been written out of history, it is fighting the good fight to be recognised because  you guys rid the sport of the politics of hate and exclusion”. To the peace time warriors of today, I say you cannot obliterate the contribution of these stalwards from our minds, even if you try to keep it out of public  debate.

March 19, 2010

Poem for a noble man: Vanunu

Filed under: opinion article,poetry — newritings @ 10:08 pm

Vanunu refuses to speak Hebrew. He lives alone, in east Jerusalem. Israeli Jewish society considers him a traitor. Only one member of his large family will speak to him. The Palestinians are friendly to him and often invite him into their homes, but he politely refuses, explaining that he can’t tell who is a collaborator and who isn’t. He knows the state is following him, and he knows there are many Palestinians who – for money or drugs or to keep the silence of a blackmailer – help the state. What he does all day, every day, is walk – “from the checkpoint to the wall, from the wall to the checkpoint.”

(http://pulsemedia.org/2009/06/06/from-vanunu-to-the-new-jew/)

The popularity of the piece “Let’s inspect Dimona” has provoked some sharp responses. The latest two, see them, reflect the current debate between two opposing camps: those who see justice as indivisible and therefore Israel must be included in all inspections, and those who see Israel as an exception, a protector of Western values and democracy in a world that knows only lawlessness and terror. The questions often not asked by those who subscribe to this view, is whose lawlessness and terror exercised upon whom? The masses of Palestine inside Israel, and in Gaza and the West Bank have clear answers, if the powers that be really want to listen.

The editors of this blog really believe that Israel, 60 years trying to be a respected member of the world community, must subscribe to laws, policies and practices that guide all countries and not only those preserved for some. It is in part of a handful of countries that have weapons of mass destruction (others being Pakistan, India, France, United States of America, United Kingdom, Russia, China and North Korea) but Israel practices what the diplomatic community in Propaganda speak call Nuclear Ambiguity, not affirming or denying the existence of Nuclear warheads.

However, the world knows that it has them, long before Modechai Vanunu exposed this to public attention in the 1980’s. This honourable man took another giant step forward when he asked the beginning of this year that he be removed from the list of nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace prize. This was announced by the Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad, who said that the reasons given for the rejection were contained in a letter to them adding that: “The reason he gave was that Shimon Peres had received the Nobel Peace Prize, and Peres he alleged was the father of the Israeli atomic bomb and he did not want to be associated with Peres in any way.” (Haaretz, February24, 2010)

Often comparisons are drawn between Israel and Apartheid South Africa and very few commentators point out that South Africa not only turned its back on racist and Bantustan policies whilst Israel has not yet, but most importantly, South Africa voluntarily gave up its Nuclear potential and arms in the early 1990’s (no doubt, in part, concerned at the advent of a Black government) and thereby becoming the first nation in the world to do this.

It is also a signatory of the Biological Weapons Convention since 1975, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty since 1991, and the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1995. So if South Africa can do it, why not Israel and all the other countries?

In response to our comments we reaffirm it is never too late to inspect DIMONA… and to end I have this little poem called DIMONA.

D __ Destrustive

I_ Israel

M_Must

O_Obey

N_Nations

A­­_Agreements (on arms, etc.)

OR IS IT

Doomed, ISRAEL MUST OBEY NOT ARM (NUCLEAR)

PS. To read a poem by Vanunu, go to his website.

March 15, 2010

TIME TO FIX THE BROKEN LINK… AND BRING IN THE BROKEN C WHILST WE AT IT

Filed under: sports — newritings @ 7:42 pm

Photo by (H)elena

Barça supporters get organised in SA

Yes, Barça supporters in SA are getting organised and we are in the process of getting the offiicial nod from Camp Nou, and registering as a South African NPO. As we do finalise this in the coming weeks (days), we will be about the 4th only supporters club of this  great team in Africa. The others that exist are in Senegal, Morocco, and Cameroun (eg. Fan Club FC Barcelona Cameroun Douala Cameroon). Our name is Mzansi Penya Barcelonista.

That we are getting organised in this historic year of the 2010 World Cup is not accident as it presents us with a great opportunity to:

a) support great football that is dished out by this great team; but, more importantly,

b) learn the lessons and share them, about the importance of having people-owned teams that have a social conscience about peoples’ lives, struggles and cultures. We are agreed that we must try to get our regular contact with supporters’ clubs of our national clubs, to learn the importance of fans in the national game. (Just look at poor Manchester United supporters who have set up a trust fund to buy back their team from the Glaser family!)

Like all supporters’ clubs worldwide we are a voluntary group, who love the brand of football and the politics of the club. (You know that in its over 100 years history, it has had no sponsor logo on its first football team shirt and only supported UNIcef on its shirt to show its pro-people stance…). Like our LA Penya, we too regard ourselves as “més que una penya” (more than a fan club) as is shown in our constitution.

Our constitution lists our  key  objectives, thus:

a)        To support the goals and objectives of FC Barcelona ownership of sports clubs and associations;

b)      To promote the right to play by advocating the extension of services for poor communities (parks, coaches etc);

c)      To promote appreciation of South African sports and culture, in particular the struggle for sports and culture for all in societies free of exploitation and discrimination;

d)         To campaign for support for local sports in particular national football (male and female);

e)     To support the right of sports for all, emphasing the role of women, the disabled and those marginalized by various types of wars and crisis;

f)      To campaign for various spaces to open up and let the public get the opportunity to watch Barca football; and finally

g)        To promote an understanding of international solidarity through sports and culture.

Mzanzi PB will collaborate with other supporters clubs and associations committed to some of the objectives listed above, especially the goal of people owned clubs and associations.

The founding committee has done much to organize itself quietly over the months and will be watching matches together, in particular, El Clasico, i.e. the FCB vs Real Madrid FC. The viewing venue  is the:

photo by (h)elena

Legends Sports Bar

Randburg Central Sports Complex

Portion 45 of Farm Klipfontein 203

And what is more: we have a Facebook Group – look for us! And our contact email is mzansipb@gmail.com

We will unveil our full leadership in April at El Clasico, so come there and be part of the solution…

Before signing off a note to the editors: We have read many South African newspapers – those that write about the club but inadvertently end up calling it a boat… that is what “barca” really is in Catalan (official language of FCB and also in Spanish). I know that other media agencies too are guilty of this error, see: La Liga – Messi and Barca named football’s top brands. But I can say unashamedly that I have never seen it correctly used in our papers. However, since we are living in a highly interconnected world, internationalism or globalisation for those who gain, I suggest that our organising here must allow editors to use the broken c. Then and only then will you get the team we support BarÇa.

A quick glance at various enclopeadeas and one will find that the Ç, ç (c-cedilla) is a letter widely used in many parts of  the world, Turkey, etc. Wiki says that “this letter also appears in Catalan, French, Friulian, Occitan, and Portuguese as a variant of the letter c.”

I must sign off now and all I want to say is that we wish our national team well, on camp in Brazil and hope for them to reach the final.

Viva Bafana Bafana, viva!

Viva BarÇa, viva!

Hassen

(one of the founding members…)

TIME TO FIX THE BROKEN LINK… AND BRING IN THE BROKEN C WHILST WE AT IT

March 13, 2010

Verryn in Solidarity with the poor and working people of Zimbabwe

Filed under: manifesto,Uncategorized — newritings @ 8:14 pm
martin niemoller

solidarity man -Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller

( first written in end January 2010)

The all night prayer vigil said it all. People do care about people who do good, and they will not allow the politics of opportunism to derail their belief that good people need to be supported.

Over last weekend a dozen odd friends of Paul Verryn’s met to discuss the hatchet job that was being perpetrated against the bishop, from various quarters, from within and outside the church. We met to organize and speak out against the gross injustices that is being orchestrated, and tell the media and public at large that the issue is not the Bishop but the lack of help for the refugees, the poor and the homeless in Joburg and the other cities.

IN 2006 I wrote a letter to The Star, lamenting the quality of journalism especially when it came to the marginalized and poor. IN this case, I specifically referred to the case of the Central Methodist Church and its work with the refugees, most but not all from Zimbabwe.

Then I complained that the journalists were fighting the victims and letting Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF off lightly. I will review some of the media coverage and conclude that the media, in general have failed to see the big picture for a long time, and have allowed not only their comrade Bob to get away with rape and murder but they have also let our provincial and local governments get away with gross scape-goating.

I then suggested after the article that I was responding to, I suspected that stories of sex and money will be forthcoming. I am sorry to say that 3 years on, this has happened. Media speculation and innuendo, used by some journalists have presented the bishop in a bad light implying some strange complicity of the Bishop in the survival actions of some refugees.

The media have also failed to fully consider that “warts and all”that this small church in the heart of the city of Gold is almost the only refuge for homeless persons – foreigners and national. Importantly, the media have ignored the City’s recent commitment to cleaning up Joburg, which ruthless means dealing with “foreigners”, who are seen to be a sore to the eyes for our beloved tourist visitors to the African 2010 Fifa World Cup.

All in all,the media in the main have failed to cover the crisis around the Methodist church beyond the quick sound-bites, which do not give a full picture of the history of the refugee and poverty crisis in the inner city, and in south Africa in general. They omit basic facts that would inform us that this crisis is not new and that there is a long history of attempted engagements with the various governmental authorities, including the Human Rights Commission to find humane solutions to the problems of refugees. It ignores the gallant support role the church played in the xenophobic attacks of May 2009, where over 60 persons died, a third of them from South Africa, the remaining from Zimbabwe.

Let us talk about the clean up, if I know of at least 10 buildings in and around Joburg Central with many hundreds more people living inside them, run variously by independent committees to slumlords, (both new and old and with legal papers or without). So why pick on one bishop and one church?

Simply put because Bishop Paul Verryn stands between them and their vision of a Joburg which will have no place for poor, and working class people. It is worse if they are foreign as well. We must not allow this vision of a city that will spend R45million (believed to be about double that according to the Mail and Guardian (http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-12-11-joburgs-miss-world-debacle) to host world beauty queens parade which in the language of trickle down economics “will affect the city’s economic landscape and bring positive spin-offs for Joburghers”[i] but peanuts on helping to house –inside the city – homeless and the poor.

The concluding message to those who support the work of the bishop is this: continue to work for justice for refugees, the working people and the poor. Expose policies and practices that `ferment xenophobia. Expose elite collusion to rid the city of the poor. If 2010 is to be the year of the African Football World Cup,  make a living space for poor Africans from South Africa and those fleeing repression. Instead of victimizing the victims we must stand in solidarity with the Bishop and those who work for justice. In our endeavours  must heed the message that what the bishop represents is that of solidarity, and it is now time to give the bishop what he gave others.  I am reminded of Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) who in his poem, on solidarity speaks much about the work that Paul and his mission does. To end, it goes like this:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out.

By sheer coincidence, the various unions that I have worked for over the years (NUMSA and SAMWU) amongst others, played a critical role in mobilisng public opinion on the side of the work that the bishop does.

SA MUNICIPAL WORKERS UNION: Press release: Support for Rev. Paul Verryn – 29 Jan 2010.

SAMWU Supports Paul Verryn and the Struggle Against Xenophobia.

SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT.
29th January 2010.

SAMWU has carefully noted the suspension of Paul Verryn, until recently a Methodist Bishop and the manager of the Methodist Community Centre in Johannesburg. It also notes the charges that have been laid against him by some of his seniors in the Methodist Church.

We wholeheartedly condemn the scurrilous way the mass media has allowed itself to repeat old and discredited slurs from the past in an attempt to further besmirch the name and actions of this man of the cloth. Early reports of the involvement of the security services in this episode are very alarming, and must be investigated.

We share the view of the Legal Resources Centre and others, that the two ‘charges’ against him are without substance, and should be immediately withdrawn and apologies offered.

Anyone who has spent even a short time in the company of Paul Verryn will know that he is an intelligent, passionate and yet profoundly humble human being. He does not seek headlines or conflict of any type. He does however want to see change. In fact, throughout all of his working life he has tried to make life bearable for those who have been without hope.

This Union believes that Paul Verryn is being victimised because his example is a threat to the complacency and the absence of compassion in both church and civil authorities. They should be ashamed of their actions.

The presence of large numbers of Zimbabwean refugees in the centre of Johannesburg cannot be spirited away into nothingness by injunctions from those who feel that their businesses are being hampered . Nor can the City of Joburg, with the help of expensive and completely unnecessary police raids, intimidate the refugees into thin air.

What is needed now is a reality check by the church and civil authorities.

The reality is that South Africa now hosts thousands of destitute refugees because our Government under President Mbeki doggedly pursued an ineffective policy in relation to the brutality of the Mugabe regime. Many Zimbabweans were left with no choice but to walk to safety and try and find another place where they might care for their families. To make matters worse, refugees continue to be mercilessly exploited by employers and landlords, and have been maliciously treated by certain xenophobic sections of the police and community.

It has been easy for the Joburg City Council and others to criticise the conditions at the Methodist Church Centre. It is overcrowded, it has at times probably presented a serious health risk, and the everyday happenings on our streets of violence and anti-social behaviour have no doubt had their reflection inside the Centre from time to time.

Rather than persecuting Paul Verryn, why are the civil and church authorities not addressing this issue? Why are they not seeking a way forward based on humane and lasting solutions? This is not a time for blaming others, but acknowledging that the migration of labour in our globalised and exploited continent is a harsh and undeniable fact of life. Simply raising barbed wire fences will not work. We are all refugees to some degree. Each of us is where we are today because someone in our families searched for a better life.

The selfless activity of Paul Verryn is a reminder that we can create a better world, and one free of greed and despair. We must stand up and reject the simplistic solutions of the so-called free market, the xenophobes and those who cannot see further than their own noses.

We call upon the Joburg City Council, Home Affairs and the leadership of the Methodist Church to create the conditions for a real and creative dialogue on how best we can ensure that everyone in this city, and indeed South Africa, whether a refugee or a longer term resident, is able to live decently. Paul Verryn should be placed at the centre of these discussions, and not be marginalised or castigated because he will not accept the status quo.

This Union congratulates Paul Verryn for his dedicated work with the refugee community, and looks forward to welcoming him back into the broader community of those prepared to fight for change.

For further comment contact the SAMWU International Officer Stephen Faulkner on 011-3310333 or 0828175455.

OR
Tahir Sema.
South African Municipal Workers’ Union of COSATU.
National Media and Publicity officer.
tahir.sema@samwu.org.za This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Office: 011-331 0333.
Cell: 0829403403.

_____________________________________________

NUMSA STATEMENT ON BISHOP PAUL VERRYN!

28 January 2010

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) notes with serious concern the personal and venomous offensive targeted and directed towards Bishop Paul Verryn.

We are suspicious that this offensive is being lurched against Bishop Verryn forms part of the broader agenda to discredit his person and social standing in society. The bourgeois media has been co-opted consciously or unconsciously to prosecute Bishop Verryn through public opinion.

To many of us Bishop Verryn is a hero and champion for social justice, peace, solidarity and equality for all underpinned by his long voluntary work and outstanding efforts of assisting and accommodating the daughters and sons of ‘garden boys’ and ‘kitchen girls’ from across our borders speaks volume. He is a Bishop that is not detached from the broader struggles and sufferings of the working class and the poor as permeated by Capitalism and dictatorship regimes across our boarders. Bishop Verryn’s actions personify the rich contribution made by others like Father Trevor Huddleston as guided by liberation theology during the struggle for freedom and liberation.

As Numsa we will study the merits and the demerits of the charges leveled against Bishop Verryn as part of soliciting a solid response and view. Numsa will continue working with Bishop Verryn as part of making sure our brothers and sisters who have been displaced through xenophobic attacks and forced migration to South Africa enjoy equal rights with their South African counterparts.

Hands off Bishop Paul Verryn Hands off!

Contact:
Castro Ngobese
National Spokesperson – 073 299 1595

_________________________________________________________
This statement was released to the media at about 15h30 28 Jan 2010.

THE media frenzy around Bishop Paul Verryn is playing into the hands of those running a smear campaign against him.

As your leading article rightly says, the charges relate to an internal church issue of whether action taken by Verryn to protect some children at the Central Methodist Church was authorised. That is all. The charges lend no support to your headline nor to the innuendoes in your report. Further, they lend no support to the chorus of politically motivated criticism directed by those who are embarrassed because the church is doing what the government is paid to do, and is not.

I have sat in enough meetings of church leaders with various officials at which promises of co-operation between the government and the churches caring for refugees have been made and then broken, to know that the Central Methodist Church is a light in a dark world of negligence and inhumanity.

It is shameful for Verryn’s enemies to make mischief out of these specific charges.

Peter John Lee

Bishop of the Diocese of Christ the King in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Rosettenville, Joburg

——————

southern Africa

Our Vision

“A Christ-healed Africa for the healing of nations”

Our Mission Statement

“God calls the Methodist people to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ for healing and transformation”

Our Transformational Calls

  • A deepened spirituality
  • A resolve to be guided by God’s mission
  • A rediscovery of “every member ministry – the priesthood of all believers”
  • A commitment to “be one so the world may believe’
  • A re-emphasis of servant leadership and discernment as our ministry model
  • A redefinition and authentication of the vocation of the ordained ministry.

The 4 Imperatives of Mission

Evangelism and Church Growth

Inviting people to personal faith in Christ and His gospel and to belonging in the community of faith as disciples; planting new faith communities especially in informal settlements and new urban multi-cultural congregations.

Spirituality

Connecting to the life giving resources of faith that make for moral regeneration and becoming a holy people in the world.

Justice and Service

To promote the values of justice, unity and reconciliation and the healing of national ills, physical, environmental and social and to be Christ’s compassionate, outstretched hands in the world.

Human and Economic Development and Empowerment

The care and growth of children, the plight of the poor, education, quality of life, nation building.


March 9, 2010

Trust me, I love the game

Filed under: opinion article,some of my favorite things,sports — newritings @ 2:21 pm

fifa empire

I am no spoil-sport, trust me, I love the game although it is not what it used to be. The game has been taken over by those who love money. Big, big money. But for my sins, it is a double standard that I will endure for most of my life until I die.

On 2 March, I spoke at a government organised meeting to coordinate African countries’ efforts as they deal with greater powers. The conference was called Capacity Building for South-South Solidarity, or something close to that, and as all radio stations and media in general were obsessed with football, I prefaced my talk with football as it was everywhere and could not be ignored.  In addition, I was speaking to our African brothers and sisters in whose name we are doing all this organising. I said that I wish we could bottle up all the energy we are now generating (let alone the bucks) for tackling the burning issues of our continent, and our country. I was speaking seriously and not in jest, so I quoted Madiba, to show this, when he was speaking at the 1994 meeting of the OAU. He thanked Africa for working towards our liberation, and pointed out that our challenges remain in governance, and the fact that Africa remains a net exporter of capital. Specifically he wrote that

“Africa shed her blood and surrendered the lives of her children so that all her children could be free. She gave of her limited wealth and resources so that all of Africa should be liberated. She opened her heart of hospitality and her head so full of wise counsel so that we should emerge victorious. A million times she put her hand to the plough that has now dug up the encrusted burden of oppression, accumulated for centuries. The total liberation of Africa has now been achieved. One epoch with its historic tasks has come to an end. Surely another must commence. Africa cries out for a new birth; Carthage awaits the restoration of its glory. If freedom was the crown which the fighters of liberation sought to place on the head of mother Africa, let the upliftment, the happiness, prosperity and comfort of her children be the jewel of the crown. The fundamentals are known to all of us: Africa continues to be a net exporter of capital and suffers from deteriorating terms of trade. Our capacity for self-reliance, to find the resources to generate sustained development remains very limited. Equally complex questions that bear on the nature and quality of government are also central to our capacity to produce the better life which our people demand and deserve. We must face the matter squarely that where there is something wrong in how we govern ourselves, it must be said that the fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are ill governed. Rwanda stands as a stern and severe rebuke to all of us for having failed to address these matters. As a result, a terrible slaughter of the innocent is taking place in front of our very eyes. Thus do we give reason to the peoples of the world to say of Africa that she will never know stability and peace, that she will forever experience poverty and dehumanization and that we shall be forever knocking on somebody’s door pleading for a slice of bread? We know that we have it in ourselves, as Africans, to change all this. We must assert our will to do so. We must say that there is no obstacle big enough to stop us from bringing about an African Renaissance.”

So my grouse, if you can call it that (although I prefer the word passion), is for justice, and the right to play  is  part of this passion, and I reiterate my hope. It is a simple request, almost genie in the bottle, but this time it was oozing out  and we could  not get it in. I said and repeat that  I  have a wish that we could bottle up the energy generated by all our mobilisations, yes and with leadership from the top.  At this stage, I sing the song, and  do what is required… t o no avail.

I’m a genie in a bottle / You gotta rub me the right way / If you wanna be with me / I can make your wish come true / You gotta make a big impression

And I have a love for footie too. Too much? Maybe not. Futbol, call it what you want – the beautiful game, and stop you from calling me names, I have war wounds acquired playing the game, i.e. the knee op and the resultant long scar on my beautiful left, which bears the name of the Dr Ig Noble (not the real name but close), and to boot I am a Pirate (reluctantly) and a Culé (Barcelona FC) supporter (enthusiastically). By the way, we are forming a Barça Penya, i.e. is for the Uninformed a supporters club here in SA, and we are organising under the name “més que una penya”, more than a fan club. Of course they are loved by me, and millions of others, for the brand of football they play but importantly because they are owned and democratically run by their fans. (I shudder to think of how ManU are fighting to get their stolen club back to the fans!). You get the drift, I hate the corporate take over of our leisure time and how we produce our livelihoods. Take a look and see how our politics, our sports, our games, our schools, our health systems – the works have been corrupted by the politics of greed.

So…

I know that men (and women) cannot live by bread alone, although I know that the billions of our tax payers’ monies (yes –including Vat payers) will go to building of stadia, security, etc. I know that these amounts would have funded our public schooling and our National Health Service for years to come. But I am not a naysayer. I read daily in the media how our leaders fight naysayers, telling them like Mr. Blatter has done, “I Know Africa can do it, South Africa can do it!” I want us to say this after the World Cup for all our other social challenges. Imagine the World Health Organisation officials inspecting our hospitals and it is covered by global media, and debated in our press and radios… and our president talking in foreign country telling them, “Yes we are on Track. Come and join us in solidarity. Those who doubt us – come, we will have the best health system in the world!” (and the call shows will be buzzing and I will call in and wait for a few minutes to make my point…)

All I lament is that we do not have an anti-rape Monday, and a food-for-all Wednesday (not to compete with Wacky Wednesday of Steers) and this leadership comes from all cabinet ministers, and the premiers. If we had a dance that was a Diski against inequality, with Sho’t Left leading in the training of it at Malls like they did this weekend in my kasie… oh, how jealous I am for this mobilization! And ask those with the powers on earth and beyond to help us capture it in a bottle…

And, by the way, today we have 93 days before the kickoff… and we have some time to halve poverty, tackle gender inequality… in a nutshell, to surpass the goals of the MDGs, and our constitutional imperatives.

Pssst. Got any tickets for the final?

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