21st Sep2015

Fordsburg Square: The Saddest ‘Once Upon A Time’ Ever

by admin

Ahmed Kajee writes about the devastating change that Fordsburg Square has recently undergone and how this desparately needs to change!

Last year around this time I wrote a piece on what makes South Africa unique and, I must say, quite a lot has changed in our country since then.

With September being the month that we celebrate our respective heritages, I feel somewhat conflicted. Allow me Unknown 2to explain, and make no mistake, I love everything that makes me a South African-born Indian Muslim; however, growing up, the area of Fordsburg was a constant buzz of celebration, youthfulness, cleanliness and positivity. Moreoever, due to our social and historical context, Fordsburg is, and was, an area designated for the Indians living in Johannesburg. But, for some reason, the area that I once loved going to has become a place I now dread going near.

Let’s turn the clock ten years back when I was just a young ten-year-old; Fordsburg Square was the place to be from Friday through Sunday night. Cars, music and a wonderful flea market is what made it beautiful; the landmark train, turned restaurant was distinct – back then it was a ‘Mike’s Kitchen’. Food was on sale from cakes, sweet meats and samoosas to falafels, braai’d chicken and even regualr restaurant food. The flea market that catered perfectly for anyone and everyone: clothing, shoes, toys and an all-time favourite of mine – Alien Spray. If she doesn’t know what Alien Spray is, she’s too young for you, bro!

Fast forward to present day and it’s almost like the entire area got served a shame sandwich. The flea market still exists and all the foods on sale will still go down well – kind of! But, the saddest and worst part of Fordsburg square is the filth! For some reason, the current hawkers and land owners decided refuse disposal is of no importance whatsoever for human functionality in an environment where food is being consumed. The stench at the Square – as we genereally called it – on a Friday night is so strong that it could easily cause you to throw up.

At times, crime is an issue too; with the increasing numbers of beggars and loiterers women are often easy targets to get robbed for their flashy namebrand bags and accesorries. Although, what breaks my heart the most about Fordsburg is how much potential it has to be a great tourist attraction. With it’s refurbishment, and the up-and-coming vibe of Newtown, Maboneng and Braamfontein – Fordsburg equally has all the potential in world to welcome local and international visitors to showcase the Indian culture, foods and culture.

So please, for the love of everything that’s beautiful; someone, anyone, please get the land owners and businesses in Fordsburg to help develop this ‘has-been’ of an area. Do good my fellow Indian uncles and aunties!

04th May2015

When is ‘Freedom of Speech,’ Free?

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Ahmed Kajee speaks about the double standard present in the media and society by comparing two controversial incidents.

In case you have not heard, a large cloud of controversy has been hanging over Wits University SRC President, Mcebo Dlamini. This comes after he made comments on Facebook stating that he loves Hitler and that there is an element of Hitler in all white people. Dlamini went on to add that he admired Hitler’s organizational skills. However, I am not here to give you an Eyewitness News account of the unfolding events, I am merely providing a brief account of events that have subsequently led to massive social media outrage and backlash aimed at the SRC president.

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Allow me to begin by firstly stating that I am completely against what Dlamini had said. It is highly offensive and if Hitler were alive today, both myself and Dlamini would probably be discriminated against, if not killed by him, based on the mere fact that neither of us are Aryan. However, that is beside the intended point of my article. My problem lies with society at the moment, and the general reaction to Dlamini’s comments.

Dlamini’s comments were in poor taste, no doubt. However, what I fail to grasp is the double standard that is present in society today. When a Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper printed the infamous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, was there not an outcry? Yes there was. Unfortunately, it was only the Muslim community and a handful of others that protested this cartoon. What subsequently followed was a celebration and argument suggesting that it was done in the name of ‘freedom of speech’ – even though the drawings offended over a billion people.

Somehow, when the shoe is on the other foot it is no longer ‘freedom of speech’. Please do not think, even for a second, that I am condoning, promoting or defending the SRC president and his comments. My gripe lies with the double standard that is present in the media and today’s society. It’s atrocious that on one hand the celebration of ‘freedom of speech’ is called upon when it offends a certain community; but a massive petition begins on Facebook when comments are made which are equally offensive. I just wish there was some sort of consistency present in society!

I reiterate, I do not accept or promote the comments made by Mcebo Dlamini. I find them offensive and any comments made which offends any group of people should not be tolerated in society.

At the end of the day, we are one; we are South African.

20th Oct2014

2014: reflections of a first year student

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Ahmed Kajee reflects on his first year at university.

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Despite it not being the end of 2014 just yet, this is my last article on exPress imPress for the year. I thought what other way is there to sign off then to look back on the year and discuss how my first year went and the joy that this year has brought me.

So firstly, this year for me started out with me entering Wits University. Was it anything I expected? Oh hell no! For all matriculants of 2014, this is for you. Coming into university I expected a campus that one sees in movies where one or two people owned popularity. This could not be farther from the truth. Nobody is idolized here – at least according to my knowledge. The whole “John Tucker Must Die” vibe is non-existent. Popularity is definitely not the biggest element to varsity. If anything, passing and getting solid grades are. Furthermore, what I did not expect is the lecture theatre vibe. I never knew I had the power to play Candy Crush in my lecture for a full ninety minutes and nobody would care. Coming from school rules that were very stringent, freedom from the petty rules such as hair, shaving and cell phones is something that made my life super easy – although the onus was now on me to focus in class.

Onto the serious element of university regarding my sole purpose of attendance – no I am not referring to women! – Academic performance. Well coming from seven-subjects to four subjects is always a change. Here one should not think because it is only four subjects that it will be easy. It is university so expect more depth and so on! However, the upfront knowledge of test and assignment submission dates helps the process.

You may not know all your lecture venues but stress not, this is not high school… Ask and you shall be directed. For me, comprehending the fact that I was just a number and my lecturer did not give two hoots about what my name is, is something that took some time getting used to. Although, you should keep in mind that lecturers are approachable and willing to engage should you require anything. Furthermore, based on the teaching style that each student prefers, one is likely to come across some lecturers that just widen your horizons and make your mind work in over time. For me I had a psychology lecturer that ran classes that included dancing and life lessons over and above course content. It was amazing!

Speaking of amazing, this year I also came across the most exciting, welcoming and joyful community in the form of Ultimate Frisbee. I joined The Wits Ultimate Frisbee Club in the first week of the year, during O-Week – which is an orientation programme organised by the university for the first years. I have explained how Ultimate works before, so feel free to check out my article about it. The wonderful souls at Ultimate Frisbee are the happiest people you will find in the world. I thought I would join with these words in mind: “Let me try something different, Meh!” – And I never looked back from there. Amazing tournaments, lovely people and chasing a plastic disc every week, what more could I ask for? For you wonderful people who play Ultimate Frisbee and to the wonderful Wits Frisbee community, thank you and I love you!

I also joined the exPress imPress blog team this year. This blog forms a part of the Media Studies Department. We meet on a weekly basis to discuss recent events and the articles we plan to write for the following week. Here we often get into heated debates when discussing topics such as politics and world events. I even got labelled a “Pistorian” during the course of the Oscar Pistorius Trial. Yeah, I was THAT guy. The meetings were a brilliant way of getting other peoples’ perspectives on issues in the world.

Right, I am done wiping my tears of happiness from my face. I then experienced something called Tutorials, which are compulsory to attend on a weekly basis. In essence, it is a class you attend in groups of between 15-25 and discuss the week’s lectures with a postgraduate student. These are one of the best periods, and sometimes the worst, depending on the subject. Although, thankfully I was blessed with good, sorry I mean great, tutors who I get along with. My advice, do not hate on your tutors and be open to learning in those periods.

Beyond this, in university some students can also expect lots of free time and early ends to their days. In my case, on a Tuesday I was free from 10am until 3pm – enough time to study and go over work, right? I did find myself on numerous occasions sitting on the lawns with friends or missioning for fast food. Yeah, procrastination is also something I was at war with constantly. A maxim that will help you get by is something simple, but deep: do not try to kill time because time will simply kill you. Yes-beloved reader, I do have some sense of deepness in myself.

Finally, the best part about my first year in university was the people. I met some of the most extraordinary people since I started university. The best part is that I have only touched a tip of the iceberg. There are so many more wonderful people to meet in the future. Whether it’s “The Favz” who become your ‘missioning’ partners or your friends, who may or may not chirp you for being rejected by a girl for a movie (even though you never gave a specific time or place), you will definitely meet lovely people. My tutors were just the best ever. Apparently, Media Studies is well known for having the guy who is literally impossible to hate, and yes that’s you Tino. Gosh we love you Tino.

So what can you expect from University? In a nutshell, here goes. Lots of fun!!! Expect to meet lovely people. Also, expect to have to work when it is time to do so. It won’t be fun at times, but you will pull through. My advice on that front is to just attend lectures and you should be A for Away. And lastly, in the words of my dear friend and outgoing Ultimate Frisbee Chair: “GET INVOLVED!!!” –Woohoo!

 

 

29th Sep2014

Rocktober

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Ahmed Kajee talks about an upcoming event in the Ultimate Frisbee Community.

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There is no other way I would want to start my October than spending it with the awesome people of the Ultimate Frisbee Community at the annual Rocktober Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. The wonderful thing is that it falls way before exams and it’s a chance for me to let my hair down (and get sore feet) before getting into the grind of final exams. For those of you wondering what Ultimate Frisbee is, let me provide you with a small introduction to the game.

Ultimate Frisbee is a rather new and emerging sport in the South African Sports context. The game is non-contact, self-refereed with players adopting an ‘in the spirit of the game’ approach. This is what makes Ultimate so unique – and super awesome! In the words of the previous treasurer of Wits Ultimate, Brett France “If netball and American Football had a baby, you would have Ultimate Frisbee – without the violent tackles”. I couldn’t have put it better myself. The objective of the game is to catch the disc in an opposition end zone (like a touch-down). But the catch is that one cannot run with the disc (see? Netball). Yes – I know you think a disc is that shiny thing that goes in your car CD player, but our definition of disc is FRISBEE. Woohoo – because we’re awesome like that. Another characteristic of the game is one that I especially love. In Ultimate, almost anyone can play and participate. Regardless of age or even gender. Games are generally played with five men and two women. Men usually mark men, unless necessity dictates otherwise. Ten points for Gryffindor- sorry I mean Ultimate Frisbee. Imagine a world with mixed rugby or soccer?

About Rocktober, it is the second biggest tournament in South Africa and this year, Wits University will be hosting the tournament. Once again, Woohoo! The tournament takes place on the 4-5th of October. Wits will be sending through two teams to represent us (are we awesome or what?). The teams are the Voodoo Kudus and the Halala Impalas. The tournament is drawn up into pools and teams progress based on results of the matches.

In essence if you want to be around lovely people with a super positive vibe who are just awesome, then being at Wits for Rocktober should be #1 on your list of priorities (unless your wife is giving birth, then go to the hospital).

I’m pretty sure that if our MPs decided to play Ultimate, most of their issues with each other would be resolved and we would have happy MPs. Okay, no more seriousness!

On the 4th of October the Rocktober Organizers have arranged for a party around 80s bands and according to Organizer, Sally Crompton, it is going to be “EPIC!.” We do amaze things like that so feel free to join in. Each team has selected a 80s song and band to represent their team and this shall be their anthem for the weekend.

I really am looking forward to one of, if not the most, amazing weekends of my life. Ultimate Frisbee is something that I hold very close to my heart and something that I will cherish forever. My child’s first words will be “Huck” – oh that is a type of throw by the way; just like the word “hammer”.

So al in all I may not be able to persuade you with many things but if there is one thing I could stress about is that you, my dear reader, give Ultimate Frisbee a shot. If you are passing Wits feel free to pop by to East Campus. Games will be held around the Bozz Fields and the surrounding fields – so come by and join the fun! Deep down you know you want to. There’s food, beer, sunshine and mixed team sport!!! What more could you ask for?

See you at Rocktober!

22nd Sep2014

What makes South Africa, South Africa?

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AK1Ahmed Kajee tells us why he loves South Africa.

Howzit Boet? Yes I started with a purely South African greeting. That is because I frankly love how unique we are as a country. I think we forget that sometimes. I know we have our flaws. But with the state of the world at the moment – crime, wars, terrorism and so on, I decided maybe it is time we take a step or two back and let us focus on what makes South Africa, South Africa and laugh at ourselves in the process. From our politics, to sports and to our social lives, let’s look on the brighter side. I am no expert in any of these fields but nonetheless here is my take.

My number one point will be about our No. 1. Love him or hate him, at the end of the day he is a darling. With moments like his 939 Million, 3 Thousand and 60 Thousand speech how could you hate him?! I mean he has so much swagger, even opposition leaders want to be like him. It looked like Helen Zille has been trying to dance similarly at almost every rally or meeting of hers. Talk about acting like those who you aspire to be like!

Our political world is a lot like a black and white kind of vibe, and no I am NOT referring to race. Kassam! (That’s like a pinkie promise on steroids BTW). You get some people complaining about how bad the country is. On the other hand, there are those that suggest that as a country we are the best thing since sliced bread. Some of these supporters of the country are from Luthuli House. Luthuli House, if you don’t know, is the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) favourite marching destination and ANC Headquarters. Speaking about marches by the DA, I wonder why the DA have not had any other ‘March for Jobs’ kind of vibes AFTER the recent elections.

As a whole, politically, I think we are just in the middle. We are going well but there is still room for improvement. In essence, just like my entire schooling career. If there is one thing that we do have going well for us is that there is a healthy rivalry between our political rivals. They keep each other in check. Kind of like The Joker and Batman. Destined to do battle forever. Politically such rivalry is good for debate and so on.

Still with politics, how can we talk about South African politics and not talk about Juju, whose nickname sounds like a revolutionary sweetie! Our main Comrade Julius Malema was the ANC Youth League Leader. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Malema ) He is infamous for amongst other things calling a journalist a ‘Bastard! Bloody Agent’ on live television. He now claims to represent the working class now with his new political party, The Economic Freedom Fighters.

Then we have the political organization that finds problems with everything the ANC does – it’s their job as the official opposition to do that. These guys are known as the Democratic Alliance. They will find a problem everywhere yet forget that they will have Number Two thrown at them for giving service delivery in the form of a Portie-Pot. When asked for a positive solution to problems they have identified with the ANC you get extreme evasion. They become like that crush of yours, busy for the movies without you even giving a date or time.

But, dear DA this is me thanking you for making the Western Cape a country on its own and making the rest of us half hate you, kind of like the smart-ass in class. We hate you but love that you are there. Oh and you have a nice hill there, so you got that going for you which is nice.

Enough with the seriousness, we also have an amazing music industry. Some of the artists include Locnville (those two sexy white guys), Goldfish (no, not from the ocean) and even that beast we all love DJ Fresh and his bromance partner, Euphonik. So in essence, we got a potent music industry.

One other thing we love about South Africa so much is that we have this wonderful TV show called Top Billing. In my mind it’s kind of like a show about shit you will never have or get access to. For me, its Jeannie D, could I at least get a lunch date with her? Please? Pretty please? Maybe when she reads this she will take me up on the offer… Then there are those houses in Camps Bay and the traveller’s life of a European tourist backpacking and so on. So in essence, like I said, shit you’ll never have. – Unless you are Jeannie D of course. Maybe I’ll just change my surname and see if it gets me anywhere. I shall now be referred to as Ahmed K.

Now in case any of these wonderful aforementioned subjects of discussion did not bring a smile to your face or appreciation of our country I might as well go for the sappy sunflower stuff. God my ex will be glad I am being sappy – I try, I try. As South Africans, we have to appreciate the fact that we have a large diversity of animal and plants. Ask any Joburger who goes to Durban, we just love seeing the monkeys climbing the hotel balconies in Umhlanga. Beyond these, looking at wilder animals we also have the famous Big 5!

In relation to sports, we have our favourite National Sports Team: Bafana Bafana. They have been taking some flack, even I had to kak them out the other day. With the many coaching changes maybe we can give them a break. Our Bafana Bafana team are so damn good we are the only team in the history of life itself to ever have a parade around the city before winning, or better yet, even starting the tournament. Yes! We are that bloody awesome. Ten points for country spirit, guys. Although Teko could have maybe spent that time practicing his diving or finishing skills. Phew! But credit, where it’s due, we have improved drastically with the appointment of Shakes Mashaba. I attended the recent game vs. Nigeria and there was a vast improvement. It was a goalless draw, although Bafana Bafana did more than enough to deserve more than a point at the Cape Town Stadium. Soon you will be a bunch of winners, boys!

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We also won a few things here and there in other sports. Two rugby World Cups, one was extremely memorable, hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup (God I miss it!). We also have these amazing swimmers who performed wonderfully at the Commonwealth Games as well as the leading Test Cricket Team in the world . Well done you wonderful humans you.

We also have the Richest Square Mile in Africa and we have Two Nobel Peace Prize Winners’ residences on the same street. Now that’s rad, bru!

If all of this fails, remember that we can host a proper Braai. We are the braai kings and nobody will take that away from us. So call your mates over this weekend and light up that braai stand and with that light up your spirits as well. At the end of the day, South Africa is one damn beautiful country. The reality is that every place has issues. These need not be ignored but that does not mean we should forget the positivity. So smile and wave at our lovely land, in time it will reach the perfection. Be the change you want to be in this beautiful Rainbow Nation and also, don’t have a great day, week and month – have a South African one!

25th Aug2014

Goodbye winter and hello spring

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AK1Ahmed Kajee discusses his liking of spring and warmer weather.

With the last cold front passing over South Africa this weekend, was there a better way to start spring, or at least pre-spring, than watching Dwayne Johnson in Hercules? No. Today I feel that we should discuss the happiness and brightness surrounding spring, similar to how Hercules was happiness personified.

Right, FOCUS! Enough about Hercules and my bromance with Dwayne Johnson. I want to let the world know how beautiful spring and the warm weather that it brings is. More so I want to let the world know how I appreciate the fact that winter is on its way out. I mean, winter is pretty awesome, you can accessorize with fashion for days and for some reason you feel sexier whilst dressing up. That all together with the crisp air, my nose red with the cold and the fact that I can see the smoke from my breath as I walk actually makes me want to climb into a hole and die.

I feel that spring is a chance for a fresh start. For everything and everyone. From the trees in our natural world beginning to bloom once again to the rains coming to back to us (naturally this does not include the winter rain seen in Madam Zille’s country, the Western Cape). Life seems to be restored in every sense, come the dawn of spring heading into summer. The beachgoers are lifted, holiday-makers’ lives become more energetic as their trips to the coast for the summer holidays draw closer and we can all go back to relaxing outside more often thereby having sunshine-filled summer experiences.

The warm temperatures are always welcomed, at least by me, with open arms, broad smiles and the joy of knowing lighter clothes can be worn now on a daily basis. Spring also allows for us to make changes in our lives as well. Similar to nature transforming into the blossoming of bright colours, we also have the ability to initiate changes in our lives that will transform our lives, in an emotional and mental state. We can improve our lives significantly.

Think about it, if the harsh times in one’s life (the winter) passes, the dawn of brighter, warmer days appears. As a result one has the perfect reason for this change of season to make changes in one’s life for the better.

Even our political sphere is making a change for the better in that Number One is actually being held accountable in parliament for his actions surrounding Nkandla. Look at that, with spring around the corner we are also seeing steps towards an improved democracy.

So I say, we should look at spring and the beginning of summer as an opportunity for us to make some positive changes to our lives. These may include becoming a better partner to one’s significant other, smiling more, greeting people politely and opening our minds to new experiences. Who knows, in so doing one may just meet one’s life partner or realize one’s life calling. Oh and please don’t go looking for a new partner if you are in a committed relationship – that is just wrong!

Moving on, with the dawn of spring our party lives also resume, and the fun times under the sun are reignited. Water sports are raised to a whole new level of participation. And no, I am not referring to the ALS ice bucket challenge. Regarding that, why don’t the people pouring ice over themselves just donate to the charity rather than wasting water?

In closing, what I can suggest we do is see the changing of season as an opportunity to make any positive change in our lives. Also, be excited for the warm days ahead and have one beautiful summer. And if all goes wrong and you really cannot do anything, watch Hercules, smile like Dwayne Johnson, try to smell what The Rock is cookin’ and lastly, FOCUS!

18th Aug2014

It’s not me, it’s you Mr President

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AK1Ahmed Kajee discusses some of his issues with President Jacob Zuma.

Of recent, we have seen a lot of hype around President Jacob Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla. To be honest, at first I thought it was just 702 and the Democratic Allianc (DA) making a big noise victimizing our poor President. Although, after his recent responses to public protector, Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report, I fear his reputation and my respect for him has been significantly damaged. The undermining and clear disrespect of the citizens of South Africa is blatant and in fact, somewhat arrogant.

Please, do not think for a second that I do not appreciate the hard work The President has done in the pre-1994 era. I really appreciate it. The many years spent fighting apartheid with the rest of the liberation movement can and will never be overlooked. Perhaps, if it were not for those efforts I would not be able to share my opinions on the political world as freely as I am right now. Your work, Mr Zuma that was done in the Apartheid Era is much appreciated. However, that does not give you a license to use public funds, or for that matter, benefit from upgrades on your personal homestead on the basis of “security upgrades.” Furthermore, it also seems as though our beloved President’s family also benefited from these upgrades.

Questions around Nkandla arose in 2009 when it was estimated that R65 Million was to be used for upgrades to this home of the president. Moreover, our President seems to be blind to figures and moneys spent for his benefit.

It appears as though the president has avoided almost all of the suggestions made in Public Protector’s report that identified issues with the upgrades. He has however, instructed Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko to decide whether he should pay any money out of his own pocket, as suggested by the Public Protector. The irony of this is that the police minister is appointed by the President. That is like your boss commanding you to select the disciplinary action that your boss should face. This is problematic. So while I do not really like that the DA, I have to agree with them when they say that you are ‘avoiding accountability.’

Beyond the issue of Nkandla, we have the spy tapes which are soon to be in the hands of the same party, the DA. I personally wonder why the President fought so hard to keep these from being released.

Then there was also the issue that links to blurred lines around the dropping of corruption charges, which will now probably have greater controversy around the President.

Interestingly, the president has given new Deputy President,Cyril Ramaphosa, four months to sort out any of his personal interests which may lead to a conflict of interest with his current position as Deputy President of The Republic of South Africa. Somehow I feel this is ironic.

All in all I thus feel like I am losing faith in our president. His actions have led to me having trust issues with him. Furthermore, the various scandals that are rocking his presidency are turning too grey too quickly. One really would have hoped that things would have been better. I thus really do think it is time for the President to hang up his presidential gloves and let us have the leader that we deserve. South Africa needs and deserves it.

04th Aug2014

Jeppe vs. KES: A Red-Hot Affair

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ak1Ahmed Kajee looks at sports rivalry and a recent rugby game in Johannesburg.

The Springboks and The All Blacks, Liverpool and Manchester United, Oxford and Cambridge, Kaizer Chiefs and Orland Pirates and lastly, Jeppe High School for Boys and King Edward Secondary School. You may wonder what all these teams have in common. The answer is a rivalry fuelled by intense passion, love and the will to win. On the weekend of the 26th of July, two of these rivalries were reignited once again, Jeppe vs. KES and Orlando Pirates vs. Kaizer Chiefs. Jeppe vs. KES will be the focus of my article.

Prior to the game, I spoke to both first team captains about their feelings about the game, the atmosphere, the day and their thoughts about the tradition and competition, which surrounds this massive 80-year-old rivalry.

When asked what the feeling of being Captain and Head Boy of Jeppe Boys, Jethi de Lange described the feeling as an opportunity he relishes. He says even despite the nerves, it is a feeling he cherishes every time. “It’s nice knowing you are the one people are backing and counting on, they believe in you; it is nerve wrecking but it is worth it at the end of the day.”

Furthermore, when asked if he felt this prepares a rugby player for the big time in terms of going into mainstream sports, de Lange mentioned how it helps a player prepare for the higher stages and the real world. ‘’I think it definitely prepares you for the bigger stages as well as for the commercial world. You are under pressure and there are critics watching from all over. You get prepared for the real world.” De Lange went on to say he feels it helps prepare one mentally for high pressure and high responsibility roles that one will face in the struggles of life.

When asked about his feelings about being first team captain for KES, Jordan Mills, explained what an honour it was for him to be captain and the feeling of joy he gets from this experience. “It’s a great privilege to captain one of the biggest English speaking schools in Gauteng, especially after following in the footsteps of great leaders who have come through KES.” Mills further went on to note that with the likes of Bryan Habana and Graeme Smith coming through the ranks of KES, it provides a sense of motivation to succeed and to strive to be the best you can be, not just on the sports field but also in all aspects of life.

Talking about the presence of the thousands of past students who also come to watch the match, both captains were unanimous on the idea that their support was of vital importance to the day, to the team and to the captains on a personal level. Furthermore, both captains indicated that hard work, talent and motivation were of vital importance to succeed.

Speaking about the rivalry, both Mills and de Lange accepted and stated that the rivalry that fuels these two schools are not always the differences, but more the fact that these two schools are so similar. It is about the willingness to be the best in Johannesburg and while also gaining bragging rights for a year.

The atmosphere on the day was electric, as always. A sense of anticipation was in the air from the start of the first game at 8am. The fixture attracts over 10 000 supporters, and this year was no different. Past students from both school attended the fixture, with deep family traditions being present in both schools.

Both teams know each other on a personal level, in that they interact and share many interests on a social level but they do understand that on the field they are opponents that are fighting for victory.

Boerewors rolls, burgers, amongst other food items were on sale throughout the day, making it a day for the family. The supporters’ stands provide a perfect backdrop for the Snake Pit, which is what the Jeppe pupils call the First XV field.

Just as bragging rights are on the line in every rival match, this was no different. The match between the Black and White Zebra’s and The Red Lions from over the hill had a mouth-watering flavour to it from the get go. Prior to the game both schools build up an intense amount of passion as the excitement is present within every individual who is associated to this fixture, regardless of the team being supported.

With the start of the first team game, everyone’s attention was on the first team field. Even trading at the tuck shop and Wors stands drew to a halt. Prior to kick off a disabled Jeppe Pupil Daniel dos Santos brought the ball, which was to be used for kick off, to the centre of the field. The standing ovation he received from everyone that was present was priceless. Daniel had been involved in an accident, which left him with a severe spine injury. Thankfully, Daniel is back in action and even back in training for rowing. Our support is with Daniel and his family.

As the match got going, both teams were not giving each other an inch, and as a result tension in the stands of both sets of supporters was high. The teams exchanged penalties and finally Jeppe passed the tension and headed into the break with a lead of 7 points to 3. The second half started with a bang, with KES taking a lead as Brendon O’Donaghue’s brilliant solo run sent the KES fans into a frenzy of joy. KES then conceded another try as Jethi de Lange pounced to score a try under the sticks. With poor dsicipline, Jeppe gave away penalties at crucial stages and KES brought the game back to 17-17. With just a few minutes left on the clock, Jeppe’s discipline gave way again, as KES earned themselves a penalty. The kick was perfectly struck, and looked to be heading straight down the middle; only for it to dip and hit the crossbar, leaving the KES supporters heartbroken and the Jeppe supporters relieved. That was to be the last of the drama to surround both teams’ poles and whitewashes. The game ended 17-17. A result neither team could have predicted.

The event held at Jeppe was a brilliant one fuelled by passion, love and joy. All aspects down to administration were taken care of by Jeppe Boys to ensure a smooth running of operations. Drinks and the like was shared between both sets of supporters after the game.

This fixture is something that will forever run deep within the school boy fraternity. Jeppe vs. KES will forever be a red hot fixture. Both teams showed on the day that by giving each other the necessary respect, lots of excitement and positive competition can take place. Both captains indicated how they have mutual respect for their opposing rugby counterparts and despite being enemies on the rugby field, they share common interests and interact on a personal level in their respective social circles. This goes to show that rivalries and competition has a limit and it leads to great fun and excitement to the game. Perhaps these great schools’ difference are not so much of a black and white nature, but more of a golden one.

26th May2014

Bafana Bafana – A bunch of losers?

by admin

ak1Ahmed Kajee looks at recent issues linking to the South African National Football team, Bafana Bafana.

After the ABSA Premiership season ended, Bafana Bafana are scheduled to play two friendlies, on the 26th and 30th of May, against Australia and New Zealand respectively. These games are scheduled to be played in both countries. Unfortunately, it looks like Gordon Igesund will have to look to the U17 National team due to the mass player-withdrawal from the squad. Replacements had to be replaced! This is where my gripe lies with Bafana Bafana.

In total, fifteen players pulled out of the squad to travel to Australia and New Zealand, for various reasons. Some players had surgery to be done whereas others withdrew due to an influence from their mostly overseas-based clubs. Perhaps we could give the injured soldiers a break; Kagiso Dikgacoi is going for an operation on a knee injury and Siyabonga Xulu is recovering from an ankle injury. Fair enough, fellas – There is a fair bit of legitimacy behind your respective withdrawals.

However, and extremely unfortunately, there were many other withdrawals by players, due to many other reasons. These include club suggestions for players not to travel while some players decided to already leave on holiday with their families. Apart from these factors; somehow, within the matter of days, our beloved players turned into ailing pensioners with aches, pains and developed an extreme case of fatigue claiming that they were tired after a long season – Yes Teko Modise! I’m referring to you! Modise’s coach even gave him permission to travel. So much for commitment hey, Hercules!

Firstly, the honor of representing one’s country should bring the utmost joy and energy that is unparalleled to any other possible sensation one could feel. Has our national team lost all pride for the shirt that they wear? This shirt does not just represent only eleven men on a field, but also represents 50 million people. At the Press Conference held about the squad, which was to travel, Gordon Igesund looked more stressed than a matriculant on the eve of Matric Results. Yes, I was that stressed out Matriculant.

Secondly, had Bafana Bafana qualified for the World Cup, which is being held in Brazil, would our, uhm, soccer players be too tired to travel? I didn’t think so. I unfortunately have lost a lot of respect for the players who should be our nation`s footballing pride. Perhaps, it is situations like this that are the cause of our horrendous FIFA world ranking. I fear that the motivation is absent in the players who should be hailed as our nation’s soccer heroes. Personally, I would be very proud to represent my country on the football field. I have a passion for football, which runs deep. Many people would do anything to play football on a professional level. But the professionalism in South African Football has a lot to be desired for.

For our tired players, who claim it was a ‘long-season’, please stop crying. I beg the question if ‘injuries’ would have plagued the Bafana Bafana team had we also been preparing for the World Cup (We never qualified… We can leave that for another whole discussion)? Why not use this as preparation for AFCON 2015?

Back to the crybabies about being ‘tired’ – no wait! Babies cry for legitimate reasons – Cristiano Ronaldo also had a long season; a full Spanish La Liga season, UEFA Champions League, World Cup Qualification with Portugal and full preparation for that after the UEFA Champions League final. Talk about a long season? That is why he is arguably the World’s best player. (Sports fans & specifically Lionel Messi fans please notice that I used the word ‘arguably’). Oh and he still found time to woo Irina Shayk. Yes he did that as well! – Okay that’s only there because I think she is drop-dead gorgeous.

Now you may wonder why I chose Mr. CR7, the fact is simple, if you want to be the best, look at what the best have done to get to where they are. Look at what they have sacrificed. I am sure Ronaldo is also tired, and has been in the past. Did that stop him?! Once again, didn’t think so. It comes down to sacrifice, passion, motivation and the willingness to go the extra mile. Clearly that is lacking in high volumes in our Bafana Bafana squad. Or well, the lack of a squad.

After our unfortunate, and rather disappointing exit from the CHAN tournament, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula labeled the National Team a `Bunch of Losers`, which I felt was rather harsh. Following that, I attended our game against Brazil, which ended 5-0 to Brazil. We were outplayed, but we showed heart – after all, it is Brazil! Later Mbalula stated he said it out of love.

Our exit from the CHAN Tournament in January, paired with our 5-0 humiliation to Brazil is something I have no problem with. Yes we lost, but we tried our best and gave it our everything. Unfortunately, after the mass withdrawal of the Bafana Bafana players from the squad, they deserve to be called a `Bunch of Losers`. The only Loser is the one who never tries.

The blame here however does not lie with the players solely. SAFA had a major role in the organization and administration of these matches, which are being played on dates not sanctioned by FIFA for international friendlies. Perhaps Bafana Bafana are not the only ‘Bunch of Losers’.

In closing, I wish the players who travel to Australia and New Zealand the best of luck and despite the circumstances; you are the country’s pride and joy. As for the individuals who have pulled out the squad due to poor excuses, you are the biggest losers. I sincerely hope that the enthusiasm for our country’s footballing spirit increases drastically. Personally, if I had it my way, I would field an Under17 squad. Our country deserves better than incompetent, uncommitted public figures who call themselves footballers. Furthermore, to improve the country’s football, I would begin youth development in a ten-year program and start training academies for aspiring soccer stars. These academies should be opened for players from the ages of ten and above. Who knows, within the next ten years we could have a much-improved squad. Perhaps the 2022 World Cup is something we may actually be able to qualify for. Please listen to this aspiring writer, sports Minister.

 

19th May2014

Barclays Premier League review

by admin

AK1Ahmed Kajee reviews the Barclays Premier League and discusses what he feels were the highlights of the season.

The Barclays Premier League this season has been the closest and most unpredictable one in many years. A victory was never guaranteed, nor was survival from relegation. With Sir Alex Ferguson retiring from Manchester United after a fantastic 26 year tenure, there was always going to be something different about the 2013/14 season. Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge as `The Happy One`, relative to his previous self-proclamation of being `The Special One`. Liverpool was looking to get into the Top 4 and make a return to the UEFA Champions League. Contention for the title was the Noisy Neighbours, Manchester City. Across town, David Moyes, `The Chosen One’, was in for one rough ride. The usual suspects were of course fighting for survival; the likes of Fulham, Norwich, Cardiff City and Sunderland.

August

The season started with one key absentee, self-inflicted and deserved of a ban, Luis Suarez missed the first six games of the season. Come on, Luis – did you really have to go all Dracula on Branislav Ivanovic?! Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and United all got off to winning starts. Unfortunately, Arsené Wenger`s Arsenal were stunned at home on the opening day. One wondered as to whether Mr Wenger was losing his touch. Behind-the-scenes action was frantic from all clubs as they rushed to meet the 2nd September Transfer deadline day in an attempt to bring in new players. Tottenham Hotspur really dug into their bank balance after the transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee, which is estimated to be in the region of £85.3 million. Chelsea topped the log with 7 points at the end of August, with City on 6 Points, along with Liverpool and Spurs who both had a game in hand. Manchester United was down in sixth while West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland and Swansea made up the bottom three.

 

September

Transfer deadline day saw intense movements with major signing being Mesut Ozil to Arsenal and Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United. Yeah – I wonder who thought Fellaini could be the midfield Maestro that United needed. Ten points to you, Mr Moyes. But more on that later on. Staying with United, their rivalry with Liverpool is unparalleled – Liverpool went on to beat Manchester United 1-0 thanks to a Daniel Sturridge goal. United went on to lose against West Brom and Manchester City in the derby. Life for David Moyes was definitely not getting easier. The next game for Liverpool marked the return of Luis Suarez and his partnership with Daniel Sturridge was blossoming like a sunflower on Steroids. The SAS were on fire! Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal were on top of the world and topped the log come end of September. Chelsea lost to Everton at Goodison Park which seemed to be a catalyst for a new chapter in Everton`s history. Crystal Palace was pulled toward the bottom three after a run of poor results, while Sunderland sacked Paulo di Canio.

October

The table began to level out somewhat from October and after 9 games being played, Arsenal remained top with 22 points. Followed by Liverpool and Chelsea, who were separated by goal difference, on 20 Points apiece. October brought the arrival of Gus Poyet to Sunderland and the departure of Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway after seven losses in eight games. Liverpool seemed to be on a run of note with the SAS firing at will. Luis Suarez bagged a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion. The highlight of October and the only silver lining for Manchester United Fans was the emergence of youngster Adnan Januzaj, who scored the winner in his first start for United. At 18 years old, scoring winners for a World Class Football club! What have I done with my life? United finished the month in eighth with Norwich, Sunderland and Palace finding themselves in the Drop-Zone.

November

November saw the re-introduction to the Premier League of former Stoke manager Tony Pulis. He was brought in to replace Ian Holloway. He is a brilliant tactician and during his Stoke days, playing at Stoke was always a challenge. Manchester City trashed Andre Villa-Boas’ men 6-0 and Norwich 7-0 on either side of a shock loss to Sunderland. Arsenal stretched their lead to seven points after beating Liverpool 2-0 at The Emirates whilst Liverpool dropped a couple points after drawing to Everton at Goodison Park in a frantic Merseyside Derby. Arsenal`s only loss came against Manchester United with former striker Robin van Persie netting to give the Manchester club a victory over their London counterparts. Fulham dropped into the relegation zone. The highlight of the month was Stoke City Goal keeper, Azmir Begovic scoring against The Saints, becoming the fifth goalkeeper in the League`s history to score.

December

The Christmas period is always a hectic, extremely important part of the season for any club. It can make a season, or break one. December was action-filled both on and off the field. Four managerial changes resulted in Spurs, Cardiff, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham all parting with their respective managers. Perhaps Cardiff`s Malky MacKay got dealt the worst hand after Vincent Tan, the owner`s, decision making had a lot to be desired for. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was on fire! Scoring ten goals and surpassing a record of most goals in a calendar month made the Uruguayan the hottest striker in the land. His highlight, scoring four against Norwich City. Manchester United suffered two back-to-back defeats for the first time since 2002. Arsenal ended the year leading the pack despite Liverpool being top on Boxing Day. Tony Pulis was making inroads toward improving Crystal Palace`s league position. The bottom three remained unchanged from November. Sunderland looked in deep trouble.

January

With the New Year comes the opening of the transfer window. There were significant signings for many a club. The biggest talking point obviously being the signing of Juan Mata from Chelsea. – Seriously José? Other notable transfers were Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic from West Brom and Everton respectively. Chelsea brought in Mohamed Salah holding off competition from Liverpool. On the field Manchester City`s unbeaten run in January earned manager Manuel Pellegrini the title of Manager of the Month whilst Adam Johnson of Sunderland earned Player of the Month after helping The Black Cats out of the relegation zone. Liverpool had a high scoring victory against Stoke with a 5-3 win. Liverpool`s defence has been questioned since day one which was exposed in a 2-2 draw against Villa, although their attacking prowess was definitely a force to be reckoned with after smashing Everton 4-0 in front of a packed Anfield. Across town, Chelsea dispatched Manchester United at The Bridge with a 2-1 victory. Mission impossible for David Moyes. Calls for his axing became pretty rife amongst supporters. City and Arsenal ended the month in first and second respectively whilst Manchester United were struggling in seventh.

February

The month of love began with a few shock results. Manchester United lost to Stoke City whilst Liverpool drew to West Brom one-all. José Mourinho proved his tactical genius by beating Man City 1-0 at The Etihad. Relegation-threatened West Ham and Cardiff City earned three points each. Liverpool however, recovered with a bang against Arsenal going 4-0 up in the first twenty minutes, with the game ending 5-1, leaving question marks about Arsenal`s title credentials. The leader`s spot changed hands with Chelsea leading at the end of February with Arsenal, City and Liverpool following closely. United climbed to sixth, whilst Fulham were rooted to the bottom of the table below Cardiff and Sunderland.

March

March started off rather quietly with the usual suspects winning, although March was also a month filled with many mouth watering clashes. A Manchester Derby as well as a London Derby was scheduled as well as the old-rivalry of Liverpool and United being reignited. The first big clash of the month was at Old Trafford with Manchester United hosting an in-form and hungry Liverpool. United was completely outplayed losing 3-0 with goals from Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez, despite the former missing the third of the three penalties awarded in that game. United fans were really upset. The Saints beat Norwich 4-2 in a six-goal thriller. The high scoring continued into the next weekend of play with Arsenal being beaten 6-0 at Chelsea. Eleven conceded goals in two big matches for Wenger`s men was not a good sign. Liverpool beat Cardiff in a 6-3 rollercoaster, with Liverpool`s defensive frailties being exposed once again. Manchester City beat Fulham 5-0 to top off a high scoring weekend. The Manchester Derby was rather one-sided with The Citizens running out comfortable 3-0 winners. United`s parity was restored somewhat with a 4-1 win over Aston Villa. March saw the league table unchanged apart from Newcastle and Norwich moving up the log. Liverpool players Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez shared Player of the Month, whilst Brendan Rodgers claimed Manager of the Month.

April

The penultimate month of the League started off with City beating Southampton 4-1 and United beating Newcastle United 4-0. Wins were recorded for Chelsea and Liverpool whilst Everton stunned Arsenal 3-0 in a heated race for Champions League Football. The big game of the month was between City and Liverpool at an emotion-filled Anfield whose supporters believing even a Premier League title was on the cards. In an action-filled game, Liverpool ran out 3-2 winners with emotive scenes from the Captain telling his players to not let it slip. David Moyes` return to Goodison was not a good one as United were defeated 2-0. A bigger shock was to come when on-loan Liverpool striker scored against Chelsea to hand Mourinho his first defeat at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea Manager. It was two-horse race between City and Liverpool. Not letting it slip was unfortunately not on the side of Steven Gerrard come the Chelsea game after his slip lead to Demba Ba scoring at The Kop End. Chelsea went on to win 2-0 leaving the league door open to Manchester City. Connor Wickham of Sunderland earned Player of the Month whilst Tony Pulis captured Manager of the Month after getting his Crystal Palace out of the relegation battle. Liverpool ended April leading the pack, with City 3 points behind with a game in hand and a superior Goal Difference. Norwich, Cardiff and Fulham made up the Drop-Zone with Vincent Tan looking to go down even after employing Ole-Gunner Solsjkaer as Manager.

May    

Two games left in the league and Liverpool had to simply not drop any points, win big and hope that City had dropped points and the title would have been heading to Merseyside. City had edged out Liverpool rivals, Everton 3-2 in an entertaining game putting pressure on Liverpool for their second last game against Crystal Palace. Liverpool went into their game against Palace needing nothing less than a victory. 78 Minutes in, Liverpool seemed on their way to victory, and in the hunt to close the goal difference gap with Manchester City. In nine minutes of pressure from Palace came three goals from Tony Pulis` men with the game ending 3-3. The game slipped away from Liverpool, potentially along with the Title. The Liverpool players were dejected as ever with Luis Suarez brought to tears after the final whistle. Everton had dropped points and looked to have handed Arsenal a spot in the Champions League. The final day already had Cardiff and Fulham and probably Norwich relegated. Liverpool needed west Ham to beat Manchester and still needed a victory over Newcastle. City went on to win a 2-0 and deservedly clinch the Barclays Premier League title with Liverpool finishing second after beating 9-man Newcastle 2-1. Arsenal finished fourth whilst May also saw the sacking of David Moyes – thanks to poor results and shares on the Stock Exchange falling, and rising after his sacking!

My thoughts

Congratulations to Manchester City on a deserved title and Congratulations to the New York Stock Exchange for running Manchester United. Also, Congratulations to José Mourinho on a few memorable moments on and off the field. Lastly, congratulations to Luis Suarez on a fantastic 31 goal season. – If you followed the season like most people did, you`ll understand the allusion.

The Premier League season of 2013/14 was definitely the most entertaining in many years, especially thanks to the return of form of Liverpool. I am a Liverpool fan so please let me have my moment of glory. Shock results are proof as to why this league is the best in the world. Closely contested games, no results are guaranteed and wonderful displays of football are the perfect reason as to why I love this League. I have not a shadow of doubt Manchester United will come fighting back next season and another lovely season will likely be witnessed. This league, along with Liverpool will just simply continue to Walk On.

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