Cape Town Roses Concentrating On Developing Girl Footballers By Cheryl Roberts

12 Jun

They’re not only one of South Africa’s top women’s football competitive teams, they are also South Africa’s leading team for developing girl football players into a championship winning team. They are Guguletu-based Cape Town Roses; a women’s football team founded by, held together by and coached by primary school teacher Mr Madikane.

Cape Town Roses have won the Western Cape women’s football league 7 out of 8 years. The year they lost it was in 2016 when they finished one point behind and second to winners UWC. They also won in 2014, the national playoffs women’s football competition, hosted by SAFA and reached the finals of that national event, several times, the latest being in 2017. And this was done with several schoolgirl footballers in the team.

When the Western Cape women’s football league finally kicks off this weekend, primarily in Cape Town and surrounding areas, Cape Town Roses will field one of its youngest teams ever fielded in the league. The youngest will be 11 year old Inga Sam Sam, whose 13 year old sister Lithemba has already scored significant goals for Cape Town Roses.

Out of this championship winning team of 2017, coach Madikane has many of last season’s team players but several players who made pivotal contributions to the league and knockout wins have taken transfers for various reasons such as Ode Fulutudilu’s pro contract in Finland, Sisanda Vukapi’s university club affiliation, transfers to other cities and clubs like Unathi Booi, Roxanne Barker, Lelona Dewati. Coach Madikane didn’t try to keep any player at the club and immediately issued their transfer when requested.

But with the void left in the club by the team’s championship winning players, coach Madikane wasn’t distressed. Neither did he panic. He had many pre teen girl footballers in his development wing waiting for an opportunity to be in the senior team. ‘I saw it as another opportunity for the girl footballers to develop in the team, to get long game time, to feel comfortable and happy in the team and for this young team to enjoy their women’s football,’ says coach Madikane, who didn’t respond by inviting players from other clubs to join his team, like that done by other coaches who don’t develop players but poach and lure players from teams doing development.

‘As defending champions, don’t you want to win the league this year?’ I ask coach Madikane. ‘We’ve won the league 7 times out of 8 seasons. I’m giving other teams and coaches a chance to win the league this year. But I’m not saying I’ve just given up……’ smiles coach Madikane as he responds.

Despite Cape Town Roses not having signed any senior players to replace those who have gone onto other teams, there’s still a confident mood prevailing amongst the girl footballers with about 20 of them registered this year to play women’s football, all being schoolgirls. The 17 year old Cesane twin girl footballers, after a two year stint at SAFA’s high performance school in Gauteng are back at the club, this season and will play influential roles as senior and experienced players although they are still girl footballers.

But then again Cape Town Roses has always been about schoolgirl footballers, with most of them coming out of coach Madikane’s primary school. And they have developed within the team and developed the team to become Western Cape champions and one of South Africa’s top three women’s football teams.

Sadly, this rich talent at Cape Town Roses has been overlooked for senior women’s national selection and representation over the years, despite Cape Town Roses showing their prowess and winning titles. This marginalisation of Cape Town Roses players who deserve national selection baffles coach Madikane. ‘I fail to understand why national selectors and coaches ignore players from Cape Town Roses. Over the years, the team and players have proven themselves as a winning team of talented, quality players but national selectors have ignored this talent’, says coach Madikane.

Look at the 2017 season when Cape Town Roses should have had 5 teenage girls in the SA under 20 women’s football team. But they had just three. And then one of the Western cape ‘s leading goal scorers in 2017, Sisanda Vukapi went on to be top goal scorer at the national playoffs, yet didn’t get national under 20 selection. Coach Madikane has had to watch other players getting selected whilst his quality championship winning players got ignored.  Coach Madikane is the Western cape’s most successful women’s football coaches in the past 8 years and one of SA’s top women’s football coaches. But he has been ignored and overlooked for a national coaching position. Not that he’s bothered or crying about not being a national coach. He smiles and says ‘I have proven my coaching credentials. Its other coaches who must prove themselves, including those who have been appointed national coaches in women’s football’

Although he gets disappointed when he sees that deserving players from Cape Town Roses don’t get under 20 and Banyana Banyana selection, coach Madikane says ‘Cape Town Roses have shown their quality. We have won 7 out of 8 leagues, several knock out cups in Cape Town and played in many national play off finals. The team turned raw talent into quality and did something worthwhile with the quality, talented players. What must else must we prove?’

Defending Western Cape league champions Cape Town Roses kick off their delayed 2018 season with a home match in Guguletu on Sunday against Santos. The girl footballers have been at training, diligently going through the training schedule prescribed by coach Madikane. They have also enjoyed pre-season training on the sandy ground at an under-resourced school in Guguletu. Now they are ready to play the competitive matches in the big league against the big people and see how they develop. Knowing their prowess over the years, no team will take Cape Town Roses lightly or assume them as a walkover team. Every team playing against the youngest team in the league will have to work hard for their goals and their points because the girl footballers know the winning tradition of the team and the players that came before them. The only standards known to Cape Town Roses is to score goals and win matches and championships.

Meanwhile, coach Madikane says he’s going to enjoy the season watching the girl footballers enjoying participation in the women’s football league. And he’s going to delight in their improvement, development and happiness on the field as girl footballers.IMG_1982

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White Privilege Strangling Black Sportswomen In South African Sport? By Cheryl Roberts

11 Jun

It’s because we are women that we must ‘stand together, and support each other as women’ is the common viewpoint for some women in South African sport. This is because women as a gender are discriminated against in sport, because women suffer because of gender inequalities and women are forced to exist in a male-dominated sports paradigm.

Its reality that South African sport is heavily male-dominated and controlled, that women in sport have to struggle for recognition, funding and support, that women have to watch men’s sports getting lots of sponsorship whilst sportswomen struggle to get corporate attention.

But hidden within the framework we must ‘stand together, and support each other as women’, is the white privilege that prevails, ensuring that white girls and white women in sport are nicely taken care of because of their white privilege and of course, inherited apartheid privileges.

Yes, women in sport struggle to participate in sport, achieve in sport and stay in sport. But the struggles and battles encountered by white women in sport are not the same as those faced by black women. Most black girls in sport are working class, struggling to enjoy the luxury of participation in sport. Most white girls in sport are not majority working class.

Most sports in South Africa that women are involved in, are white-women dominated, except for a few such as women’s football and women’s rugby where the player base is black and working class. And most sports teams and athlete representation is also white women-dominated. Look at sports such as swimming, hockey, netball, including athletics. These sports are dominated by white girl and women representation with black players getting a few places to squeeze into a team here and there.

Whist we been busy concentrating on calling out South Africa’s men’s cricket and men’s rugby teams for being white dominated, the white women have been merrily controlling representation in women’s sports. And this is shockingly occurring where sports have black officials as presidents. Look at the 10 netball teams in the national netball league. Four of the top teams are white player dominated and all ten head coaches are white women. That’s not because black women can’t coach netball. It’s because the black women coaches in netball are being kept out, side-lined, marginalised and made to feel inferior to white women coaches.

The national senior swimming team throughout the post-apartheid years has been about white swimmers. The recently announced SA women’s hockey team for 2018 the world cup is largely white-dominated with a handful of black (all players not white) players.

White privilege is thriving in women’s sports in South Africa. Black women, meantime are battling to breathe to exist in a functioning sports paradigm intent on dismantling their growth in sport.

The amazing prowess of black woman athlete Caster Semenya can also cast a false impression that black girls and women are emerging as elite athletes. But look at the 2018 South African u20 girls team to participate in the world u20 championship. It has only 6 girls; five of them white and one girl athlete not white. South Africa’s 2018 Commonwealth Games, Team South Africa was represented by mostly white women.  She was the only black woman athlete to win at the Commonwealth Games; thankfully, black woman athlete Caster Semenya achieved the gold medals for herself, for country and for black women.

Yes, women are discriminated against in sport and suffer because of gender inequalities. But black women suffer and struggle much, much more. And white privilege still prevails! Yes, women in sport are friends, travel together for sport, associate with each other, support each other as teammates. But except for some white women, white women don’t speak out and call out white privilege in sport. They also don’t challenge when whites dominate selection and representation.

Black women are beginning to stir and hopefully, roar against white domination in women’s sports. They no longer are content with whites dominating selection and representation and are beginning to challenge white women privilege in women’s sports. In doing this, black women officialdom must not stay silent; they must also call out white privilege in women’s sports. We have to eliminate white privilege and ensure black women in sport are not strangled by white women privileges, inheritances and resources, in the sports network.

8cheryl roberts  in the rain forest in ghana

Cheryl Roberts (writer of the blog)

To Stop Gentrification, Stop White Ownership In Historically Oppresssed Communities in Cape Town By Cheryl Roberts

3 Jun

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The slowly moving in and take over by gentrification of historically oppressed communities in nearby and surrounding city centre Cape Town is working against the original residents of these communities. Who is gentrification existing for?

Look at this! Gentrification has engulfed Woodstock, the community of historically oppressed peole, where houses are  exhorbitant prices, eliminating working class people from housing deals. And there’s massive development of  high rise buildings, shops and businesses. And who are those doing these developments, buying the houses, old apartment buildings? It’s the generational wealth people, the foreign moneyed people, those getting apartheid inheritances and white privilege, of course. It’s white people.

Shockingly, it’s not the historically oppressed who are spearheading gentrification. It’s white people and European foreigners. Where are the black people, those who suffered apartheid oppression? Why are they they missing from gentrification?

It’s because they don’t have the money from apartheid inheritances nor access to funding and business assistance to help them spearhead development in their historical people’s communities! So young whites especially, with their apartheid inheritances and white privilege, and serial business developers sustained during apartheid, are now driving gentrification of areas in and nearby city centre Cape Town.

We’ve watched how Woodstock got taken over, how Salt River is being clawed into and how Bo Kaap is being ‘invaded’ by European  foreigners and apartheid’s white children. Now Bo Kaap’s historical resident’s, especially the young people who have grown up hearing and knowing about forced removals in their families, are challenging and calling out gentrification.

Given what gentrification brings to our people’s hoods, it’s imperative that developers and their developments be confronted with people’s anger and protests. Developers are mostly about money, making more money and eliminating those who can’t afford to rent their business spaces and buy their properties. Developers are not concerned about community legacy, traditional people’s hoods and impact of destruction on people’s lives. All they want is to develop and to make money!

One fearless, gigantic step to be taken is to stop white ownership of land, property, businesses in areas such as Woodstock, Salt River and Bo Kaap, including the city centre area. Whites already own all new house and property purchases and are business owners in this gentrification era. The historically oppressed are not the drivers nor owners of gentrification processes;  they are the victims, the evicted and the pushed out. And this is not being racist, nor apartheid in reverse or discriminatory. This is halting white wealth increase and growth whilst blacks are being forced to rely on this gentrification for accommodation and work.

In an area like the Atlantic Seaboar, incorporating Sea Point, Bantry Bay and Green Point, this prime land and property revitalisation is being done by wealthy whites and apartheid era businesses. Blacks can’t get into developments happening there because they don’t have the money for the business deals. The only entrance for blacks is as construction workers building the high rise buildings for the white inherited and owned businesses.

Knowing that the historically oppressed had no money from apartheid, a fund had to be created by national, provincial and city governments to assist black people to also become developers and property owners of the Atlantic Seaboard. Big this hasn’t been done and apartheid’s money is at play here, helping apartheid’s generational wealth to not only expand and grow, but to stay within white ownership.

It won’t stop, this increasing power of apartheid’s generational wealth. Here in Cape Town, especially with     the DA having control of government administration, whites will get rich and blacks are going to remain bring employees of whites.

Stop allowing and increasing white ownership in Woodstock, Salt River, Bo Kaap, Cape Town CBD and Atlantic Seaboard. Whites are already owning property, land and businesses in these historically people’s communities. That’s enough. We don’t want people pushed out of their communities because of money. We want white ownership, purchase of land and property in these people’s communities, to be stopped and for the people themselves to take ownership of future developments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Are Cape Town’s Social Justice Activists When Working Class people Are Protesting? By Cheryl Roberts

30 May

Cape Town’s working class people, mostly unemployed, struggling to survive people, who live in the under-resourced, marginalised, neglected communities are protesting. Also protesting are people living in their historical communities experiencing vicious gentrification and white privilege take over, like the Bo Kaap.

The people are angry about their struggling lives whilst they live in the rich, prosperous city of Cape Town. They have had enough of being neglected by successive city and provincial administrations, of being unemployed because of neo – liberalism in South Africa’s capitalist society. They also know they now have nothing any more to lose, except their chains of struggle, unemployment and poverty.

Cape Town has activists galore. They exist on social media, in academic institutions, at parliament, in government departments, working in NGO’s and in the suburbs. But where are these social justice activists who always commentate and give opinions on social media and commercial media, in their political organisations, NGO’s and suburban homes, when the working class is protesting against their struggling lives and state of impoverished living?

Why are these social justice activists missing from the terrains of working class protest action? Are they too busy still talking about and theorising and writing about how ‘the revolution should be supported and started’.

Get this! The working class revolution is here and now and happening. The very working class whom you write about and commentate on and give your opinions about caring for and supporting is protesting. They are not waiting for some suburban resident, liberal activist, middle class person, elite citizen, theory-filled academic to lead them and say when they must protest. Whilst you earn your middle class salary, live in suburban homes, eat out at restaurants and profess about social justice, the struggling and gatvol working class have their bodies on the front line of protest action.

When the people are protesting, getting hit and arrested by police, Cape Town’s social justice activists are seemingly ‘getting on with their lives.’ Yes, there are some who are supporting working class protests, out there with the people. But where are the rest of you? Using up space writing, commentating and observing from your comfortable positions, are you?

8cheryl roberts  in the rain forest in ghana

Cheryl Roberts (writer of the blog)

South African Sportswoman, You’re On Your Own By Cheryl Roberts

30 May

It was black consciousness thinker and writer Steve Biko who said ‘Black man you on your own’ in response to the oppression of black people (not only black men) in South Africa. Today I’m saying and writing ‘South African sportswoman, You On Your Own’.

Don’t disagree with me when I say South Africa’s sports network is littered with gender inequalities. Who is speaking up and calling out this gender discrimination that exists across the sports paradigm, across all sports?

To date, there exists no organised voice within South African sport challenging the horrendous unequal deal given to women in sport, the handouts they receive here and there, now and again from ‘tight budgets’, the unequal ‘pay’ they have to humbly accept.

Most women in sport and sportswomen in South Africa are aware of their ‘inferior to men’ status, ‘secondary position, under the sportsmen’; this given to them by the male hegemonic control of sport. Some women in sport do talk out about male domination of sport sometimes, here and there and individually or personally but not as a power group confronting gender discrimination and inequalities.

And of course, given their power accorded and invested in themselves to continue their domination of the sports network and decision-making processes affecting women in sport, men in sport continue to advance men in sport and give a little here and there to women in sport.

So who is calling out gender discrimination in SA sport and spearheading the advancement of women and girls in sport? It’s not an organised voice, that’s men-led! So who are the women in sport relying on and waiting for to speak on their behalf? Surely they can’t be waiting for men players and men officials to do this?

Let’s take something out of Steve Biko’s thinking! Steve Biko advanced thoughts that said white people as the oppressor could not liberate black people, the oppressed. This liberation had to be led by and spearheaded by the oppressed themselves and that was the black oppressed.

In sport, too sportswomen are discriminated against because of their gender and also because of their sexuality, class and colour. It’s the sportswomen who must liberate women in sport!

Very few men in sport speak out about the shabby handouts given to sportswomen in SA sport. They also don’t challenge their patriarchal domination of the SA sports network. And they just don’t speak out against abuse, rape, assault of women by men in sport. Some men publicly give their viewpoints like former international cricketer Boeta Dippenaar who recently wrote about how he thinks women cricketers just don’t have the same commercial appeal as men cricketers for them to be given equal pay to men cricketers as being proposed by Cricket South Africa. This male cricketer isn’t the only man who thinks like this. Most of them in media, marketing, sports events, sponsorship also do have this thinking.

Women in sport have got to shift gears, ignite their consciousness, embrace activism and fight head on this male control of sport that binds women in sport to decisions made by men on behalf of women in sport.

In most sports, the sportswomen are demanding national pro leagues for women, more international participation, increased funding for women in sport, more women officials and coaches. And all sports respond about there being no money and no budget to do all this for the women in sport. But there’s always money for the sportsmen, especially in the corporate sports such as rugby, football, cricket, golf.

Women in sport in South Africa must not think they don’t have a voice. They can speak out and challenge! If they wait and wait on men officials to decide how to develop women in sport, then they are going to have to wait very, very long because men officials in SA sport are not feminists, nor gender activists. They are proponents of preserving male hegemony in sport and this doesn’t include giving power to sportswomen and women in sport.

South African Sports Woman . Published by Cheryl Roberts. Published in May 2017. Published in Cape Town in South Africa - CopyDo you see why I say South African sportswomen, you are on your own?

 

South African Sportswoman, You’re On Your Own By Cheryl Roberts

30 May

It was black consciousness thinker and writer Steve Biko who said ‘Black man you on your own’ in response to the oppression of black people (not only black men) in South Africa. Today I’m saying and writing ‘South African sportswoman, You On Your Own’.

Don’t disagree with me when I say South Africa’s sports network is littered with gender inequalities. Who is speaking up and calling out this gender discrimination that exists across the sports paradigm, across all sports?

To date, there exists no organised voice within South African sport challenging the horrendous unequal deal given to women in sport, the handouts they receive here and there, now and again from ‘tight budgets’, the unequal ‘pay’ they have to humbly accept.

Most women in sport and sportswomen in South Africa are aware of their ‘inferior to men’ status, ‘secondary position, under the sportsmen’; this given to them by the male hegemonic control of sport. Some women in sport do talk out about male domination of sport sometimes, here and there and individually or personally but not as a power group confronting gender discrimination and inequalities.

And of course, given their power accorded and invested in themselves to continue their domination of the sports network and decision-making processes affecting women in sport, men in sport continue to advance men in sport and give a little here and there to women in sport.

So who is calling out gender discrimination in SA sport and spearheading the advancement of women and girls in sport? It’s not an organised voice, that’s men-led! So who are the women in sport relying on and waiting for to speak on their behalf? Surely they can’t be waiting for men players and men officials to do this?

Let’s take something out of Steve Biko’s thinking! Steve Biko advanced thoughts that said white people as the oppressor could not liberate black people, the oppressed. This liberation had to be led by and spearheaded by the oppressed themselves and that was the black oppressed.

In sport, too sportswomen are discriminated against because of their gender and also because of their sexuality, class and colour. It’s the sportswomen who must liberate women in sport!

Very few men in sport speak out about the shabby handouts given to sportswomen in SA sport. They also don’t challenge their patriarchal domination of the SA sports network. And they just don’t speak out against abuse, rape, assault of women by men in sport. Some men publicly give their viewpoints like former international cricketer Boeta Dippenaar who recently wrote about how he thinks women cricketers just don’t have the same commercial appeal as men cricketers for them to be given equal pay to men cricketers as being proposed by Cricket South Africa. This male cricketer isn’t the only man who thinks like this. Most of them in media, marketing, sports events, sponsorship also do have this thinking.

Women in sport have got to shift gears, ignite their consciousness, embrace activism and fight head on this male control of sport that binds women in sport to decisions made by men on behalf of women in sport.

In most sports, the sportswomen are demanding national pro leagues for women, more international participation, increased funding for women in sport, more women officials and coaches. And all sports respond about there being no money and no budget to do all this for the women in sport. But there’s always money for the sportsmen, especially in the corporate sports such as rugby, football, cricket, golf.

Women in sport in South Africa must not think they don’t have a voice. They can speak out and challenge! If they wait and wait on men officials to decide how to develop women in sport, then they are going to have to wait very, very long because men officials in SA sport are not feminists, nor gender activists. They are proponents of preserving male hegemony in sport and this doesn’t include giving power to sportswomen and women in sport.

Do you see why I say South African sportswomen, you are on your own?

South African Sports Woman . Published by Cheryl Roberts. Published in May 2017. Published in Cape Town in South Africa - Copy

South Africa’s International Girl Footballer Relies On Food At School Feeding By Cheryl Roberts

24 May

I’ve written about it and mentioned often on social media about the struggles of South Africa’s black and working class girls in sport; their battle against the odds to participate in sport, enjoy sport and achieve. In our South African society of unemployment and inequalities, their struggles are real and exist. In almost all sports in South Africa there will be black and working class girls struggling to get money for transport to training and matches, to get playing shoes and pay registration fees.

Today and for many days, weeks and months, in a working class neighbourhood in Cape Town, a teenage schoolgirl footballer walks out of her humble home, at about 7 in the morning, on her way to school knowing that she will not only learn new information but also get some food to eat. That’s because 16 year old girl footballer Mische Minnies has parents who are both unemployed, no life savings to rely on and no income to buy food and sustain the family daily. They rely on handouts and help received sometimes and randomly from friends and people aware of their family situation.

Mische is at a high school in Mitchells Plain in Cape Town. She plays for a women’s football team where the coach has helped and does sometime help with some food and groceries to ensure the unemployed family gets by. Mische is a talented girl footballer. Last year, she got selected to play for South Africa’s under 17 girls football team and helped the SA u17 team qualify for the girls football world cup. She scored goals for South Africa, with football management seemingly unaware how she struggles to get food daily when she’s not at a national football camp.

For over a year, Mische’s mother and father are just unable to clinch employment that will bring in some money and help them survive in this harsh neo liberal South African society that batters working class people much more than it supports them. The electricity at their rented family home is off because they need money to buy prepaid electricity.

I spoke to Mische’s father today, asked how it was going and he said: ‘I’m out here in the rain in Mitchells Plain, picking up plastic bottles and selling them to try get some money for food today.’ And Mische, I enquired about? He tells me: ‘Mische went to school where she will get some food today because they feed them at school’.

I ask about Mische’s football training and he says: ‘Mische goes to training but I spoke to the club to let her come to training once a week because of transports costs. The club does give Mische some transport money but on the really hard days, Mische tries to help us with some food money and gives us her transport money some days and then she misses training that day.’

Such is her football talent that Mische was selected to attend SAFA’s high performance girl football school in Gauteng where the girl’s living and educational expenses are taken care of by SAFA. ‘Mische’s mother and I were very happy when Mische got selected to go to high performance. It meant she would be looked after nicely because we been struggling for long and Mische been going without food sometimes for long now,’ said Mr Minnies, himself an avid football supporter and volunteer  grassroots coach and administrator.

Six months after being at SAFA’s high performance centre, Mr Minnies got the shock phone call from SAFA’s high performance management that Mische would not be returning to the high performance centre. ‘They told me Mische’s schoolwork wasn’t up to standard and she was coming back to Cape Town. Mische went from Afrikaans instruction at school to English learning. When I saw Mische’s June exams report I saw there was nothing wrong with her report. Then they said Mische wanted to come home. I was so disappointed because now I knew Mische was coming back to struggling for food. But I couldn’t get good enough reasons from there at high performance why they were sending Mische home. Then they selected Mische to play for SA under 17 team.’ explained Mr Minnies.

Recently Mische attended a national training camp for u17 girl footballers. She just got told to be at the airport to take the flight to Johannesburg. No shuttle service for transport to the airport was provided by SAFA to get the girl footballer to the airport. SAFA didn’t even enquire if the girls needed transport to the airport and back home from the airport. ‘Ay, that was a big problem for me. I don’t have a car, had no money and couldn’t get Mische to the airport. I had to beg someone to please take Mische to the airport and beg again to have her brought home from the airport. At least, she ate nicely at the national training camp. But then she came home to no food, again,’ said Mr Minnies.

This unemployed family plight is real, harsh and sad. They not the only unemployed family in Cape Town and South Africa struggling like this. I’ve been calling for a national fund for girls and women to be established; a fund that will help working class girls in sport. Sports federations must be sensitive, aware they are providing sport in a society of inequalities. Paid sports administrators must not assume because they sit in an office and get paid salaries that all is okay with girls playing for national teams, especially when the girls are black and working class.

16 year old Mische Minnie from Mitchells Plain in Cape Town is expected to play a pivotal role for South Africa at the under 17 girls football world cup in Uruguay, later this year. At this moment, Mische is hoping to get some food to eat to get by whist dreaming of her football games. That’s the reality of being a black and working class girl in sport in capitalist South Africa.

c.minnies