Black Queer Activist Funeka Soldaat Writes Her Story For Black Queer Women By Cheryl Roberts

13 Feb

 

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It’s a life story of a black, queer activist and its written for black queer girls and women to not only know the story of another’s life before them but also a black and queer life that has a human right to exist.

It’s the life story of Funeka Soldaat, an anti-apartheid and human rights activist, woman in sport, Kaizer Chiefs fan, black queer activist and anti-crime community activist. It’s the life story of Funeka Soldaat from her roots in the Eastern Cape, through school, family life, her move to Cape Town and never tiring commitment of driving lesbian and queer rights and protection in a society that is at war whenever it chooses, with those who don’t identify as nor accept a patriarchal, heteronormative society.

It’s titled ‘Uhambo’ and is being launched in February with two launches already announced. And of course the first launch takes place in the hood in Khayalitsha where Funeka lives and undertakes much of her activism. Its here in Khayalitsha where Funeka has engaged police stations and justice courts, walked the streets in support of black lesbians, visited homes to give advice, protection and inspiration to young black queer women, held memorials for fallen black lesbians and founded the vibrant black lesbian structure ‘FreeGender’.

 

‘Uhambo’ is a dream fulfilled – Funkeka Soldaat

 

Me to Funeka on the phone……. ‘I’m sooooooo happy for you. I recall you saying in a convo, about two years ago, how you wanted to write your story. And we laughed because we both agreed it shouldn’t be academic and shouldn’t be accessible to only a few people.’

 

Funeka to me…… ‘Ay….I’m also happy. You don’t know how happy I am to have done this finally.’

The publication of ‘Uhambo’ is a fulfilled dream and passion for Funeka Soldaat, the non-commercial activist who doesn’t derive money from her activism. For Funeka, the book is about being there for black queer girls and young women especially to read and know they have a right to what life and sexuality they choose.

 

A personal black lesbian’s story

 

‘It’s not a book about someone doing research on black lesbian lives. It’s my story. Our black lesbian stories,’ says Funeka. ‘In my years of growing, acknowledging my sexuality, coming out as lesbian, I never had a book to read about another black lesbian’s life. I thought I was on my own, that the world was against only me. And then I found comradeship and lesbian activists who were prepared to fight to live our sexuality on our terms’.

Proud Black lesbian Funeka Soldaat shares all about her life in ‘Uhambo’, including estrangement from her mother when she tells her mom she ain’t straight nor heterosexual. She holds nothing back about her activism in the trenches, the violence inflicted on her body, her love and marriage, friendships and happiness.

I’m not saying much about the book’s content because you must get a copy of the book and read it. And if you know Funeka soldaat or want to know about this life story, then ‘Uhambo’ is a must read.

 

 

Book By Black Conscious Women Activists Recalls Their Anti-Apartheid Struggle By Cheryl Roberts

27 Jan

 

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‘The BCM legacy needs to be acknowledged and embraced so we heal ourselves from inferiority and superior complexes that continue to bedevil our social relationship’, writes 1960’s black consciousness movement activist, Mamphele Ramphele in a recently published seminal publication beaming the voices of black women involved in South Africa’s significant and challenging black consciousness movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

It was long overdue. It had to be forthcoming because we had to know, remember and never forget the involvement of young black women in the anti-apartheid struggle propelled by the black conscious movement.

And now the written book has been published. Titled ‘Time to Remember: Reflections Of women from the Black Consciousness Movement’, and about “Narratives that bear testimony to the human spirit”, several black women give their personal accounts of what it meant in their young lives to be black conscious, active in black communities and against the horrendous apartheid regime and its horrific apartheid system.

The narratives, personal stories and accounts are pivotal to our understanding and remembrance of a very relevant and challenging resistance era against apartheid, which is not about the dominant liberation movement, the African National Congress. Its also incredibly authentic and fulfilling in portraying black women in the black conscious movement, without the pivotal focus being Steve Biko, who we all know stands out as the leader of South Africa’s black conscious era, movement and resistance.

Reading the narratives, one is enthralled by the brave, strong, fearless, young women who participated in activities condemning the apartheid system, who had to confront their ‘frightened’ parents afraid of their political/resistance involvement and who faced the violence of apartheid’s security apparatus.

Throughout most of the narratives, we connect the dots and see them in black consciousness movement structures that not only worked tirelessly and fearlessly but hungered for a just society to live in.

Featured in the book are the narratives of Oshadi Mangena, Sibongile Mhabela, Shahida Issel, Ulli Unjinee Poonan, Juby Mayet, Nobandile Biko, Thembi Ramokgopa, Kogila Cooper, Pomla Gwen Mokoape, Nosipho Matshoba, Mmagauta Molefe, Sam Moodley, Ilva Mackay Langa, Latha Ravjee, Refilwe Moloto, Perez Sisters, Zola Ayanda Kuzwayo, Shamim Meer, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Ntomb’fikile Mazibuko, Sisana Duma – Machi, Mamphela Ramphele, Daphne Koza, Hester Joseph Rowayda Halim, Arun Naicker, Zeni Thumbadoo who share their stories, holding nothing back, including the confrontations with their parents who feared for their children’s lives when they challenged the brutal apartheid regime.

 

‘The special branch made it their business to make our lives a living hell. As part of their on-going psychological warfare, they would harass me both at work and at home. They would arrive unannounced and search our home at all hours of the night. Worst of all they would threaten and humiliate our children at school,’ writes Pomla Gwen Mokoape, herself a black conscious movement activist whose doctor husband Aubrey got sentenced to Robben Island.

Iconic schools and addresses like Inanda Seminary, University of Natal black section, Ngoya university, 86 Beatrice Street in Durban, headquarters of the black consciousness movement in South Africa and King Williamstown where Steve Biko organised, are all remembered in their young lives.

Most of the women were tertiary students, becoming doctors, social workers, architects, lawyers. The women loved, faced patriarchal challenges in families, became young mothers, were detained and harassed in detention, were banned, worked long hours at the office and organising.

Most importantly, they were not just talking activists but activists who organised community clinics, literacy classes, after school lessons, theatre productions, reading groups, public and mass meetings and supported the comrades.

‘I became responsible for the BCM’s grassroots community health and development programs’, writes Mamphela Ramphele. We continued to manifest the spirit of self-reliance, black solidarity and promotion of human dignity. The BCM practiced what it preached in the beacons of hope we established wherever we worked. Banishment and restriction of movement could not stop us.’

Sam Moodley worked in the BPC offices, especially on the seminal publication Black Review and in theatrical productions that particularly highlighted injustices and oppression. ‘With the onslaught against the black consciousness movement we were restricted in our movement, we lost our jobs, and were unable to continue with our theatrical activities. Our voices as poets, playwrights, actors were silenced’.

The young women also faced parental and family fears, sometimes resistance to their personal resistance to apartheid, largely because of family fear what could be done to their children by apartheid’s security apparatus. ‘I joined in a placard demonstration outside the city hall in central Durban’, recalls Shamim Meer. ‘A picture of the protest, me somewhat visible, appeared in the daily newspaper. As my father read the paper that evening, he told me to be careful, that I could get into trouble,’ recalls Shamim Meer.  

Shahida Issel, takes us through her black conciousness movement narrative writing a letter to her grandchildren, telling them about the ruthless actions of apartheid’s security apparatus. ‘They (the security police) came to my mother’s house in Heideveld where we lived. They came with a whole entire army, kicked down my mother’s door, grabbed the baby and there was my mother pulling the child and they pulling Leila and I’m neuking them (hitting them). Eventually they pushed my mother so hard she landed in the hospital. The people all came out to see what was happening and we eventually got the baby’.

Despite the harsh authorisation of apartheid on black people’s lives, anti-apartheid activists also had to resist and challenge black people, although themselves oppressed, who were accepting of apartheid’s Bantustan policy like Chief Gatsha Buthelezi’s IFP.

 

Nozizwe Madlala – Routledge recalls how ‘one chilly evening in May 1980, I was one of a group of about twenty young people rounded up by men wearing balaclavas. At the crack of dawn the men forced us into two kombi’s and drove us to Ulundi. We were brought before Buthelezi and members of the then (Bantustan ) KZN legislative Assembly and introduced as troublemakers. When he addressed us, Buthelezi made it clear that if we did not stop what we were doing we would be in great trouble. We were then driven back to KwaMashu into a tense IFP gathering where we were presented to the community as rogues.’

About her personal political awareness and growth, professor Ntomb’fikile Mazibuko says: ‘The early 1970’s were years of self-discovery, for me. One felt that there was a conscious and deliberate effort by the youth and students of the time to navigate the political lull that could easily have disconnected us from the realities of the day. As the youth of the 1970’s we discovered our identity, felt an obligation to social justice and had the confidence to address apartheid in higher education and within communities where the ethnic-tribal universities had been established.’

The administration and organizational strength of the young women were enormous. ‘The 1970’s was a time of great political activity. With the ANC being banned, organisaions connected to the Black Conscious Movement came to the forefront of the struggle. One of the important aims was to disseminate information about the happenings within black communities across to the widest possible audience. Thus one of BCP’s most important projects was the production of Black journals and community newspapers,’ recalls June Joseph. ‘In the 1970’s the IBM golfball typewriters were considered “high tech” and I typed all the scripts for the journals on this typewriter. Steve Biko was a hard taskmaster when it came to meeting deadlines. He would lock the doors and say “no one is going home until this work is completed!” So half in tears I would type until the early hours of the morning and when the task was finally published, he would send me home in a taxi to face the wrath of my worried mother. Two of the important publications that I worked on were the Black Review, which was published from 1972-1976 and also Black Viewpoint which was edited by Bennie Khoapa.’

I came into black consciousness at 18 years old when I fortunately came into contact with Steve Biko’s seminal book ‘I Write What I Like’, during my first year of studies at the then University of Natal. I was aware of the iconic school, Inanda Seminary and the University of Natal black section residence was in the same hood I lived in Durban. I know about the clinic services that were offered at the University of Natal black section residence because I often heard of residents visiting the clinic to get medical help. I’m sure the young women medical students passed on the road I crossed as I journeyed to primary school in the hood. I know the old church building (its demolished now) that housed SASO and BPC in Durban because I played indoor sport at the YMCA in Beatrice Street and I saw many, many young black people walk in and out of the building in Beatrice Street. To read about the young black conscious women and their fearless participation in the anti-apartheid struggle in a book is something I’ve been waiting for a long, long time. Its allowed me to connect the dots of growing up black in anti-apartheid struggle days, coming into black consciousness and knowing so much more of what I didn’t know anything about when I was a girl, growing up and schooling in the hood in Durban.

‘Reflections Of Women From The Black Consciousness Movement’ is a must read. It’s a book that should be prescribed by university departments such as gender and women studies, political science, African studies, sociology, Hi(her)story and should be read by academics across all departments. The book is written by black South African women and published by black South African women. It’s the struggle and community involvement narratives of young black women, now much older, who also fought for your and my freedom from apartheid.

Netball Coach Danlee Matthews Gets Head Coach Appointments By Cheryl Roberts

25 Feb

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Q and A interview with netball coach Danlee Matthews

Former international netballer Danlee Matthews from Kraaifontein in Cape Town has been appointed head coach of University of the Western Cape (UWC) netball team and the Cape Town-based Tornados netball team, that will play in netball’s national league, and be a representative team of Western Cape netball. Danlee was assistant coach of the Western Cape Stings team in the national league. Working full-time, coaching after work and being a mother is going to be challenging for netball coach Danlee Matthews but she says she’s ready to take it all on, survive and deliver quality netball coaching

Q: Danlee, You recently got two head coach appointments. Tell us more about these coaching positions.

Danlee: Yes I was appointed head coach of Tornados, WP A senior ladies and UWC netball. The Tornados team will take part in the Telkom netball league, the CTNF Senior A team will take part in the SPAR National Championships in Stellenbosch in August 2020 and UWC will take part in USSA ‘s in July 2020 and Varsity Cup end of August 2020.

Q: You already working out strategy and tactics for the national league and varsity netball tournaments?
Danlee: Yes, I have a idea what the netball landscape looks like in SA, but I will predominantly work on my teams strategies and not focus too much on what the other teams are doing.

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Q: When did you play for SA and when did you retire?
Danlee: I played for the SA team between 2000-2006, before that I played for the SA U/21 team between 1998-2000. I went to the Senior World Cup in Jamaica in 2003 and the U/21 World Cup in Wales in 2000. I was forced to stop playing at the end of 2006 due to occurring knee injuries.

Q: When did you start coaching?
Danlee: I officially started coaching in 2007 but have been coaching at schools and clubs in my community while I was still actively playing. I obtained my coaching qualifications at Netball SA and am a qualified coach as well as a Provincial Coach Developer.

Q: How will you do selections for the Tornado’s team in the national team?

Danlee: Western Cape Netball Federation has decided that the Telkom Netball League teams for 2020 will be selected from the whole Western Cape and so we have selected best 30 players across WC. The Tornados consists of 15 players of which 12 travelling will travel and 3 non-travelling reserves.

Q: What are you hoping to achieve as a debut head coach in the national league?

Danlee: That my team deliver consistent performances every match, that the players get recognition for their performances by getting call ups to national squads and that we win the league, win promotions and relegation match and play in the top league next year.

Q: How would you like your netball teams and players to improve during 2020?

Danlee: They need to achieve their personal goals(realistic) that they set for themselves, stay true to who they are and where they come from and stick to the basics. All of this is achievable if our belief system is strong and motivated to achieve our goals.

Q: You are a mother and work full-time. And you are a netball head coach. How will you be managing all three responsibilities?

Danlee: I am very lucky to have a very supportive husband and family who helps when I need somebody to look after the two men in my life. I try to balance my time accordingly between work, netball and my private life.

Q: What improvements do you hope to see in netball in South Africa so the game can grow?

Danlee: Consistent elite competition over longer periods of time with the top players in the country so that our players get used to the intensity needed to compete at international level all the time. Also needed are development programs for players in our disadvantaged areas with qualified coaches with technical and scientific programs to ensure they can participate and compete at the highest level when needed.

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Q: How will WECSA’s assistance help the Tornado’s preparation to play in the national league?

Danlee: WECSA’s role in the WCNF HP programme is of utmost importance, as they support the scientific services and other services needed to ensure the players are physically and mentally ready to compete at the elite level. This also gives me, as the coach, the peace of mind to know that my players are conditioned and will be supported if an injury might occur.

Opinion: South African Sport And SASCOC Needs Authentic Leadership! By Cheryl Roberts

25 Feb

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Let’s get to the point and unashamedly and unapologetically state that sport officialdom in South Africa is at its lowest, that SASCOC leadership must firstly be called out and challenged and officialdom must be re-visited and refreshed.
Its 2020! Why are people who have been occupying positions within SASCOC for so many years still getting to be officials of SASCOC? Where is the new, fresh, vibrant, visionary officials and leaders who can take SASCOC forward?
SASCOC elections are coming up; will be held soon. Electioneering and campaigning is underway. There are comments and opinions about a ‘coloured cabal’ wanting to take control of SASCOC. There are comments about ‘the same people’ wanting to be elected. There are opinions that one man, who is determined to be SASCOC president and has his campaign in full swing is not ‘the best person’ to lead SASCOC. There are rumours circulating that sports federations are being ‘made promises’ if they vote for a particular man candidate. And then there’s the condemnation by a woman sports official against a man official in the elections race for saying the woman official’s SASCOC nomination should not be supported.
Here are the questions about SASCOC and all those intent on gaining control of SASCOC officialdom:
. Do you understand the depth of crisis of confidence that SASCOC faces?
. Who allowed SASCOC to get into this lowest level of governance with warring factions fighting for control of SASCOC?
. Why do people really want to be on the SASCOC exco and Board?
. Do those who want to to be elected really have ideas and the vision to take forward sport in SA?
. Who is speaking out against the gender inequalities in sport? Why are white-dominated sports teams allowed by SASCOC?

Opinions and suggestions:

. Being on the SASCOC exco and board must be for only one term of four years. Then you get out and go do whatever outside of a SASCOC position but you are not going to stay occupying a SASCOC position, getting paid money and you offer nothing much.

. Where are the Olympic sports officials from swimming, athletics, rowing, triathlon – sports that have brought in SA’s Olympic medals – in SASCOC leadership? These are the officials whom should be serving on SASCOC exco and board. One of these sports should have the SASCOC presidency! They deliver the Olympic medals, world championship and continental titles and know how to organise sport.

. Some women have been part of SASCOC leadership but you rarely hear these women speak out and challenge patriarchal control and male-domination of SASCOC and sport in SA. We want conscious women to be officials and leaders of SASCOC, not women who want positions to further their personal beings.

. Anyone who has already served a four year term on the SASCOC exco and board must not be voted or co-opted back onto SASCOC. You had your time and opportunity and you messed up and allowed SASCOC to slip and slide downwards.
Let’s be honest! SASCOC as a representative sports structure has no respect from South Africa. People laugh at SASCOC at every opportunity, don’t believe in SASCOC and have no faith in SASCOC. There’s opinion that one man and his cabal, intent on gaining control of SASCOC, will further divide sport in SA and doesn’t have the capability to impact positively on SASCOC leadership.
So where does that leave the elections and all the ambitious people, who want positions on SASCOC exco and board? If you’ve been there before on SASCOC, we don’t want you there again. Out you go! If you are coming into SASCOC for business interests, then we don’t want you on SASCOC. For those who want to contest the SASCOC elections, we want you to have the answers on taking sport forward. We want your abilities, your vision and ideas to lead sport in SA. And get this! We don’t want useless officials.

Eastern Cape’s Gifted Woman Springbok Aseza Hele Can’t Wait To Play In Her First Women’s Rugby World Cup By Cheryl Roberts

12 Feb

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In this Q and A interview with ‘South African SportsWoman’ publisher, Cheryl Roberts we learn more about Aseza Hele’s rugby passion and ambitions.

Q: Congratulations on your national women’s rugby achiever of the year award, bestowed upon you by SA Rugby. Were you expecting the award?
Aseza Hele: Not at all. I didn’t expect anything like a national award.
Q: You had an outstanding 2019 season for Eastern Province and national team. What did you enjoy most about your performances, last season?
Aseza Hele: I enjoyed most when I touched down and scored tries.
Q: You helped South Africa qualify for the 2021 women’s rugby World Cup. You excited about the prospect of probably playing in your first World Cup?
Aseza Hele: Sooooo excited. I can’t wait for the world cup and for the new experience.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve on the rugby field, this season?
Aseza Hela: Score more tries, score more points and win most of our games at provincial and national level.
Q: Have you started pre-season training? Tell us about your rugby training schedule?
Aseza Hele: Yes I’ve started training already. I’m training three times a day. I do two session from the training programme that we got from the Springbok training schedule and I do one session with my team mates from Kwaru club.
Q: How did you start playing rugby?
Aseza Hele: I was taking a jog in the Dan QeQe stadium in Zwide in Port Elizabeth then there was this coach rugby XOLA JACOBS. He called me, asked me to join rugby. I refused at first but finally agreed. Got started with playing rugby and then I never looked back.
Q: Do you know about the rugby legend Dan QeQe?
Aseza Hele: No, I don’t now much but I do know that he helped develop rugby in black communities and he built the Dan QeQe stadium.
Q: Your most admired rugby players in SA and in world rugby?
Aseza Hele: My two legend women rugby players Nomsebenzi Tsotsobe and Mandisa Williams of women Springboks.
Q: What improvements would you like to see for women’s rugby to advance in SA?
Aseza Hele: Would love to see women’s rugby in South Africa develop and grow, as we have youngsters that are knocking at the doors of provincial and national rugby and they need opportunities.
Q: Would you like to play pro rugby? In which country?
Aseza Hele: Yes, I want to play ppo rugby. In New Zealand, England or USA.

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Q: Your provincial and Springbok teammates rate you very highly as a player and value your contribution on the field. You obviously enjoy playing a team sport like rugby?
Aseza Hele: I also value my Springbok players. And yes, I enjoy the sport a lot.
Q: How will you be approaching improvements to your game as SA heads towards the women’s rugby World Cup?
Aseza Hela: There’s no other way than by working hard and getting better than before, fixing our last year’s mistakes and moving forward towards our goals.
Q: What are you doing besides playing rugby? Are you studying/working?
Aseza Hela: Studying this year…..Still hustling for work
Q: Can SA improve as a national women’s rugby team and be very competitive at the 2021 World Cup?
Aseza Hele: Yes, it can improve. Yes SAwill be competitive because we have ladies that are committed and have lots of talent.

Women Rugby Coaches Nosipho Poswa And Laurian Johannes Taking Girls Rugby To Higher Levels In Western Province. This is their Q And A interview with ‘South African SportsWoman’ publisher, Cheryl Roberts about their passion for being involved with girls rugby.

10 Feb

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Intro

They are former Springbok players. That’s Nosipho Poswa and Laurian Johannes. They both attended and graduated from UWC where they played their club rugby. Both are teachers, teaching at schools on the Cape Flats in Cape Town. And both Nosipho and Laurian are rugby coaches for Western Province Rugby Union. They are also both born in 1984. They are pivotal volunteer rugby coaches who help to develop girls rugby in South Africa. I asked them the questions and they spoke back about their passion and love for rugby…….

Q: What attracted you to rugby coaching?

Nosipho: I saw a gap for women’s rugby coaches but the most important thing is that as a former rugby player, I wanted to give back to young women players who want to play the sport and also share the experience that I have, with them and for them to benefit.
Laurian: I always knew I wanted to coach in order to give back to the sport I love. I strive to be a lifelong learner of our beautiful game. So when I stopped playing competitively it was an automatic transition for me.

Q: What are the challenges you encounter as a woman rugby coach?

Nosipho: I would say Cheryl they are the same challenges…. as you know rugby is a male dominated sport and you have to compete with male coaches, some of them are very supportive but some they do not take us serious as coaches who can bring good results to the game.
Laurian: Exposure of the game. We face challenges from our male counterparts initially, until we speak and do the same coaching levels of the game and then they realise we are equipped with the knowledge of the game and all is good thereafter.

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Q: What makes you happy about coaching girls in rugby?

Nosipho: What makes me happy to coach girls rugby is that those kids are new to the game and they eager to play and learn. They listen to whatever instruction I give them, so that is why when I coach them. I need to be focussed and teach them the basics of the game correctly because by doing that I prepare them to be ready to play the game in the senior level setup. For me it is not difficult because I am a teacher, so when I coach them I apply all the knowledge of teaching using method and techniques of making a player to understand what it is expected to them.
Laurian: Seeing growth from grassroots level to representing our country on the international stage. I feel I’m a life coach because I care about the player holistically (the whole player) with regards to education and homelife and sport. I know my players; so its so rewarding seeing them excel at life.

Q: Tell us more about the growth and development of girls rugby in Western Province

Nosipho: At our province we are playing girls rugby festivals at City Park Stadium in Athlone every Friday in season, where all primary and high schools come together and play according to their age groups like under 14, 16 and 18. During these games we select regional teams where all girls from Langa will make a regional team and also Bellville will make another regional team. So, during these regional games, it is so easy to us to identify players who will represent WP under 16 and u18 at the Youth Week games tournament in June. Our province is also one of the provinces that was selected by SARU to be part of the Youth Training Center (YTC) program where they would employ the coach to assist the union to identify the girls talent in the communities and also in schools. This program is trying to work towards the goal of inviting all the schools, especially more private schools to partake in the game of rugby. After we are done with the Youth Week tournaments then we get busy with (YTC) program with the help of the head coach of the program trying to identify players that will represent YTC teams for the end of the season tournament.
Laurian: We do outreach programmes to introduce girls rugby at schools . Girls start playing at u13 level. Our YTC programme enhances our players development. We are a very proud province and strive for excellence when it comes to player development. Our WP juniors u16, u18 and u20 play national tournaments and YTC tournaments every year.

Q: And the secret? How do you manage to be a national girls rugby coach champion?

Nosipho: I am not really sure if I have a secret. I think I am doing things that all coaches should do. I would say its all about dedication and to be committed to your work and also trying to understand players differences, to be friendly, play a role of being a mother to them and also make jokes when its time for jokes, but when its time for hard work they will know its time for everyone to work hard. As we all know that most of the players are from different backgrounds where you would find out during training times/ days they would struggle to get transport to take them to the field and sometimes they would have no boots or shorts to train. But despite those challenges as a coach, I need to be calm and listen to each and every player and assist where I can. As I mentioned before the understanding of your players challenges is important to know. For me, I relate to their situation and I was once a player who struggled a lot but that did not make me to stop to do what I love. It just strengthens my mind and makes me stronger and be the best out of nothing.
Laurian: We are a great management team and we strive to give nothing but the best of ourselves. So we do our best all the time. Its team goals. It’s not just about me or one individual coach.

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Q: Girls rugby is played mostly by working class school girls. Are suburban and private schools not interested in playing girls rugby?

Nosipho: I won’t say yes or no because when we had registration for all rugby schools some of the representative of WP ladies rugby and also YTC administrators were also there, having their table with registration forms for all the schools that are interested to be part of WP girls rugby. This has been happening over the past years but most of the private and surburban schools haven’t shown interest.
Laurian: We have done roadshows and we are getting more of the previously model C schools to join like Groote Schuur high and Camps Bay high. We have had girls from Rustenburg as well in our squads.

Q: What more must be done by Western Province Rugby Union to further develop girls rugby in the Province?

Nosipho: I think they need to invite more schools and also speak with the principals/sports oficials in the schools and make them understand the importance of the girls to play sport. They can also allow girls to play before the main games for instance when Stormers or Varsity Cup games are playing. So that the girls can get exposure and that will also make parents, who will be watching the game, to see the seriousness of girls playing rugby. For me, I think the province needs to involve former and experienced players to assist with caoching at schools. Each school must have at least two coaches and get a stipend so that they can be motivated to come and coach the girls at school. By doing that the numbers will increase day by day as we know that teachers have less time to coach because most of the time they need to be in the classroom. Also government can assist the entire country whereby they will employ sport teachers that will focus only on sport and assist in Life Orientation that can make a difference to our future tomorrows as we know there are those learners who can read and write and love playing sport.
Laurian: Exposure of the girls rugby games and funding so girls can play more games which will aid our development and we would do better on international stages. Resources like food for after sessions because our kids come from all walks of life and sometimes they don’t even have food to eat.

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Q: Are you going to be an SA champion coach again, this year?

Nosipho: Not sure about that but there are few female coaches in the country so that gives me a big chance to be a SA champion coach again and the bonus is that I am only female coach who has more than one team. Tshotsho Mbovane was also assisting myself to coach the girls before he was appointed as a Seven institute coach. Ja will say yes to being an SA champion coach again.
Laurian: This year I will be assisting WP juniors with rugby coaching co- ordination but not coaching a team, as my role at SA rugby now is to identify talent at youth weeks.

Q: Tell us more about the talent coming out of girls rugby in Western Province

Nosipho: There is lot of talent, Cheryl. You will see on the field when we open our season with festival games. We must create the opportunities for this talent to surface.
Laurian: Some of our girls play against boys and that also helps their development. WP is blessed with incredibly talented girls that will definitely represent the country one day.

Q: SA’s senior women’s rugby ain’t world class. How far behind is SA’s girls rugby?

Nosipho: We are very far to that stage of being world class. I am saying that because there are no contracted national team players playing 5’s rugby full-time. Even us as youth coaches we are not getting paid we doing it for the love the game with the hope that one day things will change.
Laurian: South Africa has a lot of catching up to do. We must develop skills and give our girl rugby players international exposure for them to see the level of nternational play.

Q: What would you like to achieve as a girls rugby youth coach?

Nosipho: To win all our games and defend the position of being number one for Youth Week games as well as YTC games and claim position one for U18s since we lost in the finals, last year. We want more numbers to represent WP in the SA under 18 and 20 junior Springbok team.
Laurian: We want to better ourselves this year and work harder to achieve all conditioning and skills goals as well as see how our playing structures are implemented during game time.

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Photo Essay: Grassroots Women’s Cricket In Durban By Cheryl Roberts

28 Jan

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On a summer’s Sunday, sunshine shining day, after doing an early morning hike, I opted to watch a women’s cricket club match in Durban during the first month of January.
Played as a women’s league match of KZN Coastal Cricket, the encounter was between DHS from Durban North and Lindelani from the INK District in Durban. I was interested in the match as it should have featured two international cricketers, Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba from Lindelani and I wanted to get some newest photographic content of them before they left with the South African women’s team on the tour of New Zealand.
When I arrived at the ground in Durban North, Lindelani was fielding and DHS was batting. Lindelani fielded a young team of mostly girl cricketers; most of them playing age group girl cricket for KZN Coastal. And they had the one international Nondumiso Shangase turning up to help guide the team’s younger and smaller enthusiastic cricketers. DHS had some of the youngest players in South African women’s club cricket in 10 year old Haadia and 11 year old Palesa, including several 20 somethings and a very passionate-about-women’s cricket 40 something player.

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Lindelani CC’s players stay within the INK District in Durban; that’s Lindelani, Inanda, Ntuzuma. They also school in the area and play their cricket in the hood. DHS players come from all over Durban, from Bluff, Clare Estate, Durban North and other areas. Also, in the DHS team were hijab-attired Muslim cricketers who choose to play competitive sport in hijab. Their team mates fondly refer to them as ‘Ninja’. And there’s a qualified 25 year old electrician, who plays provincial cricket for KZN Coastal, also in the team. She took a hat-trick in the match, that day.
I thought I would hang around at the ground for about an hour or so but I found myself quite taken in with the game and saw it until its finish.
DHS won the match that Lindelani was expected to win; given that Lindelani was higher placed on the league log.
It was fascinating to see the girls bowling and taking wickets and losing their wicket and walking in to bat. And, also awesome to see the older senior players in both teams, cheering on the girls and encouraging them and congratulating them when they took wickets and scored runs.
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At this grassroots/club level women’s cricket match, I saw girls just starting out playing cricket, enjoying being in the game. Then there were those playing a few years already and already being selected to represent their provincial team. And amongst them all was the international player Nondumiso Shangase from Inanda who started playing cricket when she was 17 years old and five years later, in 2019 got selected to play for South Africa.
This is show I captured the moments when two women’s cricket teams turned up on a Sunday morning in Durban to play a league match……

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Photo Essay: Grassroots Women’s Cricket In Durban By Cheryl Roberts

28 Jan

On a summer’s Sunday, sunshine shining day, after doing an early morning hike, I opted to watch a women’s cricket club match in Durban during the first month of January.
Played as a women’s league match of KZN Coastal Cricket, the encounter was between DHS from Durban North and Lindelani from the INK District in Durban. I was interested in the match as it should have featured two international cricketers, Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba from Lindelani and I wanted to get some newest photographic content of them before they left with the South African women’s team on the tour of New Zealand.
When I arrived at the ground in Durban North, Lindelani was fielding and DHS was batting. Lindelani fielded a young team of mostly girl cricketers; most of them playing age group girl cricket for KZN Coastal. And they had the one international Nondumiso Shangase turning up to help guide the team’s younger and smaller enthusiastic cricketers. DHS had some of the youngest players in South African women’s club cricket in 10 year old Haadia and 11 year old Palesa, including several 20 somethings and a very passionate-about-women’s cricket 40 something player.
Lindelani CC’s players stay within the INK District in Durban; that’s Lindelani, Inanda, Ntuzuma. They also school in the area and play their cricket in the hood. DHS players come from all over Durban, from Bluff, Clare Estate, Durban North and other areas. Also, in the DHS team were hijab-attired Muslim cricketers who choose to play competitive sport in hijab. Their team mates fondly refer to them as ‘Ninja’. And there’s a qualified 25 year old electrician, who plays provincial cricket for KZN Coastal, also in the team. She took a hat-trick in the match, that day.
I thought I would hang around at the ground for about an hour or so but I found myself quite taken in with the game and saw it until its finish.
DHS won the match that Lindelani was expected to win; given that Lindelani was higher placed on the league log.
It was fascinating to see the girls bowling and taking wickets and losing their wicket and walking in to bat. And, also awesome to see the older senior players in both teams, cheering on the girls and encouraging them and congratulating them when they took wickets and scored runs.
At this grassroots/club level women’s cricket match, I saw girls just starting out playing cricket, enjoying being in the game. Then there were those playing a few years already and already being selected to represent their provincial team. And amongst them all was the international player Nondumiso Shangase from Inanda who started playing cricket when she was 17 years old and five years later, in 2019 got selected to play for South Africa.
This is show I captured the moments when two women’s cricket teams turned up on a Sunday morning in Durban to play a league match…….

From Hood Cricket To The World Cup: Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkululeko Mlaba’s Cricket Journey By Cheryl Roberts

23 Jan

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In South Africa’s T20 women’s cricket world cup team were selected two cricketers from Durban. They are from Durban and play for Lindelani cricket club and for KZN Coastal women’s team. They are Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleo Mlaba.
Both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko were attracted to cricket because they went to the cricket field to see what was going on when their brothers went to play. And soon they were batting and bowling just like the boys and young men cricketers at Lindelani CC; taking up their space on the cricket field.
That was over 5 years ago. Nondumiso came from Inanda and Nonkuleleko came from Ntuzuma. Soon they were making up Lindelani CC’s women’s team and playing in the KZN Coastal women’s cricket league. And not long after that, they were getting selected into the KZN girls teams.
Nondumiso played for KZN Coastal u19 girls team within her first year of playing cricket. Thereafter, she was soon selected into the KZN Coastal women’s team. In 2018, she became the first black African woman cricketer to captain KZN Coastal and the first black African woman cricketer to score a century in interprovincial competition for KZN.
Nonkuleleko played for KZN Coastal u16 girls team and then for the u19 girls team at the SA youth weeks. And she got selected into the women;s team whilst still a girl cricketer.
Both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko got called up to the national academy, with Nondumiso called up in 2017 and Nonkuleleko called up in 2018. Also in 2019, Nondumiso got selected for the SA women’s cricket team for the home series against Pakistan and for the SA Emerging team for the home series against Sri Lanka. Nonkululeko also got to play for the SA Emerging team against Sri Lanka. And then came the big selection of both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko for the away series against India, late in 2019.
In 2020, both the players from Lindelani CC were named in the SA team to play New Zealand away. And on the day of departure for New Zeland, SA’s T20 world cup team was announced. And both Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba were named in the T20 world cup team.

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It was indeed a journey, from hood cricket to world cup cricket, for Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba. Both cricketers found sports joy on the cricket field after their mothers passed away and, as they searched for something to fill voids in their lives, they found happiness in cricket.
They worked hard at training with their coach and, once they saw their potential surfacing, they stepped up their cricket ambitions and wanted to play international cricket. Today, both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko have achieved that feat. They went to township-based schools and stayed at their township cricket club.
Now it’s about consolidating their place in the SA women’s cricket team, scring the runs, taking the wickets, being sharp in the field and helping SA to be one of the world’s top women’s cricket teams.
When they not touring with the national team and are back home in Durban, they turn out for provincial training with the kZN Coastal squad and play league matches for Lindelani CC where they guide and encourage the girl cricketers at the club. Both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko are role models and mentors at Lindelani CC where the girl cricketers are inspired by the achievements of their team mates.
“I’m very excited bout my world cup selction’, says Nondumiso Shangase. “I’ve been working hard at my cricket, dreaming of playing for South Africa. And now making it into the T20 World Cup team is one of my dreams coming true. I want to score runs and take wickets for SA.’
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Nonkululeko Mlaba is amazed at how its been happening so fast for her over the past year. “Just the other day I was in the KZN u19 girls team. Then i went to the naional academy as a late call up and soon I was in the SA team to India and now selcted for the World Cup. Wow. Its all too much for me,’ says Nonkuleleko. ‘I know its a long road ahead, that I’m still young and learning about international cricket. I want to develop into a world class cricketer and be a good player for my SA team.’
Cricketers Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba have shown that sports development in communities and hoods is vital and should be prioritised. If cricket development wasn’t introduced to the Lindealni community, the talents of Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba would have never been known.