Back In The Day…Black jockeys ruled racetracks for decades

first_imgJimmy Winkfield rides the horse Alan-a-Dale to victory in the 1902 Kentucky Derby. — submitted photoA few weeks ago, I was moping around the house, not feeling well and unable to find a remedy for my allergies. You know how things are at this time of the year; pollen can cause lots of discomfort. So I decided to stay indoors and make a few bow ties. This is a recent favorite pastime which I find quite satisfying. But, it is hard for me to just sit and sew. Thus television becomes my partner as I make my bow ties or work on other small projects.On this particular Saturday, I channel-searched until I came to an interview with the actor Jamie Foxx, not realizing that this was a preliminary activity leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Jamie Foxx, at the Kentucky Derby, I thought; how interesting! I stopped and watched further. While the women with their fashionable hats caught my attention for a while, at some point it shifted to the appearance of the legendary NBA Hall of Fame player, Julius “Dr. J” Erving. Dr. J made the “Riders up” call for the 140th running of the Derby. I thought about how things are changing; now we have white folk bringing Black folk into the Kentucky Derby. It then hit me that the involvement of Blacks in the Kentucky Derby is not new. In fact, it is quite old. My memory was jogged by thoughts about things I had read and heard about Blacks and the early days of the Derby. Just what do you know about Black jockeys and the Kentucky Derby? Like me, you probably know very little. So let us take a trip together and take a peep at Black jockeys and the Kentucky Derby, back in the day.When I mentioned today’s topic to several colleagues, only one knew that there was a Black jockey in last year’s Kentucky Derby, Kevin Krigger, riding Goldencents. What he did not know was that Krigger was only the second Black jockey in the last 92 years to ride in the “Run for the Roses.” But many of us do not realize that Black jockeys dominated the winner’s circle in the Kentucky Derby in the race’s first three decades. In fact, Black involvement in horse racing goes back to the days of slavery. Back in the day, slaves on Southern plantations were put to work in their owners’ stables. Unknown to many, slaves cared for and raced their masters’ horses. They were riders, grooms and trainers. This time spent in the stables enabled them to obtain a great deal of experience and a sound understanding of racehorses. An Internet article entitled “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Black Jockeys,” by Christopher Klein, points out that on May 17, 1875, former slaves and their sons starred at Churchill Downs. I want to emphasize that this was a time when most Blacks were enslaved. Yet, according to Klein’s account , thousands of eager racehorse fans went to Churchill Downs to get their first look at this new racetrack in Louisville, Ky. Finely dressed gentlemen and ladies cheered on the horses in the featured race, the inaugural Kentucky Derby. In this race, Oliver Lewis rode the colt Aristides to victory. Back then, in spite of the state of race relations, it was of little importance that Lewis was a Black man. Furthermore, according to reports about this first Kentucky Derby, 13 of the 15 riders were Black Americans. It should also be noted that in the years following the Civil War, Black jockeys dominated horse racing; a time when it was America’s most popular sport. Black jockeys established themselves as the first Black sports superstars at the Kentucky Derby, back in the day.I suspect many of you know little or nothing about Oliver Lewis, or know the name, William Walker. William “Billy” Walker, who was born a slave, was the leading rider at Churchill Downs in the fall racing season of 1875-76 and the spring racing season of 1876 through 1878. He rode the horse Baden-Baden to victory in the 1877 Kentucky Derby. But Blacks in the Kentucky Derby did not stop here. According to Christopher Klein, Isaac Murphy became the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times, winning in 1884, 1890 and 1891. It is reported that he also won an amazing 44 percent of all the races in which he rode. Another Black Jockey winning the Derby was Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton, a winner in 1892. At 15, he was the youngest to win this race. He was followed by James “Soup” Perkins who won in 1895; Willie Simms who won in 1896 and 1898; and Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield, who won in 1901 and 1902. While he was the last Black American to win the Kentucky Derby, it should be noted that Black jockeys won 15 of the first 28 Derbies, back in the day.The web site contains an article also titled “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” by Lisa K. Winkler. She points out that Blacks emerged as jockeys because as slaves they cleaned the stables and handled the grooming and training of some of the most valuable racehorses. As a result, they connected with the horses, with skills that were read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 15, 2015)–Jockey Corey Nakatani has been transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena for examination following a spill during the running of Sunday’s, fifth race, which was run at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.Nakatani, 44, who was aboard number seven, Bilger’s Sapphire, who appeared uninjured, clipped heels with number 13, Bullwinkle Babe, at the top of the stretch, just before the horses were set to cross over the main track.Santa Anita stewards Tom Ward, Kim Sawyer and Luis Jauregui reported that Natakani was conscious and moving his extremities. According to Nakatani’s agent, Tony Matos, Nakatani was complaining of pain in the area of his collar bone.A nationally prominent rider for more than 25 years, Nakatani is a finalist on this year’s ballot for racing’s Hall of Fame.last_img


first_imgCALIFORNIA CHROME AT THE READY FOR AWESOME AGAIN            Santa Anita Park, rich in racing lore for nearly eight decades, enhances its storied reputation come Saturday, Oct. 1, when reigning Thoroughbred king California Chrome seeks his sixth straight victory, this in the Awesome Again Stakes, one of five Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races in a stellar lineup that stacks up as an equine version of the ’27 Yankees.Sharing the marquee with Chrome and the Awesome Again will be the Zenyatta Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, expected to lure three-time champion Beholder and Stellar Wind, the champion three-year-old filly of 2015 who upset three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder in the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar July 30.Trainer Art Sherman said 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome would have his final major breeze for the Awesome Again Saturday at his Los Alamitos headquarters, then ship Sunday to Santa Anita for final preparations.Larry Benavidez, assistant to trainer John Sadler, said Stellar Wind is scheduled to have her final major work for the Zenyatta Saturday morning.Supplementing the headline events will be the FrontRunner Stakes for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; the Chandelier Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles; and the Rodeo Drive Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 ¼ miles on Santa Anita’s renovated turf course.Victory gives the winning horse in each race a fees paid berth to its respective Breeders’ Cup event that will be held at Santa Anita for an unprecedented ninth time come Nov. 4 and 5.On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship for three year olds and up at six furlongs will serve as a springboard to the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 5.Santa Anita’s 23-day Autumn Meet starts Friday, Sept. 30 and concludes on Sunday, Nov. 6. Friday’s opening day feature is the $100,000, Grade III Eddie D. Stakes, named for one of the game’s most popular riders, Hall of Fame member Eddie Delahoussaye who will be on hand to present a trophy to the winning connections.First post time Friday will be 1 p.m. First post Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1 and 2, will be 12:30 p.m. TEAM O’NEILL ‘PUMPED’ TO SEE NYQUIST AT PARXKentucky Derby winner Nyquist and Fair Grounds Oaks winner Land Over Sea leave Wednesday for Philadelphia, where they will run in the Pennsylvania Derby and the Cotillion Stakes, offering $1.25 million and $1 million in purse money, respectively.“It will be so exciting to see Nyquist back in action,” said Doug O’Neill, who conditions the champion two-year-old colt of 2015 for Paul and Zillah Reddam. “He looks good, he’s had a little growth spurt and put on weight to match his frame. We’re very pumped.”In what now is an open battle for the divisional title, Nyquist will tackle Santa Anita Derby and Preakness winner Exaggerator, among others, in the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby, which drew 12 entrants in the following post positions: Awesome Slew, Exaggerator, Summer Revolution, Connect Post, Cupid, Wild About Deb, Gun Runner, My Man Sam, Nyquist, Sunny Ridge, Discreet Lover and Hit It Once More.Nyquist lost his last two starts, the Haskell and the Travers, while Exaggerator was 11th last out in the Travers. Nyquist has beaten Exaggerator in four of their six meetings.FINISH LINES: Undefeated champion Songbird, who could face Beholder and Stellar Wind in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 if all the cards fall into place, left at 5:30 Monday morning for the East Coast where the magical Rick Porter-owned filly trained by Jerry Hollendorfer seeks her 11th victory in the Grade I Cotillion at Parx on Saturday. She arrived in Allentown, Pa., and an hour and four minutes later at Parx, some 12 hours after she left California. Through Sept. 16, Hall of Fame member Hollendorfer had 7,150 career victories. Five fillies were entered against Songbird in the Cotillion which will be decided at 1 1/16 miles. The field in post position order: Carina Mia, Cathryn Sophia, Disco Rose, Land Over Sea, Songbird and Queena Esther. “It’s a very good post,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward. “Mike (Smith) will have a chance to pick and choose what he wants to do and it’s the best part of the track, too.” . . . Santa Anita Handicap winner Melatonin, who earned a fees paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic by virtue of his victory in the “Win and You’re In” Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 25, will skip the Awesome Again and train up to the Classic. “We missed a lot of time with him at Del Mar and backed off,” said Brent Fabrizzi, nephew of and assistant to trainer David Hofmans. “We’re just behind right now.” Melatonin is scheduled to work five furlongs Wednesday morning . . . Surging Norberto Arroyo rides Zapperkat for trainer Richard Baltas in the “Win and You’re In” Chandelier Stakes read more

Boyz donate $250,000 to three organisations

first_imgJamaica’s national men’s senior football team handed over $250,000 to three organisations on Thursday at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) offices in New Kingston. After finishing second in the Gold Cup last month, the Reggae Boyz decided to donate a portion of their prize money to those in need. The Jamaica Special Olympics football team received $100,000, the same as Mannings Boys’ Home in western Jamaica. Glenhope Nursery in the Corporate Area was handed $50,000. “We started this a couple years ago, during the World Cup Qualifiers, where we contributed to Glenhope. Now, this is a continuation of that,” Roy Simpson, JFF senior team manager, said during a brief ceremony. LIFTING YOUNGSTERS “The players decided that they are now privileged young men and came through humble backgrounds, so they want to give to others who seek to emulate them,” he said. “Before we played against Mexico in the Gold Cup final, the Special Olympics team was all over the media, so we decided to contribute to those youngsters. The players will also be contributing funds to other organisations from money gained during the upcoming World Cup Qualification games, starting next month,” Simpson disclosed. Audrey Budhai, director of the Children and Family programme at the Child Development Agency, collected cheques on behalf of Mannings Boys’ Home and Glenhope, presented by local-based Reggae Boyz Andre Clennon and Hughan Gray. Lorna Bell of Special Olympics Jamaica accepted on behalf of her organisation.last_img

FEU goes 3-0, UST wins 2nd straight

first_imgIt was a four-pronged attack for FEU with Jude Garcia putting up 23 points and Redi John Paler adding 19 points.Richard Solis and John Paul Bugaoan then had 12 points apiece to play support for the Tamaraws.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsIn the other game, Univesity of Santo Tomas took their second straight win after a four-set beating of University of the Philippines, 26-24, 25-27, 25-23, 25-13.The Tiger Spikers had a well-balanced offense with five of them scoring in double digits as they improved to a 2-1 record and take sole possession of the third spot. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra SEA Games 2019: Didal collects 2nd skateboard gold PLAY LIST 02:10SEA Games 2019: Didal collects 2nd skateboard gold05:09Carlos Yulo bags 2nd gymnastics gold, settles for 2 silvers00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University stayed at the top spot after humbling Ateneo in five sets, 20-25, 25-22, 25-22, 20-25, 16-14, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Tamaraws charged to their third straight win in as many games while the Blue Eagles, champions of two seasons before, dropped to their second straight loss for a 1-2 card.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View comments Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying MOST READcenter_img Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Manuel Medina led UST with 19 points while Joshua Umandal and Jayvee Sumagayasay each scoring 16 points apiece.Jaron Requinton and Hernel Corda then put up 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Tiger Spikers.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Rockets beat Warriors again despite James Harden’s absence Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img

Majestic Messi hits 100 CL goals as Chelsea crash out

first_img0Shares0000Lionel MessiBARCELONA, Spain, Mar 14 – Barcelona hailed Lionel Messi as ‘The King’ and he handed Chelsea the royal punishment by scoring twice to reach 100 Champions League goals and end their quarter-final hopes.After unfurling a banner showing the words ‘God Save The King’ before kick-off, Barca’s fans were celebrating after just 129 seconds at the Camp Nou as Messi found the net before Chelsea had even made a pass. He then teed up Ousmane Dembele to double Barca’s lead in the second leg of the last-16 clash before registering a century of Champions League goals on his 123rd appearance to complete a 3-0 victory, 4-1 on aggregate.Messi becomes only the second player to reach the milestone in Europe’s premier tournament, following Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 117 goals in 152 games.By the end, the Argentinian’s scintillating breakaway in the build-up to Dembele’s first Barcelona goal had become little more than a footnote to what was another Messi masterclass.It caps a remarkable five days for the 30-year-old, who sat out Saturday’s La Liga win over Malaga to attend to the birth of his third child.Chelsea, in touch after the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, were therefore unfortunate enough to encounter the striker fresh, free and at his frighteningly brilliant best.At the finish, Chelsea coach Antonio Conte left the field with his arm around the forward, perhaps with nothing to add but congratulations.Conte’s team had chances, particularly in the first half, but the sense was once Barcelona were in front they were content to sit back and counter.With Manchester United dumped out by Sevilla and Tottenham outmanouevred by Juventus, Chelsea’s exit means for all the talk of a Premier League resurgence, Liverpool and Manchester City are its only two representatives in the quarter-finals.Spain have three, after Real saw off the challenge of Paris Saint-Germain.– Fastest Messi goal –Andres Iniesta shook off a hamstring strain to start while Dembele was a surprise inclusion, preferred to Paulinho and rewarded for his excellent display against Malaga.Conte, meanwhile, plumped for Olivier Giroud up front ahead of both Alvaro Morata, who was on the bench, and Eden Hazard, who was granted his wish to play deeper in attacking midfield.Within three minutes, however, Chelse’s plan to frustrate was spoiled. Messi started the move and finished it, with Dembele, Luis Suarez and a deflection off Marcos Alonso, helping him find the space to fire through the legs of Thibaut Courtois for the fastest goal of his career.Chelsea responded well, with Willian and Victor Moses both posing a threat down the right, only for Barcelona to strike again in the 20th minute.Cesc Fabregas failed to secure possession in midfield and Messi was away, skipping past a desperate lunge from Andreas Christensen, before taking the whole stadium by surprise by squaring to the back post.The excellent Dembele took one touch and slammed the ball into the top corner.Alonso and N’Golo Kante both went close before half-time, the latter arguably robbing Fabregas of an easier finish with the Spaniard’s right foot. Alonso then clipped the edge of the post with a bending free-kick just before half-time.After an hour, however, any hopes Chelsea had of a comeback were extinguished. Suarez raced through midfield but looked to have hit a wall on the edge of Chelsea’s box.Messi took over, tearing past the rooted Moses and banging the ball, again through the legs of Courtois, into the net.Antonio Rudiger headed against the bar late on but Chelsea could not even find the scantest of consolations. Messi’s work was done. 0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img

Nedbank, AMD connect schools

first_img5 April 2007South African financial services group Nedbank and American technology company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have entered into a partnership to provide technology solutions to five historically disadvantaged schools in the country.The two companies opened the first fully equipped computing centre at the Nelson R Mandela High School in Gugulethu outside Cape Town on Monday.The school was selected as the first of several schools that will implement Learning Labs, and the companies hope it will have a lasting impact on Gugulethu.Learning Labs is an initiative by AMD to provide benefactors with computers and internet connectivity, as well as professional, educational and personal development tools to provide new ways for teachers and pupils to interact with each other.The labs feature systems capable of operating Windows or Linux and come with installed content and applications. To ensure the sustainability of the project, the partners will also provide the schools with teacher training programmes and maintenance and support for the labs.Microsoft, Cisco, Tarsus, First for Business, CompuTainer, @tlantic and Learnthings will also provide additional support for the Learning Labs.“We are confident that this learning lab and the others to follow it will greatly enhance the local educational system’s ability to provide students with the skills and information they need to achieve success in an increasingly competitive, digital world,” said Nedbank South Africa chief executive Tom Boardman.He said the partnership was an innovative way to meet the needs of South African communities and address the digital divide. The labs also use low-power systems that are compact and sealed, enabling them to last in a harsh environment.Several Learning Labs around the world together form part of AMD’s 50×15 initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in 2004, which aims to provide access to computing and internet connectivity to 50% of the world’s population by 2015.“The positive effects of the Learning Labs extend beyond the students and teachers at the schools and into the greater community by providing an incredible community resource for educational and economic development opportunities,” said AMD vice president Gautam Srivastava.According to the AMD statement, experience at previous lab deployments have shown that access the internet persuades students to stay enrolled in school for longer and make use of the available technology.The two partners want to learn from their experiences in Gugulethu, hoping it will enable them to expand the Nedbank-AMD 50×15 partnership across South Africa in the “coming months” reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img

Taking the internet to townships

first_imgWilma den HartighFind out more about using materialA new initiative of the City of Johannesburg is bringing internet access to disadvantaged communities in and around the city.  As part of its broadband project, multi-service digital centres, or “techno hubs”, will be set up where people can access the internet and improve their technology skills.“Getting broadband access to people is as important as the provision of running water and electricity,” said Virgil James, media liaison officer for the City of Johannesburg. The main purpose of the initiative is to bridge the digital divide that exists in communities without access to electronic and information technology.Programmes will be set up at the techno hub centres to help school children, adults and business owners develop computer, entrepreneurial and job-seeking skills. The project, which is a joint venture of the Johannesburg Economic and Community Development Departments, will focus on previously disadvantaged areas. Orange Farm, a township some 45 kilometres from the city centre, has been identified as one of the sites for a techno hub. More sites are on the cards for other Johannesburg townships.In a statement, Vumani Mangali, assistant director of information communication technology at Johannesburg’s Economic Development Department, said the techno hubs would expose schoolchildren to computer technology. As they become more confident in using the technology, they increase their chances of finding jobs.Rob Gilmour, managing director of South African internet service provider RSA Web, explained that internet facilities will make it possible for school leavers and job seekers to find employment with greater ease.“If someone is unemployed, has matric and lives in a township, their chances of finding work are diminished because they don’t have access to facilities such as recruiting companies,” Gilmour said.With internet access, job seekers can find online information on how to compile a good CV as well as get into contact with potential employers. Access to email facilities means that job seekers will no longer have to travel to town to drop off a CV. “This will be of huge value to people. The biggest challenge for unemployed and illiterate people is that they can’t communicate their skills in a format that employers want to look at,” he said.Gilmour also pointed out that in the long term the project will ensure that all people can benefit from a wide range of internet functions. “A lot of people find computers and the internet very scary and this initiative will make it more accessible,” he said.Rowen Chetty, business development manager for vertical markets at Ericsson South Africa, said the techno hub stations will be equipped with the latest technology, allowing not only access to the internet, but a wide variety of services such as video streaming for e-learning. “This project is very exciting and will drive considerable social and economic benefits to the residents of Johannesburg,” Chetty said.He agreed that such initiatives would make schoolchildren “more marketable” for future careers, as they increasingly become more internet-literate. But other community members such as parents, caregivers and business owners will also benefit.“They will serve as a place of education where mini courses in career fields and other areas of specialisation can be undertaken,” he said. In addition, all textbook material (be it for school or career purposes) will be digitalised, allowing for easy access.The Techno hubs will also be beneficial for existing and new small businesses. James explained that computer facilities will make it possible for business owners to network online, thereby reducing the cost and frequency of travelling long distances to visit other businesses and clients. Businesses will also be able to use computers to design promotional flyers and create their own websites.Justin Stanford, CEO of ESET Southern Africa, an anti-virus software company, said any small township business could instantly have a web presence by using a service such as to create a free website. “It is well proven that access to computers and the internet is an enormous catalyst for economic development and low-cost entrepreneurship,” Stanford said.He added that it is crucial to ensure that the public terminals in all techno hubs are secure and ensure the privacy of users. To avoid various types of malware (malicious software) finding its way onto public machines, it would be vital to have effective safeguards on public terminals.Mangali explained that since most townships don’t have internet cafes, the Johannesburg municipality will also encourage young people to establish ICT businesses.To ensure that communities can make use of all the services provided by the techno hubs, trainers will be employed at every centre on a fulltime basis. James encouraged companies to participate in the initiative.“Part read more

Robben Island revisited digitally

first_imgThere will be a travelling three-dimensional reconstruction of the prison cell where Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years behind bars.The initiative comes 19 years after the end of apartheid, as a “born-free” generation – those young South Africans born into a democratic nation – deals with 21st century concerns rather than looking back on its history.(Images: Cape Town Tourism)MEDIA CONTACTS • Jacqueline Cawston   Serious Games Institute   +27 16 910 3277RELATED ARTICLES • Mandela prison anniversary marked • Schools to benefit for Mandela Day • Mandela TV series to start production • Liliesleaf: keeping the memory alive • MK: in pursuit of libertyCadine PillayA multimedia project, Mandela 27, will bring the tales of Robben Island to life digitally as part of a new international campaign. Mandela 27 aims to highlight the social events that influenced change in South Africa and Europe during Mandela’s 27 years in prison.It was in launched at Cape Town’s gateway to Robben Island and will draw on cultural links between South Africa and Europe during the apartheid era. It is estimated it will cost about R5-million; part of the funding will come from the European Union.Mandela 27 partners are the Robben Island Museum, Britain’s Coventry University, the European Union’s Cultural Programme, Belgium’s Creative Stories project, and Elderberry, a content developer.Mandela’s travelling prison cellMost of the stories will be told through an interactive website with a map interlinking events of activism in South Africa and Europe.There will also be a video game that will be used as an educational tool to teach children about the island and anti-apartheid activists.Letters, poems and stories from the former political prisoners written between 1960 and 1990 will be exhibited at the Robben Island Museum Gateway at the V&A Waterfront and on the island.There will also be a travelling three-dimensional reconstruction of the prison cell where Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years behind bars.The game and other digital components will be ready by February 2014, while the cell will start travelling in May 2014.Thousands of tourists visit Mandela’s former cell on Robben Island, a UN world heritage site almost 10km from the mainland.The replica of the cell will be a low-budget affair made of plywood but will feature information panels and multimedia exhibits. The travelling cell is likely to be displayed in schools, libraries and museums.The video game is described as a serious game in the style of a graphic novel, and not purely for entertainment. Based on interviews with former prisoners, it features five recurring elements of life in the remote jail: prisoners were not allowed to see children; they craved physical activity including football; education was a key pursuit; communications were heavily censored so that messages had to be smuggled; and hunger strikes were used to make existence bearable.It is being developed by South African students with help from the Serious Games Institute based at Coventry University’s technology park in the United Kingdom.Cultural lesson for born-freesThe initiative comes 19 years after the end of apartheid, as a “born-free” generation – those young South Africans born into a democratic nation – deals with 21st century concerns rather than looking back on its history.Elderberry’s David Powell said the target audience was 16- to 25-year-olds as the events took place before they were born. But, he added, players should not expect to find themselves in the role of Mandela himself as it was more likely that anonymous characters would be used.The untold talesJacqueline Cawston, the programmes director at the Serious Games Institute, stayed on Robben Island for three days during her research, and insists the story of the cultural events has not been told.“The way that we’re telling it will be engaging to an audience that hasn’t read history books and weren’t alive at this time,” she said. “The whole point of the project is to get the message out there. This graphic novel will depict life as it was on Robben Island.”Sibongiseni Mkhize, the museum’s chief executive, added: “This comes at a time when we are trying to improve the manner of how we tell what happened at Robben Island.”He said the project was about sharing untold stories of those imprisoned on the island for their political activism. It was also a way of creating inter-cultural dialogue internationally and sharing knowledge. “All those things were political.The poems, songs were a way for the political prisoners to get their message outside,” Mkhize said. “We want to tell story of not just Mr Mandela, but the values which he and other political prisoners shared on Robben Island.”There were plans for a reunion of former prisoners on the island later this year. Mandela, who was recently in hospital for tests, had not been consulted about read more

Zuma: Xenophobic attacks defy South African values

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma expressed his condemnation of the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in KwaZulu-Natal when he addressed the National Assembly on Thursday, 16 April. President Jacob Zuma told the National Assembly that the xenophobic attacks defies South African values of respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu. (Image: Department of Arts and Culture) President Jacob ZumaDuring the past week we have witnessed shocking and unacceptable incidents of violence directed at foreign nationals in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal, which has now spread to some parts of Gauteng. Similar incidents had taken place in Soweto in January.No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops.We condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms. The attacks violate all the values that South Africa embodies, especially the respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu.Our country stands firmly against all intolerances such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism.We extend our condolences to the families of all who have lost their lives and wish the injured a speedy recovery.We appeal for calm, an end to the violence and restraint. Criminal elements should not be allowed to take advantage of the concerns of citizens to sow mayhem and destruction.Any problems or issues of concern to South African citizens must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue.The police have been directed to work round the clock to protect both foreign nationals and citizens and to arrest looters and those committing acts of violence.We urge communities to assist the police by providing information on the incidents that have taken place in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.We thank religious leaders, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders who are providing humanitarian assistance to the displaced people.While we strongly condemn the attacks, we are aware of, and are sympathetic to some of the issues that have been raised by affected South African citizens.We reiterate our view that South Africans are generally not xenophobic. If they were, we would not have such a high number of foreign nationals who have been successfully integrated into communities all over our country, in towns, cities and villages.There are socio-economic issues that have been raised which are being attended to.These include complaints about illegal and undocumented immigrants in the country, the increase in the number of shops or small businesses that have been taken over by foreign nationals and also perceptions that foreign nationals commit or perpetrate crime.We wish to emphasise that while some foreign nationals have been arrested for various crimes, it is misleading and wrong to label or regard all foreign nationals as being involved in crime in the country.In addition, not all foreign nationals who reside in our country are here illegally.Many are in the country legally and contribute to the economy and social development of the country. Many bring skills that are scarce that help us to develop the economy and are most welcome to live our country.Others came to South Africa as refugees having run away from conflict or wars in their countries of origin, in the same way that many South Africans left this country at some point and lived in other countries in the continent and beyond.We were treated with generosity, dignity and respect by our brothers and sisters from the rest of the continent. We will never forget that hospitality and solidarity.The support of the Frontline states in Southern Africa and that of the Organisation for African Unity was critical to the achievement of the freedom and democracy we are enjoying today.In this regard, Government will continue to play its role and fulfil our responsibilities and obligations as members of the African Union and the United Nations.Refugees and asylum seekers will be accorded support in line with international law and protocols, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.We appeal to our people to support and protect refugees and asylum seekers.During the weekend, I deployed the Ministers of Police, State Security and Home Affairs to work with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial government to quell the violence and bring the situation to normality. They have done well but the problem requires a much more comprehensive and sustainable long-term intervention.I have therefore assigned the entire Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to work on this issue intensively, joined by the Ministers of Social Development, Trade and Industry and Small Business Development.The security cluster and economic departments had already begun working on this matter, following the Soweto incidents in January.I have now directed them to work faster and to engage affected communities, organisations representing foreign nationals, business, non-governmental read more