Bafana Bafana v USA – Photos

As promised here, some few photos of the Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Cape Town Stadium last night, to brighten up your day.

And while Cape Town put on a great show, Bafana were less impressive and went down to a (probably undeserved) 1-0 defeat after a 85th minute debut goal from 17 year old Juan Agudelo.

Of particular disappointment to me was the much-vaunted debut striker Davide Somma, who had promised to “destroy” the United States (presumably merely in a footballing sense) in a press conference earlier in the week and then did… nothing.
True, the service to him from the rest of the team was pretty woeful, but he looked confused by the passing game of Bafana and offered very little.
Still – apparently Pitso Mosimane was delighted with his performance – ?!? – and the fans loved him. Apart from those sitting around me, that is: they thought he was rubbish as well.

It was a good night out though – even if the football wasn’t of the highest quality – and you can relive bits of it by having a look at this Flickr set.

Leave a comment | Tagged , , | Posted in flickr, sport, this is south africa

5 months on

5 months on from the most boring and disappointing games of football ever in the history of my watching football (all my life)…

…I am returning to a much warmer Cape Town Stadium to watch Bafana Bafana take on the USA in the Nelson Mandela Challenge. A full house of 52,000 is expected and even though kick off isn’t until 9:30pm, meaning that full time will be about 11:20pm and getting home will be about 4 hours before I have to get up for work tomorrow, I’m sure it’ll be worth it.


Some few live tweets/pics from tonight’s game here and maybe here and photos to follow as and when.

2 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in sport, this is south africa, world cup 2010

Track that poo

Recently defaecated? I bet you don’t know where your faeces are now, do you?
(I can’t believe I’m writing this.)

Well, thanks to the power of the internet, you can track your poo using flush tracker, which will tell you exactly where your number twos are now.

So there you have it. Something to keep you occupied next time you drop the kids off at the pool.
Maybe you even want to have a race with a friend.  Please don’t tell us about it.

Sadly, I have reason to doubt its accuracy as I just tracked a dummy poo going up a 1:6 hill at 4.28mph (6.88kph) from my parents’ house in Sheffield.

There is a good reason behind this useful initiative, of course:  raising awareness for World Toilet Day, which is actually quite important and not at all funny.

4 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in recommended site, that's a bit mad

On hijacked tourists

Eish. Bad news – unless you’re @emmaturd or the Daily Mail – the much-publicised story of British tourists hijacked in Gugulethu over the weekend and the subsequent murder of one of them. The Daily Mail report, strangely full of apparent fact and devoid of any major hysteria (although I very much doubt that Lieutenant Colonel André Traut actually used the exact phrase “the taxi was waved down by gun-toting men”) is here.
Meanwhile, the cynic in me wonders if there would have been more hype and drama in there if the couple had been… er… *cough* white.

The thing is, South Africa does have a problem with violent crime – anyone who says it doesn’t is being ridiculous and you can tell them I said so.  But as a local or as a tourist, you can limit your chances of becoming a statistic by not doing foolish (and by “foolish”, I’m just being polite: I actually mean “utterly stupid”) things.

I covered this over 3 years ago in the now infamous Big South African Crime Post.

Don’t wave your iPod around in downtown Cape Town – it might get nicked. As it might in downtown New York, Amsterdam or Sydney.
Don’t wander round Nyanga on your own late at night. Or Harlem. Or the Manor Estate in Sheffield.

Yes, I said Nyanga and that’s just next door to Gugulethu, which is a place I would not be going to in a branded luxury hotel shuttle bus at 11pm on a Saturday night. While what happened to this couple should certainly not have happened to this couple, questions must be asked about what on earth they were doing there. Even if they weren’t aware of the risk they were putting themselves at, the hotel driver should have told them and refused to take them into that area.
Something isn’t quite right with this “detour into Gugulethu to see the nightlife” story in my mind.

Some will say that having “no go” areas shows how dangerous South Africa is, but I disagree with that sort of ill-considered exceptionalism. In exactly two weeks time, I’m heading up to Newcastle-upon-Tyne (in the UK) for the day, just to relive some of my old memories from University days. I’m going to visit several areas that day, but I’m not going near Benwell, because it’s a (seriously) high crime area and that would be putting myself – my possessions and my health – at risk. Sure, I might not get hijacked or shot, but I might get mugged or stabbed. Forewarned is forearmed.

This incident puts a huge dent in the good publicity that came out of the World Cup earlier this year and it frustrates and depresses me, because there are so many reasons that it shouldn’t have happened.
And while it might not seem a very sensitive thing to say right now, I feel that there’s enough publicity about South Africa’s crime problem for visitors to take some responsibility for their safety as well.

The fact that no-one took that responsibility on Saturday evening cost Cape Town a hit to its reputation and it cost Anni Dewani her life.

UPDATE: Some good safety tips on the Portfolio Collection Travel Blog.

4 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in emigration, in the news, this is south africa

Come as a song

Last night was the joint 40th birthday of a couple of friends of ours (I was also celebrating this) and they held an awesome party in the swanky settings of the *cough* Mowbray Bowls Club. OK, it wasn’t the most glamorous of venues, but it was a wonderful evening, set off in no small part by the amazing DJ who churned out tune after tune after tune from the 80s and 90s and kept the dancefloor packed all night and by the fact that the assembled crowd had really gone to town on the fancy dress theme “come as a song”.

Below is the front of my t-shirt for the evening, which was a hit (literally) but often needed explaining – as most of the outfits did at some level or other. So I’m putting it on here to see if either of my readers gets it. Answers in a comment please – first correct one wins… my admiration.

I’m feeling a little jaded this morning as it was the latest and most beery night I’ve had in a long while. Alex’s constant recorder playing and my wife’s insistence that I play with some raw meat and make her some biltong this morning are really helping me remember why I don’t do this sort of thing very often anymore.

10 Comments | Tagged , | Posted in that's a bit mad, the parenting bunny