VIDEO: Brazilian male soloist at Joburg Ballet beats the stereotype

Brazilian male ballet dancer, Jonathan Rodrigues, 23 is a soloist at the Johannesburg Ballet. Through his craft, he is beating widely-held stereotypes of male ballet dancers.

Joburg Ballet CEO Dirk Badenhorst speaks on the significance of male ballet dancing as an artform that is crucial in the world we live in.

This video is a production of the 2014 Wits Journalism short course in television. 


WORLD CUP 2014: Looking for somewhere to watch the games in and around Wits?

World Cup mascot Fuleko will become a familiar sight in the coming weeks of the tournament. Graphic: FIFA

World Cup 2014 mascot Fuleco. Graphic: FIFA

The 2014 Fifa Football World Cup kicks off tonight with hosts Brazil taking on Croatia at 10pm. Wits Vuvuzela has confirmed that screenings of the matches will take place at the following venues in Braamfontein:

The venues will screen games during the day and at night.

Most of the bars and restaurants along 7th Avenue in Melville will also open their doors to soccer fans:

Many of these places are having specials on drinks and food throughout the  month of the World Cup.

The Stanley Beer Yard, in 44 Stanley will also screen all of the games at night and stay open till late.

But this year’s hotspots for students and fans are the Biccard Street and De Korte Street (just outside the Easy Hotel) big screens.

Both were “mini” fan parks during the 2010 World Cup and Southpoint management hopes to see the same interest this time around.

Finally, all Wits residences, on and off campus will be screening the games. The Wits Postgrad Club will also screen all games for the enjoyment of staff members, postgraduates and alumni.

For the full match schedule, visit the official Fifa website. For daily screening times, visit the SABC website. On Twitter, follow #WC2014.

SCIENCE INSIDE: The 2014 Fifa World Cup

This week’s show looked at the science inside the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup. The players, the stadiums, the health and injuries of this incredible event. We’ll take you back to our own world cup experience in 2010 and explore some of the technologies that will be used for the first time in this year’s world cup, in Brazil. What does it take to build a stadium and why is mexican beef bad for footballers? We’ve also got a bit of a shocking story about a TB clinic in Jo’burg.

If the podcast does not load automatically, please click here.

OPINION: SAFA-South African Football Abusers

Luca Kotton, former academy player at Platinum Stars, Junior national player and current academy coach at Balfour Park Alexandra.

Luca Kotton, former academy player at Platinum Stars, Junior national player and current academy coach at Balfour Park Alexandra. Photo: TJ Lemon

No single association in South Africa has taken the responsibility to solve the problems we face in South African football. With current uncertainty over the position of Bafana Bafana coach, Luca Kotton, Wits Vuvuzela journalist and a soccer player, weighs in on the crisis in South African soccer.

The issues

Our current football leadership structures remain in disarray, with not enough time and effort being put into developing young talent across the country. The once successful School of Excellence is a shadow of its once very capable hands that saw the likes of Steven Pienaar being produced. This is an abuse to a country whose football talent far exceeds others. Football leadership is a vital part of our country succeeding on an international level. In many other countries pride is taken in developing their national youth soccer teams whereas, in South Africa national youth soccer teams are almost nonexistent. When compared to other higher internationally ranked sporting codes such as rugby and cricket, school soccer is clearly on the back foot.

[pullquote align=”left”]”The problem is everybody knows the problems but whose going to fix it. Let’s not talk, talk, talk, and let’s do it.” [/pullquote]

These issues extend to the highest organisational levels where the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and SAFA (South African Football Association) fail to see eye to eye in many circumstances. One of the consequences of the lack of synergy between these two key organisations is the repeated drama clubs not releasing players for internationals like the African Nations Cup. But where do we go from here? Who is the right person for the job?

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt, who has often been rumored to step into the national coaching job by media, said there was a need for football associations to take a more proactive stance. “It was needed 20 or 30 years ago, the problem is everybody knows the problems but whose going to fix it. Let’s not talk, talk, talk, and let’s do it. We need people who know what they doing and the problem is do they know football,” he said.

Possible solutions

Local academy coach Daryn Patricio, who is linked with the Dutch football association (KNVB), said the Dutch system advocate linear thinking between all coaches and all members associated with the KNVB. “The Dutch Federation has a very simple way of thinking, you help me and I help you. The Dutch have two important parts to their success. First, they have a coach’s database, where amateur coaches can interact with the national team coach. The second is that each coach needs to re-take his or her coaching license every three years.

Failure to do so results in the license being revoked. The system works because it keeps the whole of the Dutch football community on the same page. This way of thinking would aid our national team because all our coaches would be on one similar path, instead of everyone trying to outdo each other.

SAFA needs to carefully think about their next move in terms of coaching and youth soccer development. A clearly defined youth program is needed if we aspire to be at the levels that Brazil displayed at FNB stadium on March 5 when they beat Bafana Bafana 5-0. For the sake of all the talented youngsters playing on the streets, in townships and school grounds, let’s hope the new SAFA can do justice to our future football stars.