Tour du Monde
Football for All Down in Hout Bay21.07.2010 / 14:51
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Text by Alex Marashian Photos by DEDON Tour du Monde Team
Football for All Down in Hout Bay
World Cup Fever Does Not Discriminate
In the end, it’s soccer that brought us to Cape Town, soccer at the World Cup level. But the game works its magic on many other levels, too, as an afternoon’s visit to the pitch near Imizamo Yethu makes clear, bringing exercise, fun and maybe even a sense of hope to kids (mainly boys, it must be said) born on the wrong side of this city’s gaping socioeconomic divide.
Imizamo Yethu is an informal settlement, sometimes referred to as a shack settlement, in the Capetown suburb of Hout Bay. Known as “Dungeons” to the surf crowd, Hout Bay is one of sixteen recognized big wave spots around the world. The coastline here, and much of the coastal property, is spectacular. But the presence of Imizamo Yethu has been the source of significant tension going back to the national elections of 1994.
Located adjacent to one of the suburb’s most affluent neighborhoods, the 18 hectares of Imizamo Yethu support some 33,000 people in cramped and squalid conditions, with no plumbing and hardly any infrastructure at all. The difference in living standards of two communities located so near to one another goes to the heart of South Africa’s problems.
To confront it in person is easily the hardest part of this trip, at least for me.
What can football really do to improve the lives and prospects of kids like those living in Imizamo Yethu? As I watch the various teams training — scores and scores of boys doing drills, practicing free kicks and skirmishing on the main field — I can’t help but believe that their learning to work hard together, tactically and strategically, to achieve a common goal (i.e. winning) is valuable preparation for the struggle that lies ahead.Experience the DEDON Tour du Monde Webspecial