There are reasons to be optimistic about the 49ers this season. They have their quarterback back and arguably the best offensive coordinator in football, there are weapons at their disposal, and on the defensive side, they might have one of the best front-sixes (that’s all you get these days) in the NFL.There are plenty of people out there that will tell you that the 2019 Niners are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. I’ve even seen the suggestion that they might win the NFC …
Saddam loves Bafana Bafana and his vuvuzela. International journalists find him an interesting fan to interview (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Freddie “Saddam” Maake Football fan and musician +27 82 950 7619 RELATED ARTICLES • World Cup world record for SA fan • Bafana go out with pride intact • Black Stars shine for Africa • The vuvuzela: Bafana’s 12th man • Bafana frenzy grips the nation • The master of the makarapaBongani NkosiMost South Africans love Bafana Bafana, the national football team, but some love it more than others – and are always ready to go to daunting heights for it.Freddie “Saddam” Maake is one of those fanatics who gives his all when it comes to supporting Bafana. In victory or defeat, Maake is always behind the team, using his trademark vuvuzela trumpet to inspire other fans to show the same spirit.“I always tell supporters they must not boo Bafana when they’re not playing well,” he said when I met him at his home in Tembisa, a township east of Johannesburg. “It hurts the players. The players must always be strong.“I like to be a technical advisor to supporters. I encourage them to travel with the team,” he added.Maake’s dining room is laden with football memorabilia, ranging from makarapas, vuvuzelas, supporter awards and photographs of him with top players. “This is my museum,” he said.This unyielding passion for Bafana, the 55-year-old father of nine recalls, was ignited in 1992 when South African sport was reincorporated into the international arena after years of isolation. Initially he was part of the almost 42 000-strong crowd who showed up to support the match between South Africa and Zimbabwe on 16 August of that year.“I travelled with Bafana Bafana to Zimbabwe in 1992, and from there the show went on,” he said. “I remember we lost that game 4-1.”A football stadium is never dull when Maake and his friends are in the stands. Rest assured that when they’re there, the fan zone becomes a hotbed of vibrancy: they wear comical outfits to grab attention and loud toots ooze from their vuvuzelas. They also sing and dance to get the atmosphere going.One of Maake’s friends, David Mabu, describes their style of support as a fusion of African and European subcultures. “We’re unique, as we mix African and European energy.”Bafana’s top fanMaake can be seen as one of the “godfathers” of the type of stadium atmosphere that’s experienced nowadays during local and international football games played in the country, having followed Bafana since the 1990s.“We were very excited at the stadiums in 1996,” he said, referring to Bafana’s winning of the Africa Cup of Nations in that year.It was in 1997 that he was first recognised as being the number-one follower of local football, winning a national award for “supporter of the year”.South Africa’s first participation in the Fifa World Cup in 1998 in France brings back great memories for Maake. “I won a trip to the World Cup for being a number-one supporter,” he said.He’s also been to many of the Africa Cup of Nation (Afcon) tournaments, he said. “We have travelled to most of the Afcons. I remember in 2001 we went to Mali.”The 2002 Fifa World Cup in Korea and Japan was also a highlight for him – as was the following Cup in Germany in 2006. Although South Africa didn’t qualify for this, Maake said the South African Football Association (Safa) sponsored his trip to attend. “Safa sent me there to represent South Africa, to fly our flag.”According to Maake, Safa has sponsored most of his trips and tickets to games in recognition of his efforts. “Safa has really been supportive to me.”As an official supporter, he’s been to more than 20 countries – including Denmark, Egypt and Swaziland – and always takes along a vuvuzela, an instrument he claims to have invented, to cheer Bafana on.Awards recognising his passion keep coming through: most recently, in March, he jetted off to Ghana with a Safa official to collect an accolade for being such an enthusiastic fan.‘I’m a football slave’Also an ardent fan of the local Kaizer Chiefs team, Maake practically lives for football. “I live soccer. I drink soccer … I’m a soccer slave,” he said.“If you say ‘let’s go to the stadium’, I’ll take my vuvuzela and go there.”Although his fanaticism started in the 1990s, Maake said he has been a fan of football since 1965, and has even lost a few jobs owing to his obsession with stadiums and the sport. Nowadays he earns a living from selling his music album, Vuvuzela Saddam Maake Volume 2, released this year, and vuvuzelas. He trades from his house and stadiums.2010 Fifa World CupMaake has already been to 12 of the matches, including all three Bafana games, and has drawn a number of tourists to his home since the kick-off earlier this month.Although disappointed that South Africa has been knocked out, he’s still enjoying the tournament. “I was hoping to attend 20 matches, at least,” he said. He’s now supporting Ghana and Brazil.Always positive about the sport in South Africa and Bafana’s future, Maake said he’s consoled by the fact that the country is hosting the “best World Cup” ever, and that it will leave a lasting legacy.“It’s not the field of play that matters … this is the best World Cup you’ll ever see. One team will win, but the stadiums are ours. Beyond 2010 we’ll [continue to] use these stadiums,” he said.
9 July 2012The introduction of electronic visas would serve both to grow tourism volumes and to create new job opportunities in Africa, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Sunday.“There are opportunities to accelerate the creation of regional visa schemes,” Van Schalkwyk said at the opening of the 2012 Routes Africa Conference in the Seychelles.“This would allow our international visitors and intra-African travellers to move more freely and efficiently, to the benefit of our continent.”E-visas are currently only offered by a few countries, such as Australia, the United States, Bahrain and India. The process of applying for an e-visa involves completing the visa application form online, on a secure website.The development of secure electronic transactions integrated into a website’s payment system has made electronic commerce an increasingly popular option; it involves a “secure electronic transaction” (SET), which makes use of several layers of encryption to protect sensitive information.E-visas are being introduced by more countries around the world as a convenient way to apply to visit that country because it is not necessary to visit the country’s consulate in person.Van Schalkwyk said the continent had a long way to go to capitalise on its unique attractions and cultural diversity, but that visa barriers still needed to be overcome. Making use of technology would help in developing high security measures while creating efficient travelling.“The bureaucracy and costs involved in applying for and issuing visas are a major impediment to foreigners wishing to visit our shores, and to our own people who travel on our continent,” he said.Another barrier, he said, was old air connectivity models. “They inhibit growth and only serve to keep our destinations dependent on air arrivals from economically hard- pressed traditional source markets.“We need a long-term plan to create an intra-continental air transport architecture that facilitates intra-African travel and trade, including tourism,” Van Schalkwyk explained.New-model lower cost airlines that could cater for market segments that are currently underserved were also needed on the continent.The African continent is on the verge of an unprecedented tourism boom over the next two decades. “In a mere three years from now, there will be just over 50 African cities with populations exceeding three million,” he said.SANews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter
11 November 2014Ever wondered how tortoises got their shells and how these shy little creatures manage to breathe when they withdraw inside their protective shield? Well, a University of Witwatersrand researcher and his colleagues seem to have come up with an answer to these intriguing questions.In a paper entitled “Origin of the unique ventilator apparatus of turtles’ published in the scientific journal, Nature Communications, Dr Tyler Lyson from Wits University’s Evolutionary Studies Institute says through careful study of modern and early fossil tortoise, researchers now have better understanding how these creatures developed their breathing apparatus.“Tortoises have a bizarre body plan and one of the more puzzling aspects to this body plan is the fact that tortoises have locked their ribs up into the iconic tortoise shell. No other animal does this and the likely reason is that ribs play such an important role in breathing in most animals including mammals, birds, crocodilians, and lizards,’ says Lyson.Tortoises have developed a unique abdominal muscular sling that wraps around their lungs and organs to help them breathe. But when and how this mechanism developed in unknown.“It seemed pretty clear that the tortoise shell and breathing mechanism evolved in tandem, but which happened first? It’s a bit of the chicken or the egg causality dilemma,’ Lyson says.By studying the anatomy and thin sections (also known as histology), Lyson and his colleagues discovered that the modern tortoise breathing apparatus was already in place in the earliest fossil tortoise, an animal known as Eunotosaurus africanus. Eunotosaurus africanus lived in South Africa 260-million years ago and shares many unique features with modern day tortoises. However, Eunotosaurus africanus lacked a shell.Lyson says a recognisable tortoise shell does not appear for another 50-million years and Eunotosaurus africanus bridges the morphological gap between early body plan and the highly modified body plan of living tortoises, making it the Archaeopteryx of turtles.Sometimes referred to by its German name Urvogel, Archaeopteryx, is a genus of early bird that is transitional between feathered dinosaurs and modern birds.Co-author of the paper and Director of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University, Professor Bruce Rubidge, says named in 1892, Eunotosaurus is one of the earliest tortoise ancestors and is known from early rocks near Beaufort West, in the Western Cape.“There are some 50 specimen of Eunotosaurus. The rocks of the Karoo are remarkable in the diversity of fossils of early tortoises they have produced. The fact that we find Eunotosaurus at the base of the Karoo succession strongly suggest that there are more ancestral forms of tortoises still to be discovered in the Karoo,’ Rubidge says.The study reveals important information about how tortoises have evolved over the years. Lyson and his fellow researchers found that early in the evolution of the tortoise body plan a gradual increase in body wall rigidity produced a division of function between the ribs and abdominal respiratory muscles.“As the ribs broadened and stiffened the torso, they became less effective for breathing which caused the abdominal muscles to become specialised for breathing, which in turn freed up the ribs to eventually – approximately 50-million years later – to become fully integrated into the characteristic tortoise shell,’ says Lyson.SAinfo reporter
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppThe Heads of Government adopted the following 10-Point Plan of Action to Stop Ebola There and Here:strengthen effective, coordinated measures at ports of entry to prevent Ebola from entering our Community, including harmonising travel restrictions;strengthen health systems including training, equipment, laboratories and containment, and enlist the participation of airlines in the Region in transporting specimens and response teams;create a Regional Rapid Response Team (Carib REACT) able to reach any Member State in twenty-four (24) hours to support the national response team to contain/stop an outbreak early on;launch an intensive public education campaign for citizens of the Region, visitors and those outside;organize a comprehensive resource mobilisation effort including a possible Stop Ebola There and Here (SETH) Fund, to which governments, citizens and businesses here and abroad may donate;finalise and implement the harmonised regional operational response plan by end-November, coordinated with national response plans;participate in capacity-building efforts at the global and regional levels to gain experience for our benefit;establish a Regional Coordinating Mechanism on Ebola (RCME) with CARPHA as Chair, including the CARICOM and OECS Secretariats, IMPACS, CDEMA, and inviting Cuba to participate, The RCME will report to the Lead Head of Government on Health, the Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, with the immediate responsibility to develop a comprehensive Regional Strategy to address Ebola preparedness in collaboration with PAHO/WHO;invite PAHO/WHO, the United Nations, other development partners and contributors to a meeting within one (1) month to expand the effectiveness of our collective response;review and reinforce the effectiveness of these measures as implemented, at the Intersessional Meeting of Conference in February 2015, and again at the Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in July 2015. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Turks and Caicos Premier says nation ‘elated’ over removal from Zika list; praises CARPHA and CARICOM Recommended for you UN SG is Special Guest at Opening Ceremony for CARICOM Heads Meeting Wednesday Bahamas to take 15-member delegation to CARICOM meeting set in Mo’Bay, Jamaica Related Items:CARICOM, carpha, Dr. Denzil Douglas, Ebola, paho, Regional Coordinating Mechanism, Regional Rapid Response Team, Stop Ebola There and Here, who
Record number of stars set to shine says TCHTA Related Items:chicago, new york city, premier’s sales blitz, turks and caicos hotel and tourism association, virgin hotel Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Tourism Pitch In Houston Impresses 45 Year Travel Agent New York Dancers share talent in TCI Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 21 May 2015 – Make the Turks and Caicos your home; the appeal last night in Chicago at the Virgin Hotel by Premier Rufus Ewing as attention went beyond pitching tourism and vacations but real estate and investment. The Premier said the country’s best beach and best island destination in the world prizes are worth boasting but there is also a strong economy with the country securing a triple B plus rating from Standard & Poor in 2014. The Turks and Caicos Real Estate Association is among those represented on the six city tour, which has now tackled four major US cities namely: Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and Chicago. Braving the 40° temperatures, travel agents turned out strong last night and remained impressed by the 12-minute video feature produced by Caya Hico Media. The delegation next journeys to New York City where likely the largest turnout will appear for a roof top luxury promotional event will be held at the celebrated Knickerbocker Hotel.