Students linked to South Africa reflect on leader

first_imgNews of Nelson Mandela’s death spread worldwide last Thursday night, and senior South African native Bertie Nel said the loss of the nation’s former leader was an event “we were never really prepared for.” Nel said South Africans anticipated Mandela’s death, but it didn’t take away the pain of the loss. After speaking with his family back home, they told him the country was mourning collectively. While Mandela’s presidency ended in 1999, his impact on South Africa is lasting, Nel said. “If it weren’t for him, a lot of what’s going on in South Africa wouldn’t be possible. He was the big instigator of [ending apartheid] and making sure that everyone had equal opportunity,” Nel said. “Regardless of who you are, regardless of white or black, it’s very important that everyone have the same opportunity and [Mandela] brought that to South Africa. “Back home they call him ‘tata’ and that’s the word for father. I think that’s very fitting. Everyone saw him as the father, ‘tata.’”  Saint Mary’s sophomore Emily Rojas studied in South Africa this semester but had returned to the United States when she learned of Mandela’s death. She said a friend still in the country called her and asked her if she had heard the news. “I said ‘no,’ and she said ‘Well, Nelson Mandela passed,’” Rojas said. “There was a pause from both ends, and she said the country is in a standstill and from TV to people in the streets, you can feel the sadness, the mourning. “It was something that really hit home. It hurt because he was like a father, a figure you could look up to, because he spoke so much about having people of different races, different nations come together and be unified.” Nel said while it would be amazing to be back home for the ceremony commemorating Mandela’s life at FNB Stadium near Soweto on Tuesday, he still feels he is able to pay his respects from afar. “Everyone knows who Mandela is and I think tomorrow’s ceremony is going to attract so many viewers from across the world,” Nel said. “Everyone around the world revered him and knew that what he did was good for South Africa.” Nel said he thinks Mandela’s actions inspired people around the world to stand up for their beliefs and accomplish good work. “He was a great man. He did a lot for South Africa,” Nel said. “I don’t think we would be where we are without him and we are very lucky to have a man of that caliber in South Africa.” Rojas said she believes Mandela’s legacy will continue to motivate the whole world to take action. “Beyond the country, I think he impacted the world,” she said. “[Everyone] should become educated on what he did because [he taught] that we dignify every individual despite the fact they are Afrikaan or Zulu, from whatever part of the world, and I think that is something the country itself embraces. The people who really took what he said, it helped themselves shape into who they are.” Rojas said being in South Africa taught her more about Mandela’s legacy than anything she read before the trip. “[I realized] how much he shaped and molded the country, and I don’t think that his legacy is going to end,” Rojas said. “This is just the beginning toward a more unified nation, and that was his vision.” Nel said there are many positives things that can come from Mandela’s life, but he believes is forgiveness is the most important. “The biggest positive that I think anyone can take of [his life] is his ability to forgive people,” Nel said. “Yeah they put him in prison for 27 years, but as soon as he got out of it he forgave. He never held a grudge, and that’s just amazing that he was able to turn around like that.” Nel said that remembering Mandela’s life is important and while many are saddened by his death, it should move people to take action. “It’s now time for the rest of the world to step up and follow his example and do good in the world,” he said. Contact Haleigh Ehmsen at [email protected]last_img read more

Preparation hit by lack of match practice, says Francis

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Newly-appointed Sunshine Girls head coach, Connie Francis, has expressed concern about the lack of international match practice ahead of next month’s Nations Cup in England.The veteran coach said the squad, yet to be announced, had been training well but the lack of actual court time had been the obvious flaw in the side’s preparation.“It’s a challenging task because the other countries have already been in match mode and we are in preparation mode,” Francis told the Gleaner newspaper here.“But, I am quite confident that they will do their best because they have been doing their best in training.”She added: “They have been improving, but our only shortcoming is that we have not gotten any international matches. But we have been practising against a male team and it is work in progress.”The Sunshine Girls will clash with the top-ranked likes of world champions New Zealand, England and South Africa in the tournament which runs from January 19 to 26 in Nottingham, Birmingham and London.They open their campaign against South Africa at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on January 19 before taking on the Silver Ferns in Birmingham three days later.Jamaica face England in their final game on January 25 at the Copper Box Arena in London.The outing will be the country’s first since their disappointing campaign at the World Cup last July also in England when they finished fifth.Francis, who was appointed head coach last October after Netball Jamaica sacked Marvette Anderson in the wake of the World Cup results, said her side was in a race against time to get fully prepared for the competition.Of importance, she pointed out, were improving fitness level and working on tactical approaches.“Our fitness has to improve and our fitness trainer has been working tirelessly with them,” Francis explained.“Exams are out of the way now and so they can be at training more often because the exams were really drawback for us and so now we can work on our tactical plays.”“We will be going up against three good teams and I have to do all the video analyses ahead of the series.”She added: “I have been encouraging them to look at the games that these teams have been playing and I’m certain I will come up with my plans to see how best we can go up against them.”last_img read more

FIFA World Ranking – Nigeria Move Up One Place, Remains 6th In Africa

first_imgThe Super Eagles of Nigeria moved up one place into 38th position in the latest FIFA World Ranking for August, but remained 6th in Africa.Despite losing 0-2 to the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in last June’s Nations Cup qualifier in Uyo, Nigeria remained 6th best footballing Nation in Africa with 716 points, behind Egypt, Congo DR, Senegal, Tunisia, and Cameroon respectively.Nigeria’s next outing is against African Nations Cup defending Champions, Cameroon, in the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifiers next month.Elsewhere, Brazil returned to the number one spot in just over a month, displacing Confederations Cup champions Germany into second place.The Brave Warriors of Namibia are the biggest climbers of this month, moving up 20 places to sit in the 136th position in the world and 39th in Africa.August FIFA World Rankings – Africa Top Ten1. Egypt2. Congo DR3. Senegal4. Tunisia5. Cameroon6. Nigeria7. Burkina Faso8. Algeria9. Ghana10. Côte d’Ivoire RelatedFIFA Rankings: Nigeria Drop Six PlacesSeptember 14, 2017In “National Team”Nigeria Drops in Latest FIFA RankingNovember 30, 2018In “FIFA”FIFA World Rankings: Super Eagles Drop One Spot To 35thOctober 24, 2019In “FIFA”last_img read more