News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Monday May 20th 2019

SA dorpies treated to a touch of World Cup fever

Yugendree Naidoo

To ensure that the residents of small towns across the country will not miss out on the excitement of the World Cup a mobile cinema will be visiting 50 ‘fonteins, ‘spruits and other settlements screening top notch documentaries themed on the beautiful game.

Hitting the road from today (April 6) to June 2, the Soccer Cinema will be screening in all nine provinces, entertaining communities from Kosi Bay to Tzaneen, and everywhere else in between.
Most people in these communities can’t afford the tickets or the travel costs of getting to the stadiums, but the Soccer Cinema will enable them to see their soccer stars appearing before their eyes, larger than life, on the silver screen in their local community hall.

All the films – up to ten of them – created by local and international documentary filmmakers, will be screened for the first time in South Africa on the tour, portraying incredible stories involving players, teams and stories surrounding the globally popular game.

The Soccer Cinema planning team already hit the road two weeks ago to prepare and sort out logistics ahead of the screenings.

One of the first places they stopped on the road out of Cape Town was De Doorns, recently riven by xenophobic attacks against Zimbabweans due to tensions over seasonal grape-picking jobs.
“There is something about De Doorns, filled with hope, laced with desperation… it must be the reality that there seems to be nothing happening,” wrote joint project manager Nathalie Rosa Bucher on the Soccer Cinema blog.
Ironically, the tents housing displaced Zimbabweans were pitched on the town’s soccer field, “the prime space for football championships in a town with no entertainment facilities”, she said.
“The local rugby field is to be used for… you’ve guessed right: rugby. rugby. more rugby. Dis kla! (sic)” she added.

As a result, and true to the relatively flexible nature of the project, Bucher said it was decided to have Soccer Cinema bring some “World Cup flair to this small town in the beautiful Hex River Valley” on the way back in late May to give the town time to plan how to make a celebration of soccer part of effort to create reconciliation in the community.

The project is the brainchild of film producer Don Edkins from award-winning documentary film non-profit company Steps Southern Africa, in collaboration with a small group of Dutch, Danish and Finnish professionals, and is running on just under R1 million in funding from the National Lottery after being nominated as a World Cup pre-event project.
“It will allow people to see, hear and learn more about some of the greatest players and teams in the world,” said Bucher.

She said the documentaries to be screened included films involving west African soccer stories and stars such as Didier Drogba, Maradona, Brazil’s Garrincha and Pelé, as well as one about our very own Sibusiso Zuma.
In addition there’s a film ‘The Game of their Lives’ that looks at what became of the North Korean national team that kicked Italy out of the 1966 World Cup and Junaid Ahmed’s ‘More Than Just A Game’, which is about soccer and sports on Robben Island, she said.

And the communities to be visited can’t wait for the Soccer Cinema to come to town.
Local organiser in De Doorns, Masabatha Mema said impending screening “very exciting”.
“It seems like we’re getting a taste of the World Cup…. the community can’t wait to see what’s going to happen when they arrive.”
Whether the screening happened at the beginning or the end of the tour, she said she could “guarantee that almost the entire community will gather on the night”.
“Everybody is just so excited because they’re all soccer fans, most of the men spend their weekends playing soccer.”
Mema said it’s especially exciting for the youngsters, many of whom dreamt of playing in the Bafana Bafana squad one day.

For the list of towns to be visited, go to

Tags: Add new tag, De Doorns, Don Edkins, soccer, Steps Souther Africa

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