Exploring bicycle culture in South Africa

first_imgJohannes van Wyk and his children Chris, Danisha and Sarie not only cycle, but arealso capable bicycle mechanics. Twin sisters Louisa and Johanna Mokoaqoencourage each other’s love of cycling.Marina le Grange prefers to cycle short distances, rather than getting into a car. (Images: Day One Publications) MEDIA CONTACTS • Stan EngelbrechtDay One Publications+27 82 928 6586 RELATED ARTICLES • SA’s first hydrogen bike rolled out • Improving lives with bicycles • Bikes for Africa – from bamboo • School campaign helps change lives• Going green for 2010Wilma den HartighTwo South African friends who share an enthusiasm for bicycles and cycling have started a project that explores South African bicycle culture and commuting on the saddle.The project, called Bicycle Portraits, is the idea of Stan Engelbrecht, a photographer and publisher, and Nic Grobler, a motion graphics designer.The focus of the project is to provide insight into the lives of people who use bicycles for daily commuting, instead of just leisure or exercise. With global warming a concern across the planet, the efforts of these energetic people have the potential to make a big difference.Since early 2010, Engelbrecht and Grobler have travelled across the country, on their own bicycles, to take photographs of saddle commuters and their bikes.“It has been an incredible journey to meet South Africans who rely on two wheels for transport, and also to meet their bicycles,” Grobler says.They have been everywhere, from South Africa’s major cities to the West Coast, from country towns in the Free State to Orania in the Northern Cape.“So many times, when we look at the bicycle and the owner, they just fit together. I don’t know how it works, it is just a weird connection,” Grobler says.South Africa’s diversity of peopleEngelbrecht and Grobler have photographed South Africans of all ages, and from all walks of life. Some of the cyclists they meet along the way use bicycles because they cannot afford cars or public transport. Others just love cycling.Marinda le Grange, from Orania in the Northern Cape, had this to say about her bicycle: “The most enjoyable thing for me on the bicycle is when I become daring enough to ride with no hands, just to pedal and not hold on – then I feel young.”David Mamabolo, from Muckleneuk in Pretoria, said many people want him to sell his bicycle to them. “But I always say no because I really like it. You see, it’s an old one like me.”Chrystl Küstner, from Pretoria in Gauteng, works as a physiotherapist and uses her bicycle to visit patients. “I like cycling with a purpose, not just for the sake of it. I go to the shops and I do my shopping, carrying a backpack and using my carrier. I do all my shopping with the bicycle, or with my feet – I don’t like driving with a car,” she says.Awie Harmse bought a bicycle because he can’t afford a car. Salmon Mojaki says that his bicycle may have an old frame, but it is one of the strongest frames you can get, and his bicycle has been the best transport he’s ever had.Many benefitsEngelbrecht and Grobler are raising funds to publish a full-colour hardcover photographic book early next year of their travels, the people they have met and their stories.The co-founders hope the project and the book will encourage more South Africans to get on to their bicycles and start peddling.Strangely, besides all the benefits one could enjoy from owning a bicycle, commuter cyclists still seem to be a rare breed,” Engelbrecht says. As they spent more time on the road, they realised just how few South Africans use bicycles to commute.They also want to change perceptions about cycling. Given all the benefits, such as independence, health, fitness, cost-effectiveness, and kindness to the environment, more South Africans from all social classes should be encouraged to use bicycles.Many of the cyclists they interviewed told them that cycling was easier on the pocket. Cycling helps them to save money every month by avoiding public transport. However, Engelbrecht says that he’s not exactly sure why so few people don’t own bicycles or cycle.Some of the reasons they have identified include cultural intolerance, stigma of poverty, physical danger and lack of infrastructure. “We’ve noticed that as our major centres develop there still seems to be a trend to make cities more friendly for cars, not people,” he says.If roads were more cycle-friendly and the correct infrastructure was established, owning a bicycle could change the lives of many people. South Africa’s socio-economic climate makes it the ideal location for cycle commuting, Grobler says.For more people to take up cycling, there is a great need for good quality, yet affordable and comfortable bicycles in South Africa.Cheap imported bicycles are another challenge, he says. They have too many gears, smart paint jobs and are poorly made. “Second-hand bicycles can be cheap but simple, robust and easy to maintain. That is what we need,” he says.Inspiring South Africans to cycleThrough the project, Engelbrecht and Grobler also want to empower underprivileged South Africans. Some of their ideas include teaching bicycle maintenance skills and providing cyclists with important cycling gear such as helmets, tyres, tubes and locks.One of their long-term goals is to create a support structure such as a trust funded through a percentage of book sales, or a charity, for people who appear in the book.Grobler says that they have relied on social networking sites such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness of the Bicycle Portraits project.This has been very successful and has created an entire community of local and international followers who are interested in the project. Some fans are cycling fanatics, but others are not familiar with bicycles at all.The Kickstarter initiativeEngelbrecht and Grobler decided to raise funds through the Kickstarter social-network pledge-for-a-reward fundraising page.Anyone with a creative idea can pitch it on the Kickstarter website. The way it works is simple: every project must have a funding goal (an amount in dollars) and a time limit between one and 90 days, determined by the creator of the project.Once the deadline is reached, funding will either be successful if it reached the goal, or terminated. If it meets the goal, all pledge amounts are collected at once and the money is handed over to the project creator. In return, the project must be completed as promised.If the project does not meet the funding goal all pledges are cancelled. To encourage people to pledge, each project has to offer a reward as part of the pledge deal. Engelbrecht and Grobler have undertaken that each person who donates US$50 (about R348) or more will receive a copy of the book.Their goal is to raise $35,000 (R243 862) to complete the production of the book. Fundraising has been divided into three pledge drives. The third and final fundraising leg will start in December.In the first phase, they raised more than $15,000 (R104 512) to cover travelling, shooting, writing and preparation of the content for the second phase of the project.In the second pledge phase, $9,000 (R62 707) was collected for design, layout and pre-printing preparations. They hope that the third fundraising phase will raise $12,500 (R87 093) for printing and binding of 3000 copies of the book.Revealing the spirit of South AfricansIn comparison with the rest of Africa, and a country like the Netherlands, South Africa has quite a bit of catching up to do when it comes to cycle commuting. But besides motivating more South Africans to cycle, Engelbrecht says the project has also revealed the character and friendliness of South Africa’s people. Wherever they went, people were big-hearted, eager to share their stories, and truly inspirational, he says.last_img read more

Bafana beat the Mambas to kickstart Chan 2014

first_imgThe opening ceremony of Chan 2014 at Cape Town Stadium didn’t disappoint, but the crowd numbers did.(Image: GCIS)MEDIA CONTACTS• Eric MwanzaCAF Media Officer Cape Town+ 27 612593821Bafana Bafana made a perfect start to the Africa Nations Championship, or Chan 2014 tournament, with a gritty 3-1 win over Mozambique’s Mambas in an exciting opening game at Cape Town Stadium on 11 January 2014.The match, which observed a minute of silence for legendary Mozambican-born Portuguese international Eusebio, who died last week, was attended by South African President Jacob Zuma, president of CAF Issa Hayatou, Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula and South African Football Association boss Danny Jordaan.The first five minutes saw Bafana Bafana on the Mozambican half, but the national team failed to get an early goal as the Mambas’ solid defence kept them at bay.The visitors took a shock lead in the 10th minute when Diogo Alberto took a wicked deflection shot off Thato Mokeke to give the minnows a surprise 1-0 lead.The goal sparked Bafana to life as they began to put their opponents under pressure just outside the box, but they kept disappointing their home fans with their poor finishing.Bafana Bafana got a free kick on the 26th minute after Simphiwe Tshabalala was brought down just out the box, but Katlego Mashego wasted the opportunity to equalise when his strike went wide and very high.However, as Bafana kept on putting pressure at the Mozambican goal, Lobo brought down Barnard Parker in the box and the referee did not hesitate to award Bafana a penalty.Parker did not disappoint and converted the penalty easily bringing the silent Cape Town stadium to life once again.Bafana kept on pilling the pressure and Mashego then hit the post as Bafana continued to pour forward.Parker was foiled by the Mamba’s keeper a minute after resumption but with opportunities coming thick and fast, it was just a matter of time.The second goal for Bafana came as Hlompo Kekana kicked home a screamer from just inside the halfway line in the 57th minute with a spectacular shot that shook the roof of the net as Cape Town Stadium erupted with cheers.Parker sealed the match for Bafana with a third goal in the 81st minute. Other gamesGoals from Abdoulaye Sissoko in the 17th minute and a second-half cracker from roving left-winger Adama Traore gave Mali a stunning start to the competition when they beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles 2-1 on Saturday night.Fuad Salami scored the only consolation goal for the Eagles.Zimbabwe and Morocco played to a goalless draw on Sunday in the in the opening match of the Group B at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.Yunus Sentamu’s two goals gave Uganda first spot in Group B when they beat Burkina Faso 2-1 at the Athlone Stadium on Sunday night. Cyrille Bayala got a late consolation goal for the Burkinabe in the 87th minute.last_img read more

Dump site transformed into Cape nature reserve

first_img5 January 2015A 36-hectare area in Cape Town that was once used largely as a landfill has been transformed into one of the city’s most important nature reserves, home to more than 300 plant species, 10 of which are endemic to Cape Town and threatened with extinction.After a decade of hard work – and a R2-million investment – the once deteriorated and deserted Bracken Nature Reserve has been rehabilitated and restored into a environmental space that can be enjoyed by all the city’s residents, the City of Cape Town said in a statement last week.Bracken Nature Reserve was named as the reserve of 2014 by the city’s Environmental Resource Management Department.The rehabilitation project started with the planting of 60 indigenous trees including, karee, real yellowwood, wild peach, Cape ash, wild camphor and milkwood, which are still growing well.Councillor Johan van der Merwe, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, singled out Tshepo Mamabalo for her will and vision in transforming the space.Mamabolo’s involvement began when she was doing a city internship at the reserve. “With the support of the reserve team, she dedicated her passion and energy to transforming the site into what it is today,” Van der Merwe said.Mamabolo is now the area co-ordinator.ConservationThe 36-hectare reserve is home to Swartland granite renosterveld and Cape sand fynbos, both of which “suffer a dearth of conservation consideration”, the city said.“More than 300 plant species have been identified here, of which 10 are endemic to Cape Town and threatened with extinction,” the city said.Important species include cowslip (Lachenalia aloides) and the canary yellow vygie (Lampranthus glaucus).The reserve also supports a great diversity of wildlife. Regularly sighted birds are the red-capped lark, black-shouldered kite, peregrine falcon and southern double-collared sunbird. Other mammal species found in the reserve include the small grey mongoose and a myriad of rodents and reptiles.Critically endagered“Currently there is only one known plant of the critically endangered Kraaifontein spiderhead (Serruria furcellata) remaining naturally in the wild in Northpine,” Van der Merwe said.“The reserve has been surveyed and found to have great potential as a receptor site for this critically endangered species. Cuttings from the original plant were planted and, to date, 20 healthy plants are conserved at the reserve.”The City manages 16 nature reserves across Cape Town. During the 2013/2014 financial year, visitor numbers to City reserves increased by 32% to 351 594 visitors (2012/2013: 266 195 visitors).“The tremendous turnaround of the Bracken Nature Reserve is a good example of how, when the city sows the seeds of collaborative partnerships, the community and the surrounding environment will reap the benefits,” Van Der Merwe said.“It is of paramount importance that we place a higher financial and environmental value on our nature reserves so that, together, we can make progress possible in building a sustainable future,” he said.Bracken Nature Reserve detailsAddress: 2 Reservoir Road, Brackenfell Map directionsOpening hours: 07:30-16:00 (daily)Size: 36 hectaresEntrance fee: NonePublic transport: TaxiActivities: Picnic areas, walking trails, birdwatching, wheelchair-friendly trail. Please note: This reserve has a “no-bin policy” and all visitors must take their rubbish home with them.Environmental education: Brackenfell Environmental Education Centre (booking essential)Contact: Tel +27 21 444 0380The Friends of Bracken and CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wild Flowers) arrange walks, birdwatching, plant surveys and alien clearing. www.brackenfell.org/SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

February workshop addresses 4Rs on the farm

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Nutrient Stewardship Council will host a complimentary “4R Farming 4 Sustainability” educational workshop Feb. 12 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, providing farmers and agricultural retailers updates, perspectives and information on the 4Rs and the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification.The voluntary certification program is a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, such as the one responsible for the shutdown of Toledo’s water supply in early August of 2014.“This event will help farmers and nutrient service providers learn more about the voluntary certification program and how important the 4Rs can be in nutrient management,” said Andrew Allman, executive director of the Nutrient Stewardship Council. “Attendees will hear from both their peers and industry professionals to learn how they can contribute to the goal of long-term improvements in the Western Lake Erie Basin.”The workshop agenda includes:An overview of the certification program and its relevancy/legislative connection, provided by Nutrient Stewardship Council representatives and certification program administrators.Perspectives about the program and the 4Rs, shared by panels of growers from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, and representatives from facilities that have become certified through the program within the first two years of its existence.Updates on related research and certification program requirements from industry professionals and consultants.Rick McLellan, senior vice president — commercial division, of The Mosaic Company will be the featured keynote speaker.Twenty-three nutrient service providers have achieved certified status through the program since its inception in March of 2014. These certified facilities provide nutrient recommendations or nutrient application services to 3,870 grower customers covering 1.57 million acres, with 1.09 million of these acres located in the WLEB. Approximately 20% of total farming acres in the WLEB are now covered by certified providers through the program. The program also has commitments from 47 other facilities to go through the certification process.The 4R Farming 4 Sustainability workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Fort Wayne, Indiana – IPFW Coliseum, 4111 Paul Shaffer Drive, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825. Continental breakfast and lunch is included with complimentary registration. For more information and to register for the event, visit oaba.net/events, email [email protected] or call 614-326-7520 ext. 1.last_img read more

Don’t use bad words: Mohammad Amir pleads with Pakistan fans after India defeat

first_imgPakistan fast bowlers Mohammad Amir has urged cricket fans not to use abusive language when criticising the players for their horror show against India in the much-anticipated ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match on Sunday in Manchester.Pakistan players, including captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, have been facing severe backlash from fans back in the cricket-crazy country after they lost the big-ticket encounter by 89 runs. India extended their unbeaten run against Pakistan in World Cups to 7-0 as their arch-rivals came up with an insipid performance, triggering critical reactions from fans.Social media was flooded with memes, some funny and some filled with abuses after Pakistan went down without a fight in the rain-curtailed tie in Manchester.Amir insisted that Pakistan players have no problem when they are being criticised but objected the usage of bad words. “Pls dont use bad words for the players yes u guys can criticise our performance we will bounce back InshAllah we need ur support (sic),” Amir wrote on social media.Pls dont use bad words for the players yes u guys can criticise our performance we will bounce back InshAllah we need ur supportMohammad Amir (@iamamirofficial) June 17, 2019Fans questioned Pakistan players’ intent and fitness levels as pictures of them allegedly socialising hours before the India match went viral online. Pakistan Cricket Board though rubbished the reports, saying Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men did not violate the curfew.Images of Pakistan’s senior batsman Shoaib Malik and the likes of Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim and Imam-ul-Haq socialising at a Manchester pub went viral. Since Malik’s wife and India tennis star Sania Mirza had joined them for the outing, she was dragged into the narrative as well.advertisementResponding to the critics, Malik said it’s sad that he has to clarify thing about his personal life even after serving his nation for close to 20 years. He also clarified that the videos were from June 13 and not 15.”When will Pak media be accountable for their credibility by our courts?! Having served my country for +20 years in Intl Cricket, it’s sad that I have to clarify things related to my personal life. The videos are from 13th June and not 15th (sic),” Malik wrote on social media.Even captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was blasted by fans and former cricketers for having burgers and milkshakes on the eve of their match vs India in Manchester. Pace great Shoaib Akhtar had slammed Sarfaraz, calling the Pakistan captain “brainless”.However, World Cup-winning India off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh jumped to Sarfaraz’s defence, saying cricketers are allowed to have burgers.”They are allowed to have burgers, it’s their wish what they want to do,” Harbhajan Singh told India Today.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Sad that I still have to clarify things about my personal life, says Shoaib MalikAlso Read | They are allowed to have burgers: Harbhajan Singh defends Sarfaraz Ahmed after social media trollsAlso See:last_img read more

Anne Hathaway To Host LA Art Show Opening Night Premiere Party

first_imgThe LA Art Show & the Los Angeles Fine Art Show are pleased to welcome Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman as the 2016 Hosts of the Opening Night Premiere Party benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.The event will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in the heart of downtown. A VIP Patron Reception will begin at 7 p.m., with the public opening beginning at 8 p.m.“We are thankful to Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman for their continued support of our lifesaving work and for hosting this special event,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “St. Jude has made great progress in the fight against pediatric cancer, but it’s a fight that wages on. This annual fundraiser helps St. Jude continue to advance its mission of finding cures and for children fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Thanks to support from events like the LA Art Show & The Los Angeles Fine Art Show, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.“We are thrilled to have St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital return as our benefiting organization,” enthused Kim Martindale, general manager and producer of the LA Art Show. “St. Jude is the leading researcher in pediatric cancer. They freely share their research protocol worldwide, and as a result, more lifesaving treatments are available for children.”The Opening Night Premiere Party will feature exclusive performance art pieces, special installations and a live musical performance.More than 7,000 guests attended the 20th Anniversary LA Art Show in 2015, which was hosted by 5-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams and Darren Le Gallo. The evening welcomed several distinguished guests including Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Melanie Griffith, Nixx Sixx, Seth Green, Olivia Holt, Yara Shahidi, Dania Ramirez, Josh Bowman, James Franco, Joanna Cassidy, AFI’s Davey Havok, U.A.E. Consul General Alsabusi, Eli Broad, Councilman Tom LaBonge, and Lubov Azria, among others.In recent years, the LA Art Show has become the most internationally diverse art platform in the Western world, bringing in the largest groupings of Korean, Chinese and Japanese galleries outside of Asia. Beginning in 2010, the Show has actively developed its international gallery offerings to provide collectors with a unique opportunity, to spot international trends and zeitgeist through art, a medium that has the ability to transcend language.The Los Angeles Fine Art Show, a new art fair dedicated to historic & contemporary traditional works will launch in conjunction with the LA Art Show on Jan. 27-31. With a focus on historic and traditional contemporary works, the Los Angeles Fine Art Show provides a dedicated experience for collectors of traditional works, from paintings, to sculpture and works on paper.The LA Art Show and the Los Angeles Fine Art Show take place from Jan. 27-31 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall 1201 South Figueroa Street, 90015. The shows open on Wednesday, Jan. 27 with a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Benefit tickets are: $250 for Patron Level; $200 for Vanguard Level and $125 for Friend Level. For additional information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.laartshow.com. General admission to the LA Art Show is $20. Media inquiries please contact Agnes Gomes-Koizumi at [email protected] or call 323-937-5488.last_img read more

Now is the time for action says Atleo

first_img(AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo speaks Thursday at the closing of the special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que. APTN/Photo)APTN National News OTTAWA–Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo said First Nations people were part of a “singular great struggle” and a force to be “reckoned with.”Atleo, speaking at the closing of a special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que., said the Harper government was “back sliding” on its commitment to work with First Nations by cutting funding to organizations and pushing legislation that threatened the rights of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.“We are saying to the country we will simply not stand for it any longer,” said Atleo. “Our leaders are deeply concerned and our people are frustrated and, make no mistake about it, angry about the government’s lack of action.”The special chiefs assembly was largely overshadowed by Tuesday’s protest on Parliament Hill which led to a group of chiefs from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario scuffling with security guards at the threshold of the House of Commons Chamber where MPs pass and debate the laws of the country.Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Wallace Fox he wanted to enter the chamber to speak directly to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.During his speech, Atleo singled out Fox and praised him for his leadership.Atleo said the action had sent a clear message to the country and to Parliament that First Nations leaders would no longer allow the current situation to continue.“We will stand with one another,” said Alteo. “Now is the time for action.”A total of 236 chiefs and their proxies attended the meeting.last_img read more