‘One Love’ football fest to celebrate Bob Marley

first_imgInternational Reggae legend Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley would have celebrated his 71st birthday on February 6. His boyhood friend, Clive ‘Busy’ Campbell, organiser of the Bob Marley One Love Fun Day and football matches, is inviting ‘friends in football’ to enjoy a celebration of one of the world’s most universally revered personalities this Ash Wednesday. The media launch was held yesterday at the Cuddy’z Sports Bar and Grill in New Kingston. The event will be staged at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Arnett Gardens next Wednesday, February 10, beginning at 4 p.m. Admission is $200 for adults 18 and over, while children under 12 will be able to enter free. Those over the age of 12 will pay $100. Campbell, a former local footballer at Santos and a close friend of Marley, started the memorial event two years after Marley’s passing. He recalled yesterday that Marley’s life was a short, but well-lived one. “This is the 35th year that we are celebrating the life of Bob Marley. We are pleased to be associated with such a legend, a friend, a prophet and brother, who loved people and tried to always help others,” Campbell pointed out. Queen’s Council Ian Wilkinson, the Master of Ceremony at yesterday’s launch, recalled his fondest memories of seeing Marley as a boy. “In life he was huge; in death he is even bigger,” reasoned Wilkinson. Sponsors Tuff Gong, through the Bob Marley Foundation, delivered their message via manager Alicia Williams, while Tari Lovell, sponsorship manager of Digicel, also gave sponsorship remarks. This year’s Bob Marley One Love football matches will see Entertainers’ Invitational, Masters and Celebrities, Referees, and Tuff Gong Invitational teams vie for trophies. There will be two Bob Marley One Love trophies, plus prizes and surprises from sponsors Digicel and the Bob Marley One Love Foundation, among others. Proceeds from last year’s event were used to purchase computers for two basic schools in the inner city, with the organisers hoping to do the same this year. Among persons named to play so far are Reggae Girl Rhodes Scholar Sherona Forrester and teammate Tashana Vincent, plus former Reggae Boyz Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, Cornel Chin-Sue, Kevin ‘Pele’ Wilson, Hector Wright, and Durrent Brown. Referees Valdin Ledgister and Keeble Williams will officiate, while Charlie B from France, Nomadz, Aidonia, and Assassin will provide entertainment. 35TH YEARlast_img read more

Tiger Kloof School earns a reputation for excellence

first_imgThe clock in the tower behind these Tiger Kloof pupils was a gift from the Great Khama. (Image: Mark Boobbyer)• Mark BoobbyerDirectorTiger Kloof Educational Institution+27 82 [email protected]• Helping kids shine at school – in their own language • Youth urged to get involved • South African education project wins top award • Botswana launches brand strategy • Mandela’s ‘classrooms for human beings’Sulaiman PhilipSituated on the outskirts of Vryburg, Tiger Kloof – named after a stop on Cecil John Rhodes’ mooted Cape to Cairo railway – is a school with a rich African history.It has been many things since it was first established in 1904 – a missionary school for the Batswana elite, a source of irritation to the apartheid government, a farm and a government school for the impoverished students of Vryburg. What it has done best is demand excellence from all its pupils.Over the years, Tiger Kloof developed into one of the top schools for the elite of what became Botswana. When the country gained independence in 1965, its entire first cabinet was made up of old Tigers. The first two presidents, who governed for a total of 33 years – Sir Seretse Khama and Sir Ketumile Masire – were also former students of this school in rural North West Province. Among other illustrious alumni are Dr Ruth Mompati, former South African ambassador to Switzerland and ex mayor of Vryburg, and Motsamai Mpho, a veteran of Botswana politics and one of 67 men who stood trial with Chief Albert Luthuli for treason.As Masire said recently: “One day, Botswana will build a memorial to Tiger Kloof.”Bumping over the railway tracks towards the gates of Tiger Kloof, visitors pass a foundation stone laid by its London Missionary Society founders. “No one can lay any other foundation than that already laid, which is Jesus Christ,” it reads. It is the guiding spirit that has helped the school rise, fall and resurrect itself. It is a lesson the people of Botswana understand perfectly; faith leads to action.Missionary schoolA plea by the Batswana royal house to Queen Victoria for a school to educate the elite led to the arrival of the Reverend WC Willoughby of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Bechuanaland. Though he was Christian, the Batswana leader, Khama the Great, distrusted the intentions of Willoughby and refused him permission to build a school within the borders of what would become Botswana. Willoughby had to travel 300 kilometres south to build on an open piece of veld on a stop of the Cape to Cairo railroad. As Moeding, or “the place of running water” as the school was called in Setswana, grew it became a centre of academic excellence with a teachers training college, as well as an industrial and Bible school.Aubrey Lewis was the headmaster in 1953 when the South African government passed the Bantu Education Act. The pacifist LMS pastor believed that the Act, which wanted to keep black Africans as simple hewers of wood and drawers of water, went against his and the school’s Christian principles. For two years the missionaries tried to walk a line between the government policy and their own conscience before finally leaving. Tiger Kloof lurched along as a government school until 1962, when students rioted, burning down the original boys’ hostel. Today the school’s new media centre is built on the foundations of that building.Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoed took a personal interest in this “black spot” of a school and shut it down in 1966. The land was sold cheaply to a local white farmer in return for a promise that he would destroy all the buildings on the land. The buildings were all built using stone quarried on the land in the style of the missionary stations that dotted Africa – sturdy, beautiful buildings that were meant to celebrate the glory of God. The farmer who bought the land could not bring himself to tear them down; instead he used them to house his cattle or just neglected them.For 30 years they crumbled from neglect until David Matthews, headmaster of Maru-a-pula school in Gaborone, wondered about the history of the derelict buildings he passed as he drove along the N14 to Botswana. Discovering the rich, deep connections between Tiger Kloof and Botswana, he pushed prominent old Tigers in Botswana to help resurrect the school.Reopened by TutuIn his speech at the school’s re-opening in 1995, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose mother had attended Tiger Kloof, expressed the hope that the school would once again produce the next generation of leaders. “Leaders who will lead their communities while holding firmly to the values that they have learned at Tiger Kloof.”It has hardly rained in Vryburg for two years, not till today – 5 February – that is, when the sun stayed hidden behind foreboding grey clouds. The sky opened and a deluge covered the town, turning streets into streams and playing fields into ponds. It’s late in the morning and pupils at Tiger Kloof are dancing across the torrents streaming down into the quarry on the school grounds. They laugh as they race through the running water, with pants turned up to their knees. The delighted children take pictures of themselves and their friends as they jump off the planks laid over the streams and into the water.Many of the school’s students come from Vryburg’s impoverished Huhudi settlement and were unable to get to school. It has been a wasted school day says Mark Boobbyer, the school’s director. “No matter; we used the day to take the kids down to the quarry to look at the waterfall. Once the quarry has filled up we will use it as a classroom for our leadership and teambuilding classes.”Tiger Kloof’s embrace of non-traditional subjects has created a climate that allows each student to grow to their potential. Since it re-opened as a government school it has steadily improved its matric pass rate, with a 100 % success in 2010. In its first year, the school had just 25 students; today it caters to 670 students from Grade R to matric, with about 180 boarders. There are pupils from 13 countries, but most of the students are drawn from the townships of Vryburg where unemployment is about 80%. The best of those students, those willing to work diligently and hard, are given bursaries.Financing the school, which is uncommon because it is a government school on private land, is a constant challenge. Boobbyer explains that the boarders help to subsidise the day learners but, “to run the school we manage. To develop the school we need to fund raise.”What was originally the girls’ school at Tiger Kloof now houses the primary school (Image: Mark Boobbyer)Foreign fundingDecisions taken when the school re-opened have made it easier to tap into foreign funding and allowed students to travel, he says. It is a member of Round Square, a network of international schools, which allows Tiger Kloof to switch students and teachers through the network’s exchange programmes. Membership of Round Square and the Solon Education Fund also allows the school to tap into a stream of international donors.Tiger Kloof embraces three principles that guide the spirit of teaching. First, because the school sits on 1 200 hectares of farmland, they teach the children to embrace the idea of sustainable living. Second, they expect students to get involved in the school’s service projects, including feeding people in their own settlements through the soup kitchens they run. Finally, the school’s association with Round Square allows the children of rural North West to interact with international students, which helps open their eyes to the world beyond their doors.“In a few weeks I will be travelling to England with some students on a fundraising trip. We do cultural or sporting exchanges as well. It helps our kids realise how big the world is and they develop a sense that their dreams can be as big as the world,” Boobbyer explains.Pupils come from 8 countries across southern Africa, all drawn by the school’s reputation. A big part of that reputation has been earned by the dedication of the teaching staff. They are drawn from across the globe and across creeds and race. But the school, in Boobbyer’s opinion, lacks male teachers, especially black men to act as role models for the children. Ideally, he would like to see former students come back to teach.“I can’t overestimate the importance of having black male role models standing in front of a class, but teaching is not an aspirational profession for them. Tiger Kloof is such a special place, I think it would take someone who was a student here to understand and be able to pass on the values we hold dear.”There are still deserted buildings on the grounds of Tiger Kloof, old ghosts that refused to die despite the best efforts of a hateful system. Boobbyer and his staff work tirelessly to win funding to build facilities to match the reputation the school has earned. “Tiger Kloof is like the mustard tree in the parable of Jesus. It starts small but grows to be the largest garden plant and all sorts of animals come and refresh themselves in its shade and branches.”last_img read more

Announcing the October Geocacher of the Month

first_imgThe earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoin (sun flare optional)The geocaching community gave thanks this past month for three dedicated geocachers from three very different corners of the world. All the nominees were creative hiders who have committed themselves not only to maintaining their geocaches, but also to maintaining and growing friendships within the geocaching community. Each will receive special recognition for their contribution to the global adventure of geocaching.Before naming the Geocacher of the Month, Geocaching HQ  reviews community input and blog comments. Each comment is read.After tallying the sentiment and reading the comments, Mic68  has been officially named the Geocacher of the Month for October 2013.One geocacher who commented wrote, “After visiting “Dragonheart” I kept referring to this cache as the best I’ve ever done. By now they have published another one which we have just finished a couple of weeks ago and I have to say that this cache definitely is a milestone in geocaching! Wow! In Germany people are willing to travel quite a bit if the cache is worth it and I see people flocking in. The mixture of storytelling, suspense, technical know-how and fun is hard to beat.  Also, this team is immensely nice and helpful! All in all they are very worthy candidates and I would be happy for them to win!”Mic68 will receive the earned, never for sale, collector’s edition Geocacher of the Month Geocoin, along with a Geocacher of the Month hat and a certificate acknowledging his contribution, signed by two of the founders of Geocaching.com. See a list of all the Geocachers of the Month here.Mic68 – Geocacher of the MonthIf you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, send an email to [email protected] Every nomination must include the following items and abide by theNetherlands following guidelines:Your name, the name of your nominee, their usernameA picture of the nomineeDescription (200 or more words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Geocacher of the MonthPlease inform your nominee that you have submitted them for the award. Nominations for Geocacher of the Month are accepted at any time.Congratulations again to Mic68  for being recognized as the Geocacher of the Month for October.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedAnnouncing the July 2013 Geocacher of the MonthAugust 23, 2013In “Community”Announcing the October ‘Featured Geocacher of the Month’October 25, 2011In “Community”Featured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community”last_img read more