English Premier League Standings

first_imgPoint STANDINGSPOS LP CLUB P W D L GF GA GD PTS1 (3) Arsenal 16 10 3 3 29 13 16 332 (1) Man City 16 10 2 4 32 17 15 323 (2) Leicester 15 9 5 1 32 21 11 324 (4) Man U 16 8 5 3 21 12 9 295 (5) Tottenham 16 6 8 2 26 14 12 266 (6) Crystal P 16 8 2 6 21 15 6 267 (7) Watford 16 7 4 5 18 16 2 258 (8) West Ham 16 6 6 4 25 21 4 249 (10) Liverpool 16 6 6 4 20 19 1 2410 (9) Everton 16 5 8 3 29 21 8 2311 (11) Stoke City 16 6 5 5 13 14 -1 2312 (12) S.hampton 16 5 6 5 21 19 2 2113 (13) West Brom 16 5 5 6 16 21 -5 2014 (14) Bournem 16 4 4 8 20 31 -11 1615 (18) Newcastle 16 4 4 8 18 31 -13 1616 (15) Chelsea 15 4 3 8 17 24 -7 1517 (16) Swansea 16 3 5 8 15 24 -9 1418 (17) Norwich 16 3 5 8 18 28 -10 1419 (19) Sunderland 16 3 3 10 17 30 -13 1220 (20) Aston Villa 16 1 3 12 13 30 -17 6last_img read more

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Bayern rout Hamburg 8-0

first_imgBERLIN (AP):Bayern Munich gave Hamburger SV another thrashing at home in the Bundesliga yesterday with Robert Lewandowski scoring a hat-trick in an 8-0 rout before coach Carlo Ancelotti took pity on the visitors.Lewandowski was replaced with the score at 5-0 and more than half an hour to play.Bayern lead Hamburg 45-3 on aggregate over eight straight defeats for the northern team in Munich.After several lacklustre performances in the league, Bayern stepped up a level against Hamburg, playing at pace with determination and commitment, dominating possession and forcing the game.”It was a perfect day, a perfect game,” Ancelotti said of his 1,000th competitive game as a coach. “I told my players before the game to play a good game for my jubilee, but I didn’t expect this.”It was only a matter of time before the first goal came. David Alaba ran at the Hamburg defence, found Thomas Mueller in the centre, and the Germany forward laid it back for Arturo Vidal to rifle in the ball despite Rene Adler’s hand in the 17th.STRUCK THE CROSSBARLewandowski struck the crossbar from close range a minute later, but he claimed his 17th of the season from the penalty spot minutes later, after Mergim Mavraj brought down Mueller, who has endured a difficult season.Lewandowski’s league-leading 18th came before the break, when Mueller chased down a hopeless-looking ball, pulled it back for Douglas Costa, who was blocked, only for Lewandowski to cleverly send the rebound in under the crossbar.The Poland striker completed his hat-trick in the 54th, set up with a back-heel from Arjen Robben, and he was involved in Bayern’s fifth goal, too, sending Mueller through to set up Alaba two minutes later.Other results: Leizig 3 Cologne 1; Freiburg 0 Dortmund 3; Bayer Leverkusen 0 Mainz 2; Darmstadt 1 Augsburg 2.last_img read more

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Cal State `steals’ victory from Chico St.

first_imgThe Coyotes trapped the opponent and stole the inbounds pass, with Pierce retrieving a loose ball and hitting the layup with eight seconds left. Chico’s last-second shot was off the rim and out of bounds off a Coyote defender as time expired. Two of the three officials even left the court. But one second was put back on the clock, giving the Wildcats another shot. They ran a lob pass for Andy Bocian, but he didn’t get the shot up in time. Chet Johnson led the Coyotes with 19 points, while Ivan Johnson and Yoseph Yaisrael chipped in with 14. It was the eighth straight loss for Chico (6-16, 4-13), which last won Jan.18. The Wildcats got 29 from Bocian and 22 from Baird. The Coyotes play Cal State Stanislaus (11-13, 7-10) at 7:30 tonight. The Warriors lost to Cal Poly Pomona 89-83 Friday. No. 20 Cal State San Bernardino needed a last-second layup by Marlon Pierce to edge host Chico State 83-82 on Friday at Acker Gym. “It’s been a long time since we stole one. We had no business winning this one,” Coyotes coach Jeff Oliver said. The Coyotes (17-5, 13-4), ranked second in the West Region, trailed 81-79 after Chico’s Jon Baird drained his seventh 3-pointer of the game with 56 seconds left. After a Chico free throw made it 82-79, the Coyotes got closer on a dunk by Ivan Johnson, making it 82-81 with 14 seconds left. center_img CAL STATE WOMEN The Coyotes shot just 37 percent (20-for-54) from the field and had 24 turnovers in an 82-55 loss to No. 16 Chico State. The Coyotes (15-7 overall, 11-6 CCAA), ranked sixth in the West, were led by Vanessa Wilt with 13 points and six rebounds. Denise Snyder added 10 points and five rebounds while Ashlee Ford tallied four assists and three steals. The Wildcats (17-4, 13-4) got 20 points from Audrianna Spencer. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Football notables work on safety net for teen players

first_imgCHICAGO – Football breaks bodies, not just bones, more than most of us want to remember. Play stops for a few moments, the crowd goes silent and prayers follow the loaded-up cart rumbling off the field. Some of those players never climb down or walk again. “Think of your own son being paralyzed, with no insurance, and what that would do to your family, your job, your whole life,” said Bears coach Lovie Smith, who’s been instrumental with both his time and money in helping Grossnickle’s “Halftime Book Project” reach a wider audience. “It’s something we all live in fear of, but until you see it, or deal with it,” Smith added, “it doesn’t really hit home. And as good as football has been to a lot of us, it’s time to do a lot more. Especially at the grass-roots level.” Progress has been slow, but signs the game is coming to grips with that shameful part of its legacy are scattered throughout recent headlines. All during Super Bowl week, Mike Ditka lobbied poignantly on behalf of broken-down, destitute former players too proud to beg for the medical benefits they deserve for helping build the game. Just Wednesday, former Green Bay Packers great Jerry Kramer announced that donations and an auction he put together to assist some of those same pros brought in $125,000, including $12,200 for a ring Ditka put on the block. But none of those funds will trickle down to where Grossnickle and the young men he helps are struggling. And while raising money is a short-term goal – to help families deal with the trauma and cost of a catastrophic injury; to make sure high school coaches, referees and school officials are more knowledgeable and better prepared about how to avert them in the first place – Grossnickle has something grander in mind. What he envisions is a “high school warrior alliance,” a national clearinghouse that provides not just information and resources, but counselors in the form of kids who have been paralyzed themselves. That way, he explains, it’s not just help, but self-help. “Fortunately, it doesn’t happen to a lot of kids, but it’s a byproduct of the game we all still love, and these kids need and deserve a reason to get up in the morning, too,” he said. “At some point, football has to step up and say, `We take care of our own.”‘ In Grossnickle’s case, that happened shortly after he heard the story of Rob Komosa, who was paralyzed while playing on the scout team in practice at a nearby high school, then spent months trapped in his bedroom while his parents, Polish immigrants who spoke little English, tried to cope with medical and financial problems overwhelming them. Grossnickle began by helping widen the door frame in Rob’s bedroom. Next, he helped build a ramp at the front door, and then started in on the paperwork. Eventually, it consumed so much time that Grossnickle resigned his job as an assistant principal – “I’m lucky,” he recalled, “I’m old enough, with enough put away to do this” – and made it a full-time cause. In no time, other paralyzed high school athletes started finding him. So Grossnickle talked former Bears coach Dick Jauron and the late Randy Walker, Northwestern’s football coach at the time, into helping out. When Smith replaced Jauron with the Bears, and Pat Fitzgerald picked up the mantle at Northwestern after Walker’s sudden death, those organizations’ bonds to the “Halftime Book Project” got even stronger. “We need to remember the opportunity the game gave us,” said Fitzgerald, one of the speakers at the banquet. “This gives us an opportunity to give something back to those in need.” Bears community relations director Caroline Guip plans to bring the “Halftime Book Project” to the attention of the league at business meetings in the spring and propose each team in the league explore setting up a similar initiative in their towns. Grossnickle has found only one other project up and running, in Texas, where Eddie Canales started out looking after his son, Chris, who was paralyzed in a high school game, and now ministers more than a dozen kids. “We could both use some help,” Grossnickle said. It could be on the way. At most football banquets, from Pee Wee leagues on up to the NFL, some awards or scholarships are handed out, a few people speak and the luminaries in the crowd take a bow. All of that happened Thursday night in Chicago, too. But somewhere in the middle, after Grossnickle passed out copies of an inspirational book he self-published to raise money for the project and told the stories of the kids in the wheelchairs surrounding him, the game took an important first step. It’s not enough to just look at these kids and say, “`There but for the grace of God go I.’ What we’re asking people in football to do is help us pull together a safety net,” he said, “because nobody knows when they’re going to fall.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img It happens rarely in the NFL – on average, only once every four years – but 10 times a year in high school games across the country. Worse still, we forget about nearly all of those soon enough. That’s what made a football banquet being thrown Thursday night by the Chicago chapter of the American Football Foundation so different. Thanks to tireless campaigning by a retired high school administrator named Don Grossnickle, and a little help from some high-profile friends, a handful of former players in wheelchairs were invited to tell comeback stories nobody in the audience will ever forget. last_img
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Batoto ba Mungu sign Rwandese midfielder

first_img0Shares0000Rwandese Midfielder Justin Mico in action for Police during a past league match. PHOTO/Rwanda TimesNAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29- Three-time Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield champions Sofapaka have completed the signing of attacking midfielder Justin Mico on a three year deal from Rwandese Premier League side Police FC.Mico becomes Sofapaka’s fourth signing of the mid-season transfer window with the club having already signed Piston Mutamba from Wazito FC, Dennis Odhiambo from Thika United and Wycliffe Kasaya from Mathare. “He is a very good addition to the team because he can play virtually anywhere across the midfield. He has very good attacking play and I think he will be helpful for us in that number 10 role,” Sofapaka head coach John Baraza said.Baraza believes that the addition of four new players into the squad will inject some much needed competition and the team will now be able to fully compete for the KPL crown with Gor Mahia as well as challenge for their fourth Shield title.“I think we now have a very good team because looking at all departments, there is nowhere we are short. People should now start looking at us very seriously and we will not be easy to beat in the second leg,” the tactician further added.-Tusker sign GateriDavid Gateri after being unveiled as a Tusker FC player. PHOTO/Tusker FCMeanwhile, Robert Matano has continued with his revamp mission at Tusker FC with the acquisition of utility left footer David Gateri.The former Kenyan international has had unsuccessful stints at Bandari and Nakumatt and will be looking to resuscitate his career with the brewers.Matano has already brought on board Faraj Ominde from Chemelil Sugar and goalkeepers Patrick Matasi from Posta Rangers and Robert Mboya from Mathare United as he looks to lift the side from a poor campaign.Elsewhere, AFC Leopards who on Thursday signed Nigerian striker Alex Orotomal from Rwandese Premier League side Sunrise FC. This follows the acquisition of Saad Musa, Said Tsuma and Eugene Mukangula from Thika United.Head coach John Baraza believes with the four additions, the club will now be in place to challenge for at least one trophy and has warned they will be a tough team to beat in the second leg.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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‘I feel good at Arsenal, I want to win the title’ – Striker plays down exit talk

first_img Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring for Arsenal Olivier Giroud wants to stay at Arsenal to help them win the Premier League.The striker has had a mixed season with the Gunners and he has been linked with a summer move to Marseille as a result.The France international, 30, has admitted nothing is set in stone regarding his future, but he would like to stay at the Emirates to help Arsenal end their 13-year title drought.“There is nothing fixed, but I would say that today I feel good at Arsenal,” Giroud told French website football.fr.“I have two more years on my contract, we will see what the future will be.“The Premier League is an increasingly high-profile and contested championship, where five or six teams can potentially claim the title.“This is why I still want to continue to want to win this title.” 1last_img read more

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Le Tissier backs Southampton over Puel sacking, claiming club took big step down

first_imgMatt Le Tissier says he fully understands Southampton’s decision to sack manager Claude Puel – and trusts the club will find the ideal replacement.Puel was axed on Wednesday after just 12 months in charge following an end-of-season review by executive director Les Reed.The Frenchman led the Saints to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League last season and to the League Cup final – their first major final appearance in 14 years.But Le Tissier believes the club have gone backwards under the 55-year-old and he does not disagree with the decision to make a managerial change.Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, the Saints legend said: “On the face of it you would say it looks very harsh and I can understand why a lot of people outside of Southampton are thinking that 100 per cent.“However, when you look deeper at the facts: we were 17 points worse off than we were last season, we were six points off 17th place which, given what we had done the prevous three years, was a big step down.“That was coupled with a lack of goals, a really poor Europa League campaign in which we failed to get out of a pretty weak group, and the fact Sunderland were the only team that scored less home goals than we did last season“Looking from the outside it does look harsh and the League Cup final was a terrific performance but, unfortunately, that was the exception to the rule this season.“From what I understand the club gave him every chance to be in charge next season if he was willing to change his style of play and by all accounts there was no budging on that.“He didn’t think he did anything wrong, he felt what he was doing was the right way to go about things and that is where the disagreement came around. That is why it has taken so long to make the decision.”Having seen Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman leave for rival clubs in recent years, Southampton are used to searching for managers and Le Tissier is confident they will identify the right man to succeed Puel.“The club have done pretty well in picking their managers,” said Le Tissier,“The last two before Claude were very successful and moved on pretty quickly.“As a Saints fan, I trust in the club to do their homework properly and come up with the right man to take us forward.”last_img read more

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DONEGAL’S LISA CROWNED NATIONAL CHAMPION

first_imgLISA: NATIONAL CHAMPBy Orla O’Reilly: National Championship for Ramelton RiderThere was an air of anticipation as the riders and judges gathered in the indoor arena of the legendary Stradbally Hall, Co Laois, for the rider’s briefing of this year’s Trec Ireland National Championships. Traceur, Adrian Flynn and Technical Delegate, Karen Nicholson laid down the ground rules and the guidelines for all three phases of the competition. Riders from across Ireland and Britain were informed that they would start their competition in a map room at Leech’s pub of Wolfhill and the level 3 and 4 competitors would navigate their way 30 kilometres across country back to the estate.It was late afternoon on Saturday before the last riders were welcomed over the finish line by judges, Grainne Ni Uid and Adele O’Connor. At the end of this orienteering phase, Donegal rider, Lisa Moore lay in 3rd place behind senior rider Elaine Waters and Leinster’s Rohan Madhaven. Sunday morning brought an early start for competitors with a vetting inspection before riders could progress to the second and third phase of the competition. Course designer, Adrian Flynn took full advantage of the beautiful parklands to produce a fast and exciting obstacle phase that saw riders taking on challenging but straight forward cross country jumps in combination with the more technical Trec style ones. The course flowed over almost 3 kilometres and the riders were required to attack the course to avoid time penalties. With a gap to catch the leaders, Moore and her cracking pony, Jo Dazzler combined bravery and accuracy to gain high scoring in both the PTV (cross county obstacles) and MA (control of paces) tests.The hard work paid off and the announcement of Lisa Moore as National Champion (Level 3) gained rapturous applause at the presentation in the lawns of the majestic Stradbally Hall. She was also presented with the Grangeclare Perpetual Cup, presented to the highest scoring Irish rider in each grade.Trec Ireland will like to thank all who made the staging of this championship possible, sponsors, Horse First, the volunteers who came to judge and help, to vet Kate Murray, farrier Finian Carroll and all of Leinster Trec who hosted the event.With the national championships over, attentions now turn to the World Championships in Bolognia, Italy at the start of September. Six young riders have been selected to represent Ireland, Donegal’s Lisa Moore, Rohan Madavan, Katie Smith and Edward Coyle from Leinster, Cork rider Annie O’Neill and Athlone based Kirsten McCormack. As preparations for the event continues, the riders would like to thank all who have supported their efforts in fund raising and training for the championships. Thank you to all who have offered sponsorship and sent messages of support. If you would like to help the team in any way, please contact pro@trecireland.com  DONEGAL’S LISA CROWNED NATIONAL CHAMPION was last modified: August 2nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Lisa MooreNational ChampionRameltonlast_img read more

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Mulaudzi, Robbeson: SA’s best

first_img14 March 2007The world’s number-one ranked 800 metres athlete, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, and former world junior heptathlon champion Justine Robbeson, now ranked eighth in the world in the javelin, have been voted South Africa’s Athletes of 2006. The selections were made by members of SA Athletics Statisticians.Mulaudzi enjoyed a superb season in 2006, setting Europe alight with a string of excellent performances that included defeating all the other top-ranked 800 metres runners in the world, as well as setting the fastest time of the year when he clocked 1 min 43.09 in Rieti, Italy.Robbeson’s year was highlighted by a South African record throw of 62.80 metres at a meeting in Finland and a bronze medal at the IAAF World Cup meeting in Athens.In the footsteps of SepengHezekiel Sepeng was the first South African athlete, after the country’s return from isolation, to really capture the public’s imagination in the 800 metres. In 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics he won silver in the event in 1:42.74 as Norway’s Vebjørn Rodal captured gold in an Olympic record 1:42.58.Since then, though, Mulaudzi has both equalled Sepeng’s Olympic silver and bettered the rest of his achievements.Mulaudzi was a late starter to serious athletics, only focusing his attention on the sport at the age of 17 after he had represented Northern Province (now Limpopo) in the South African National Championships.He finished fourth in the 800 metres in 1:55 and third in the 1 500 metres in four minutes. However, he realized he wasn’t far off the achievements of the winners, and this provided him with enough encouragement to improve his training.Upward climbFrom that point onwards it was an upward climb for Mulaudzi as he won the national schools title in the 800 metres in 1998. In 1999 he was crowned the national junior champion, and in the same year won the African junior title in 1 min 49.13.He continued to show improvement and a year later, in 2002, claimed silver in the 800m at the African Senior Championships. During the year he lowered his personal best time to 1:45.55 while competing in Budapest. However, he failed to crack the nod for a place in the South African team to the Sydney Olympic Games.The following year, though, Mulaudzi was in national colours for the World Championships in Edmonton, where he finished sixth. He also lowered his personal best to 1:44.01.Commonwealth Games goldThe next year he won gold for South Africa at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, picked up bronze at the African Championships, and further improved his personal best to 1:43.81.After fighting through injuries early in 2003, Mulaudzi returned in good form, recording a time of 1:43.25 in Rehlingen, Germany. At the World Championships in Paris he claimed bronze. Later in the year, in Brussels, he broke through the 1:43 barrier for the first time, with a run of 1:42.89.By that time it had become clear that Mulaudzi had overtaken Sepeng as South Africa’s premier 800 metres athlete as he beat the man he considered his idol in 13 out of 16 races.Indoor world champ, Olympic silverIn 2004 Mulaudzi competed in indoor events in Europe, and was well rewarded when he captured gold at the World Indoor Championships in Budapest. Later in the year, in Athens, he secured silver in the Olympics.2005 proved to be a difficult year for the South African star as he struggled with injuries and the pressure of high expectations. Matters caught up to him when he failed to qualify for the 800m finals at the World Championships in Helsinki.Were Mulaudzi’s best days behind him? Not likely. And he proved that with his fantastic showing in 2006 as he ascended to the number one ranking in the world.HeptathleteRobbeson is just 21 years of age, but she has been competing at a high level for a while, originally in the heptathlon, but now as a javelin thrower.She chose to concentrate on the javelin, not because she didn’t “have it” as a heptathlete, but rather because it became clear that she potentially ranked as one of the world’s best javelin throwers.Robbeson’s first taste of international success came back in 2003 when she won silver at the All Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria in the heptathlon.The following year, at Grosseto in Italy, she won the World Junior Championships.Seed was sownIt was possibly at that event that the seed was sown for Robbeson in the javelin. Involved in a tight battle with Lithuania’s Viktorija Zemaityte for the heptathlon title, she pulled ahead with a big throw in the javelin to create enough of a cushion to win, despite an 800 metres run she later described as “pathetic”.Her victory marked the first time an African athlete had won the title of the best all-round athlete in the 18-year history of the championships.In 2005 Robbeson turned to the javelin. She took part in the Universiade in Ýzmir, Turkey, which had drawn 9 000 athletes from 170 countries. Faced with stiff competition, she managed third place.African championIn 2006, Robbeson was crowned African champion in Bambous, Mauritius, thanks to a throw of 60.60 metres. Then, representing Africa the World Cup in Athens, she launched the javelin 61.38 metres to win the bronze medal.Her early performances in 2007 indicate that there is plenty more to come from Robbeson. At the end of February, while taking part in the CNW Provincial Championships, she dominated her event with throws of 61.06m, 61.92m, and 61.70m.Later, after the official competition was over, she threw a massive 62.70 metres, just 10 centimetres shy of her national record.FinalistsOthers in the running for the award won by Mulaudzi were hurdlers LJ van Zyl and Alwyn Myburgh, long jumper and triple jumper Khotso Mokoena, and long distance star Hendrick Ramaala.For her part, Robbeson faced competition from discus thrower Elizna Naude, Commonwealth Games javelin gold medal winner Sunette Viljoen, heptathlete Janice Josephs, and sprinter Geraldine Pillay.The men’s junior athlete of the year award for went to Robert Oosthuizen, who continued South Africa’s strong tradition in the javelin when he won the gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Beijing. The women’s award went to Simone du Toit, who finished just outside the medals in the shot put and discus at the World Juniors. She was world youth champion in the shot put in 2005.Hennie Kotze was an easy choice for coach of the year as three of his athletes – LJ van Zyl (gold), Alwyn Myburgh (silver), and Pieter de Villiers (seventh) – made the Commonwealth Games final in the 400 metres hurdles. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Vaya: based on three separate true stories

first_imgThree strangers, one journey – Vaya unpicks the stories of three characters who are travelling to Joburg. It explores their expectations – and the realities – of the big city.Zanele, played by Zimkitha Nyoka, hopes to change her life by moving to Jozi. (Image: Rififi Pictures)Sulaiman PhilipPeople have always been drawn to the big city, and this pull is at the heart of the new feature film from award-winning director Akin Omotoso.Vaya tells three separate stories of three passengers travelling from KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg. They are strangers on a train whose destinies are intertwined as they navigate the foreign and exotic world with which they are unprepared to deal.His film was about the challenge of not losing yourself in a new place, Omotoso told Variety. And it is based on the true stories of writers in the Homeless Writers Project, a writing workshop for people living on the streets of Johannesburg.Nhlanhla (Sihle Xaba) is drawn to Jozi by the promise of easy wealth. (Image: Riffifi Pictures)“Vaya is the story of travellers who arrive in Johannesburg with different hopes and plans, only to discover the hard realities of life when you’re not in control of your own destiny. I wanted to explore the feeling of arrival – with its built-in expectations and fears – in a way that’s true to a lot of places.”Sibusiso Msimang is Nkulu, the oldest son changed by the journey to collect his fathers remains. (Image: Riffifi Pictures)Nkulu, played by Sibusiso Msimang, is travelling to fetch his father’s remains so they can be buried in his rural home. Zanele (Zimkhitha Nyoka) is chaperoning a young girl on her way to meet her mother. For her, the trip is a chance to change her life and make her dreams come true. Sihle Xaba plays Nhlanhla, a young man attracted by the prospect of quick and easy money. Unable to pay his dowry, he accepts a job from his cousin that promises to solve his financial woes.Eight years in the making, Vaya premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and had a limited run to qualify for Oscar consideration. It opened in South Africa at the end of October. “Many filmmakers have utilised the network narrative to relay broad social commentary,” said Cameron Bailey, director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “Omotoso, bolstered by brilliant performances and Kabelo Thathe’s sizzling camerawork, wisely focuses on tension, character and milieu, leaving the conclusions up to us.”Omotoso holds that his belief in story-telling, as opposed to action-driven moviemaking, makes Vaya a better film. It gives audiences, he says, a way to identify with characters who live lives very different from their own.“You’ve gotta find something in the stories that resonates with its people, and just the idea of what it’s like to not have your own urgency, what it’s like to be at the mercy of other people – that is the key element explored in Vaya.”The long creative process has resulted in a film of which Omotoso and his team are rightly proud. It gave the production team, and its first-time script writers, the opportunity to flesh out a story that has been described as “amazing”.“Having walked with this film for years, I felt a bit like a marathon runner, who prepares themselves for everything, including the emotional roller coaster to come. The shooting was not easy, as we shot in real locations with real challenges but the readiness and vision shared by everyone involved was there.”Akin Okomotso at the Vaya screening at the Berlinale in Germany. (Image: Berlinale)Vaya’s international success has shone a light on the quality of African film. Omotoso says new technologies and new platforms make this an exciting time to be an African filmmaker. The world, he argues, is ready for African filmmakers telling African stories.What is needed to build a sustainable film industry able to create high-quality content is easier access to funding, growing audiences, holding down costs by improving infrastructure, and improving distribution and marketing.“Sustainability in the long run means that multiple projects can be developed and given the utmost opportunity to be successful. And somebody has to fund your film, and hopefully you want to give that person their money back.  And the distributor has to put the film out and they too want to get their money back. How you get your content to the audience is still a compelling discussion. But it’s a very exciting time to be a filmmaker.”Okomotso says African filmmakers must continue to build on the foundations laid by pioneering African artists. A Nigerian, he has lived in South Africa for a decade. He points to his own multicultural life experience to explain the edge African filmmakers have.African artists must not “squander the opportunity to tell (African) stories”, he says. They must take advantage of the opportunities that are now available. “It’s important for the world that African cinema exists.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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