North, South Korea hockey players team up for Olympics

first_imgAlmazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Murray has said that the North Koreans’ hard-hitting style would make them suited to be her fourth line, a group of players who are typically asked to provide strong physical play in short bursts while giving their teammates with greater scoring responsibilities a chance to rest.Murray, who examined the North Koreans first hand during an event in Gangneung last year, has identified five players as memorable, but among them, only forwards Jong Su Hyon and Kim Hyang Mi made the trip for the Olympics.The unified Korean team will open their group action against Switzerland on Feb. 10. It will then face Sweden on Feb. 12 and Japan on Feb. 14. What draws attention is its Japan match, as many in both Koreas still harbor bitter resentment against Japan’s 35-year colonial rule that ended in 1945, three years before two different governments were formally established on the Korean Peninsula.Conservatives in Seoul have held a series of small-scale rallies in recent days. On Monday, activists burned Kim’s photo and a North Korean flag as the head of the North’s popular girl band passed by them during a visit to the capital. North Korea responded Tuesday by warning similar actions could disrupt ongoing reconciliation efforts.South Korean officials hope an Olympic-inspired mood of detente would serve as a stepping stone to the resumption of diplomatic talks that could slow down North Korea’s nuclear advancement. North Korea, however, has insisted it won’t discuss its nuclear program during its ongoing talks with South Korea, and some experts warn that tensions could flare again after the Olympics.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year The North Koreans traveled on to a national athletes’ village in southern South Korea, where they were welcomed by their South Korean teammates and Canadian coach Sarah Murray, who presented them flower bouquets in an outdoor welcoming ceremony.“I sincerely welcome your arrival,” Lee Jae-kun, head of the athletes’ village, told the North Koreans after they got off a bus.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkPark Chol Ho, a North Korean coach who arrived with the 12 athletes and two support staff, told reporters that he’s happy to team up with South Koreans. “I’m very pleased with the fact that North and South are united as one to participate in (the Olympics). I expect we’ll see good results if we unite our efforts … though we don’t have much time,” he said.The Korean players later shouted “We are one!” and took a group photo. North and South Korean players plan to practice separately for several days as Murray needs time to learn about the North Koreans. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. North Korean women’s ice hockey players arrive at the South Korea’s national training center, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Jincheon, South Korea. Twelve North Korean female hockey players have crossed the border into South Korea to form the rivals’ first-ever Olympic team during next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Games. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)SEOUL, South Korea — Female hockey players from the rival Koreas were paired up with each other Thursday to form their first-ever Olympic squad during next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Games, as their countries press ahead with rare reconciliation steps following a period of nuclear tensions.A dozen North Korean hockey players wearing white-and-red winter parkas crossed the heavily fortified border into South Korea earlier Thursday, as about 30-40 conservative activists shouted anti-Pyongyang slogans at a nearby border area.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track View comments The players were sharing the same locker room and the lockers of the North Korean players were deliberately placed between those of their South Korean teammates so that they could become close quickly, according to Yonhap news agency.The Koreas fielded a single team to major sports events only twice, both in 1991. One event was the world table tennis championships and the other soccer’s World Youth Championship. But this is the first time they’ve assembled a single team for the Olympics.The Koreas explored how to cooperate in the Olympics after the North’s leader Kim Jong Un abruptly said in his New Year’s address that he was willing to send an Olympic delegation. As part of the rapprochement deals, the Koreas also agreed for their athletes to march together under a single flag during the Feb. 9 opening ceremony. Some experts say North Korea may want to use improved ties with the South as a way to weaken U.S.-led international sanctions.The International Olympic Committee has allowed 22 North Korean athletes, including the 12 hockey players, to compete in Pyeongchang in exceptional entries given to the North, which initially had none for the games. The 10 others will compete in figure skating, short track speed skating, Alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. They will come to South Korea on Feb. 1.The joint hockey team deal has triggered a backlash in South Korea, with a survey showing about 70 percent of respondents opposing the idea because it would deprive South Korean players of playing time. The IOC-brokered agreement requires at least three North Korean players to suit up for each game, meaning that three from South Korea’s original roster cannot play in those games.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson D-League: Zark’s-Lyceum destroys AMA by 24 OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacsonlast_img read more

A Visit to Bomi Lake

first_imgSometimes the most exciting weekend activities are visits to places that are off limits to the mind. That makes the journey all the more fascinating; especially to places we don’t get to visit often. Bomi Lake is situated in the middle of the surrounding mountains and is about 300 feet deep. The area was once an iron ore mine owned by the Liberia Mining Company, which finally closed down in the late 1970s due to the reduction of iron ore on the world market.After we passed Tubmanburg, the capital city of Bomi County, the LIB Life team had to stop and ask for directions, as the road leading to the lake has no signs directing travelers on their expedition. The road from Tubmanburg to Bomi Lake is not that long but is a very rough, uphill terrain. It is recommended that a sport-utility or higher-built vehicle be used when accessing the lake. The lake is a regular hangout spot for many youth living in Tubmanburg. On the way up the mountain, there are groups of them going and coming from the place, and can readily give directions on the right way. It only took us a few minutes before we parked in front of our destination: a calm, beautiful lake with an amazing history.As we drove through the rock, the spectacular view revealed itself in the sun’s reflection on top of the water, giving it the blue surface from whence its name is derived. When our LIB Life team drove further down to the mouth of the lake, I noticed that the iron ore mining operations had left large cascading platforms on the mountains, but that was not all. I was surprised to find that the water had risen to the extent that it covered the vast hole left behind. I began to wonder where the water came from to fill the crater, since it is not linked to any flowing water sources. When I asked one of the boys who were taking care of the area to show me where the water came from, he pointed his finger directly up a mountain far above the lake in front of me. It became clear to me that the waters sprang from there and ran down into the crater. Indeed, the mark indicating the water’s origin and trail was clear. On that particular day, however, I saw no water running down into the crater, and I again asked why. He explained to me that we are in the dry season; but that when the rains arrive, the water will flow again. Whether rain or shine, however, the lake never rises above its banks, nor does it run dry.It was not just the color of the water that fascinated me but also its warmth, purity, and the incredible beauty of the entire environment. The singing of the weaver birds from their nest-covered trees rendered my mind stress free like never before and the cool air gave me a warm sense of relaxation. The site would be wonderful for a hotel or casino, and of course water sports. The water level is absolutely stable, making it a fantastic scuba diving spot. There is ample flat ground around the lake for picnics and other group or more private activities. The lake is managed by the office of the Mayor of Tubmanburg, which is responsible to keep it clean and safe. There is a cost to enter the facility: approximately L$100 per person and US$5 for vehicles. From the trip, I came away with the overwhelming conclusion that if Bomi Lake is properly taken care of, it definitely has the potential to rival any world-class tourist destination.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Darmawolor Community Captures Samukai Peace Tourney

first_imgThe organizing committee of the Brownie J. Samukai Sports Tournament has disclosed plan to honor several community members on Friday, November 14, after the closing ceremony of the tournament was disrupted by a heavy downpour of rain last Sunday.The Brownie J. Samukai Tournament, which ended Saturday, November 11, featured kickball and football teams from 18 communities in Electoral District # 11.The month long tournament was sponsored by Uncle Zah Laundry and Monrovia Liquor Store. Darmawolor Community captured the trophy after defeating 1407 Block B Community in the grand football final, while Gayedukpaye Community lifted the kickball trophy. In a previous match, the organizing committee of the tournament defeated officers of the Liberia National Police assigned at Zone 4 in a spectacular soccer encounter.Mass Solo, head of the organizing committee said the Brownie J. Samukai tournament was a non-political undertaking to unite the people of Electoral District # 11.Solo disclosed that the tournament achieved its objective because thousands of community members were attracted to the games. Defense Minister Samukai lauded the communities for accepting to participate in the tournament and disclosed that first and second place winners would be awarded L$100, 000 and L$50, 000 respectively.Amid the intermittent applauses, Minister Samukai announced that the first and second winners of the kickball game would receive L$50, 000 and L$25, 000 respectively. He also plans to sponsor another tournament for children in the district. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gor narrows down on two foreign coaches

first_img0Shares0000Former head coach Zdravko Logarusic had applied for the job.PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, July 5 – Former Gor Mahia head coach Zdravko Logarusic had expressed interest in returning to the team, but the club’s management has not considered him as they narrow down their search for a new boss to two foreign coaches.The Croatian, who coached the record 15-time Kenyan Premier League champions from 2012 to 2013, had expressed interest in returning to the club he helped to the GOtv Shield and KPL Top 8 titles in his debut season, having left Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko. Gor have now whittled down their search from the initial applicant list of 12 to two, former Simba SC head coach Briton Dylan Kerr and Italian Stephano Maccoppi, who is the immediate former head coach of Romanian second tier side Ceahlăul Piatra Neamt.“We will contact both of them today, listen to their terms and lay out what we have to offer. We will then weigh both and whoever we will agree terms with should be the new head coach. This should happen by latest Thursday and by our next league match, the new man should be here,” Gor Mahia deputy Secretary General Ronald Ngala has told Capital Sport.Briton Dylan Kerr has previously managed Tanzania giants Simba SC.PHOTO/courtesyEnglishman Kerr, 50, is a former Leeds United and Reading FC defender and he coached Tanzanian giants Simba in 2015 before parting ways and starting work back at his native England as the Chesterfield FC Under-18 coach.He has also managed Vietnamese top tier side Hải Phòng. Previously, Kerr worked as part of the technical team at the Vietnamese National Team for the Suzuki Cup and Asian Games, assisting the technical bench and heading the Fitness program.His biggest managerial success was leading Hải Phòng to the Veitnamese FA Cup title in his debut season in 2014.Italian Maccoppi will be making his first sojourn to Africa, if he is successfully picked as the new man at the helm of K’Ogalo.The 55-year old former defender has spent most of his coaching time in Switzerland, having worked as an assistant coach at FC Sion, a top Swiss side in 2014.Italian Stephano Maccoppi, who is the immediate former head coach of Romanian second tier side Ceahlăul Piatra Neamt. PHOTO/courtesyHe has previously been head coach at fourth tier side FC Bellinzona, third tier side FC La Chaux-De-Fonds, Yverdon Sport and fifth tier side FC Locarno.K’Ogalo has not had an Italian manager in the recent past while if Kerr is successful, he will be the third Englishman to work at the club with Bobby Williamson and Frank Nuttall having previously held the post.Club legend Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno has been holding forte at the club since the departure of Brazilian Jose Marcelo Ferreira who asked for termination of his contract to join Albanian top tier side KF Tirana.In the league, Otieno has seen the side pick only a point from two games with a loss at the hands of Sofapaka and a draw with Ulinzi Stars last weekend.He has been successful in Cup competitions, leading the side to a 3-1 win over Nairobi Water in the GOtv Shield first round and triumph at the SportPesa Super Cup in Tanzania.Former head coach Zdravko Logarusic had applied for the job.PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaMeanwhile, the club will be shifting their attention to the history making tie against English Premier League side Everton FC next week Thursday at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.Gor will depart the country on Monday with their entire 28-man squad ahead of the duel against Ronald Koeman’s men.“It is a very huge opportunity for the club to play against an EPL opponent. These are players they are used to seeing on TV but getting to actually play against them is a huge privilege. We will go there to compete fully and hope we can win,” Ngala said ahead of the trip.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Liverpool heap more misery on Southampton

first_img0Shares0000Van Dijk made a winning return to Southampton as Liverpool swatted aside the toothless Saints © AFP / Adrian DENNISSOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, Feb 11 – Virgil van Dijk celebrated his first Premier League win as the world’s most expensive defender on his return to Southampton as Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah ensured Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners at St Mary’s on Sunday.Van Dijk was jeered by the home support following his £75 million move to Anfield last month, but got his revenge by shutting out a toothless Saints side who drop into the relegation zone. By contrast, Liverpool moved back above Tottenham into third and to within two points of bitter rivals Manchester United in second following the Red Devils’ defeat at Newcastle earlier on Sunday.In a recurring theme of Liverpool’s season, Jurgen Klopp’s men made a fast start by scoring inside 10 minutes for the ninth time this campaign.Van Dijk began the move as he cut out a cross with his head before Liverpool ‘keeper Loris Karius freed another former Southampton player, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.His pass to Salah was turned inside by the Egyptian for Firmino to apply the finishing touch for his 20th goal of the season.Southampton responded well to going behind, but lacked a clinical touch as their wait for a first home league win since November continued.Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had the hosts’ best chance for an instant reply when he fired too close to Karius at the back post.The German goalkeeper was then put to work by headers from Guido Carrillo and twice by James Ward-Prowse but wasn’t unduly troubled.And Liverpool showed why the sides are battling at different ends of the table with a stunning move to double their lead three minutes before half-time.Salah slotted in his 22nd league goal of the campaign © AFP / Adrian DENNISFirmino returned the favour from the first goal with an audacious backheel into Salah’s path and he slotted the ball into the bottom corner for his 22nd league goal of the campaign to close back to within one of Harry Kane in the golden boot race.Salah missed a huge chance to move level with the Englishman when he side-footed into the side-netting with the goal at his mercy after Alex McCarthy had saved Firmino’s initial effort 20 minutes from time.Van Dijk had been subjected to criticism following shock defeats by Swansea and West Brom and conceding a last-gasp penalty as Spurs snatched a draw at Anfield in his previous three outings.But the former Saints captain will scarcely have had an easier 90 minutes at St Mary’s as Southampton failed to muster any danger after the break.More of Liverpool’s former Southampton contingent, Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana, should have rubbed salt in the home side’s wounds when they both fired wide when clean through.However, the visitors were able to coast through the final stages with Firmino and Salah even replaced in perfect preparation for their return to Champions League action at Porto in the first leg of their last 16 tie on Wednesday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Champs Wydad, Ahly reach CAF Champions League last eight

first_img0Shares0000Eyes for goal: Al Ahly’s Walid Azaro celebrates his goal © AFP / SALAH HABIBIJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Aug 18 – Title-holders Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and Al Ahly of Egypt ground out 1-0 victories Friday to reach the CAF Champions League quarter-finals.A sizzling Anas el Asbahi shot on 56 minutes earned Wydad maximum points against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in a cagey Casablanca clash of few scoring opportunities. Walid Azaro struck after 32 minutes as Ahly made it three away Champions League victories in a row over Esperance of Tunisia in Rades.Elsewhere, Horoya of Guinea beat Port of Togo 2-1 in Conakry and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo fought back to force a 1-1 draw at Entente Setif of Algeria.Wydad, who beat Ahly 2-1 on aggregate in the 2017 final, also clinched first place in Group C, which means they will face a group runner-up away and at home in the quarter-finals.The defending champions barely tested Sundowns’ Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango until El Asbahi unleashed a thunderbolt from outside the box that flew into the corner of the net.Sundowns were equally ineffective in attack until the closing stages when they forced a number of corners and Venezuelan Jose Ali Meza wasted a good chance by shooting weakly.The South African side must now defeat second-place Horoya in Pretoria on August 28 to finish runners-up on the head-to-head rule having drawn 2-2 in Conakry during May.Mandela Ocansey gave the Guinean outfit an early lead over Port, Ablamvi Djadja levelled soon after half-time and Bolaji Sakin netted the 58th-minute winner.Ahly continued their Champions League dominance of Esperance in Tunisia thanks to Moroccan Azaro, whose goal continued a turnaround under recently hired coach Patrice Carteron.When the Frenchman took charge, the ‘Cairo Red Devils’ were bottom of Group A with just one point following a shock loss in Uganda against Kampala Capital City Authority.But back-to-back victories over Township Rollers of Botswana and the triumph at already-qualified Esperance have lifted Ahly to the top of the table.If Ahly beat Kampala in Egypt this month, they are guaranteed to win the group while seeking a record-extending ninth Champions League (formerly African Cup of Champions Clubs) title.A second successive away match in Algeria brought another draw for five-time champions Mazembe, who appear the strongest title contenders this season from outside north Africa.Mohamed Islam Bakir put twice African title-holders Setif ahead just before the hour and Zambian Kabaso Chongo equalised 14 minutes from time.Mazembe are sure to win Group B and 1976 African champions Mouloudia Alger are likely to join them in the September 3 quarter-finals draw.Mouloudia, away to winless Difaa el Jadida of Morocco, are among eight clubs who will be in action Saturday.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Tributes paid to Westminster’s retired Glenties tea lady

first_imgWarm tributes have been paid to Donegal native Noeleen Delaney who has retired after almost 30 years of service in the Members’ Tea Room in the House of Commons.Noeleen, who was born and raised in Glenties, has seen six Prime Ministers come and go at Westminster, and looked after the needs of countless MPs, including John Hume.She also received an OBE in 2005, a rare honour for a tea lady. Tributes to Noeleen were paid on social media from politicians such as English MP Conor Mc Ginn, who described her as ‘warm, generous, lovely’.Donegal’s Noeleen Delaney retires today after 30 yrs in Members’ Tea Room. Warm, generous, lovely. We’ll miss her!— Conor McGinn MP (@ConorMcGinn) July 21, 2016Closer to home, Derry MP Mark Durkan said; “Noeleen has served all MPs with warmth and grace in the Members’ Tea Room for nearly three decades and has coped with all the pressures of circumstances and variable hours.”“We have all come to value her charm, courtesy and care in the tea room, which is a home from home for so many of us when the Commons is sitting.” “As well as her warmth and modesty, Noeleen is noted for her discretion. She is always ready with chat but never gossip. She is a great ambassador for Donegal decency and Irish hospitality.”Donegal Daily would like to wish Noeleen all the very best, and a happy retirement.Tributes paid to Westminster’s retired Glenties tea lady was last modified: July 28th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare 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:conor mc ginnMark Durkannoeleen delaneyretirementwestminsterlast_img read more


first_imgNurses from flood-hit Letterkenny General Hospital have been asked to transfer to Altnagelvin in Derry to cope with the overflow of emergencies from Donegal.A scene from the hospital last Friday. donegaldaily.comShocked staff nurses say they are now being contacted by managers at the hospital in a bid to balance out the workload.Today’s Tirconail Tribune reports that nurses have been told they will be driven to their shifts by taxi and collected again. However the plan has already hit a number of stumbling blocks.The nurses from Letterkenny are not registered to work in the UK and some form of Government intervention may be needed.The news comes just 24 hours after hospital manager Sean Murphy told a press conference that no jobs will be lost as a result of the catastrophic damage caused to the facility.However it would now appear that staff are being asked to relocate at least for the time being. Other staff including those who worked at the fracture clinic have already transferred to Donegal Town.It would also appear that great pressure is being put on the current catering staff since an outside catering firm was drafted in to provide meals at the hospital.  NURSES ASKED TO TRANSFER TO DERRY AFTER LETTERKENNY FLOODING was last modified: August 1st, 2013 by StephenShare 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:AltnagelvinfloodedLetterkenny General HospitalNURSESlast_img read more


first_imgA positive meeting has taken place in Dublin today on the future of cancer care services at Letterkenny General Hospital.Letterkenny General HospitalThe meeting was attended by members of Donegal Action for Cancer Care and Co-operating for Cancer Care Northwest; the Department of Health; senior members of both the Saolta University Hospital Group and Letterkenny General Hospital; HSE and the National Cancer Control Programme.Local Fine Gael Minister of State Joe McHugh TD and the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD, both welcomed the positive and informative meeting with all the relevant stakeholders. Minister McHugh outlined that “At today’s meeting, there was a firm commitment given by the Saolta Group that they would continue to strengthen symptomatic breast care cancers services at the Hospital, and provide additional supports, with the overall aim of enabling the services provided by the Unit to be sustainable in the long term.”The meeting was a follow up to the previous meeting that took place last February, organised by Minister McHugh through Minster Varadkar’s Office, to address the concerns people in Donegal had regarding the long term commitment to the cancer services at Letterkenny General Hospital. The purpose of today’s meeting was to brief those involved on the commitments given in the previous meeting and to outline next steps and actions.Minister Varadkar, commenting on the meeting “As I outlined on Highland Radio last month when I was in Donegal, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that the Breast Care Unit at Letterkenny Hospital is strengthened and that it continues to provide the best possible care for patients into the future. I am pleased that at today’s meeting there was positive engagement from all key stakeholders who are working together to ensure that this services continues.”POSITIVE MEETING ON CANCER SERVICES AT LETTERKENNY GENERAL was last modified: August 20th, 2015 by StephenShare 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:cancer care servicesdonegallast_img read more

Mandela: childhood heroes and lessons

first_imgThe stone down which Mandela used to slide as a child. (Image: Musa Mkalipi) The ruins of the African Native Mission Church that Mandela was baptised in. (Image: Musa Mkalipi) Despite the hardships, Nelson Mandela’s childhood was one of innocence and wonder. (Image: Nelson Mandela Museum) MEDIA CONTACT • Nokuzola Tetani Nelson Mandela Museum marketing manager +27 47 532 5110 RELATED ARTICLES • The simple palate of Nelson Mandela • Graça Machel – freedom fighter for life • Mandela archive goes live • Infographic: Mandela’s family tree • Madiba’s legacy is forever Nelson Mandela called Qunu in the Eastern Cape home, and it is where is to be buried on 15 December 2013. In his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom , the struggle veteran described leaving the village as a nine-year-old, to travel with his mother to an unknown destination. “I could see the simple huts and the people going about their chores; the stream where I had splashed and played with the other boys … My eyes rested on the three simple huts where I had enjoyed my mother’s love and protection … I rued the fact that I had not kissed each of them before I left.”Qunu may have been Mandela’s spiritual home but he was born at Mvezo, close to Mthatha, the capital of the former Transkei, on 18 July 1918. When his father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, the chief of Mvezo, was deposed by a vindictive magistrate, the young Nelson went with his mother to live in Qunu. There Nosekeni Fanny, Gadla’s third wife, had friends and family on whom they could rely.In his book, Mandela told how he did not get to spend much time with his father as Gadla died when he was just nine. While still alive, the chief spent about one week a month with each of his four wives and their 13 children – the youngest son being Rolihlahla, later to be named Nelson.“Apart from life, a strong constitution and an abiding connection to the Thembu royal house, the only thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla,” is the poignant first sentence of Mandela’s autobiography. The name literally means “pulling the branch of a tree” but the anecdotal meaning of Rolihlahla, he explained, is “troublemaker”. Then he added, with characteristic dry wit and understatement: “I do not believe that names are destiny or that my father somehow divined my future, but in later years, friends and relatives would ascribe to my birth name the many storms I have both caused and weathered.”Gadla was a counsellor to the Thembu royal house and an acknowledged custodian of Xhosa history. It was from him, said Mandela, that he developed a fascination with the great Xhosa warriors who resisted domination by white settlers. He defined himself by his father, he wrote, and when he died, rather than experiencing great grief he felt “cut adrift”.At his mother’s fireside he heard different stories – the Xhosa legends and fables, which, he writes, “stimulated my childish imagination, and usually contained some moral lesson”.Life in Qunu In Qunu he led a simple life. The villagers grew all their own food and the young boys, clad in blankets, became herders as soon they were old enough – in Nelson’s case, this was at the age of five. He described a rough and carefree childhood, spending most of his days “playing and fighting” in the veld with the other village boys – “A boy who remained at home tied to his mother’s apron strings was regarded as a sissy.” With his friends he made clay animals and became a skilled stickfighter, and said those days created “my love of the veld, of open spaces, the simple beauties of nature, the clean line of the horizon”.He came across few white people in Qunu and when he did chance to see a white policeman, magistrate or traveller, “these whites appeared as grand as gods to me, and I was aware that they were to be treated with a mixture of fear and respect”.The Christian faith, however, had a strong influence as his mother had converted – Fanny is her English name – and had her young son baptised into the Methodist church. None of Gadla’s children attended school but after a friend pointed out to Fanny that her youngest son was “a clever young fellow” she relayed the message to her husband and he agreed that Nelson should be educated.His description in the book of the cut-off trousers his father secured around his waist with a piece of string – his first school “uniform” – makes for amusing reading. On his first day of school he received, like all black African school pupils at the time, an English name. He wrote: “That day, Miss Mdingane told me that my new name was Nelson. Why she bestowed this particular name on me I have no idea.” Perhaps, he added, it had something to do with the English sea captain, Horatio Nelson. One wonders what Miss Mdingane thought about her choice of name – and her former pupil – in later years.Children did not question adults – they learned by observation and emulation, he wrote. So when his mother told him he was moving again he did not ask why or where – he packed his few belongings and said a tearful farewell to Qunu, firmly believing there could be no better place on Earth. It was a tiring journey on foot – only made bearable because his mother was by his side – to his new home, Mgekhezweni, the “Great Place”, the capital of Thembuland and the seat of Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu people.A turning point Mgekhezweni was a different world. Whereas Qunu was a village of about 100 huts, with a shop and two small schools, the Great Place had at its centre Jongintaba’s large and gracious home, as well as seven stately rondavels and other buildings. There were fruit trees, flower gardens, vegetable patches and maize fields, and when the regent came driving up in an enormous car, the boy felt “a sense of awe mixed with bewilderment”. Jongintaba was to be his guardian and, “suddenly a new world opened up before me”.The adult Mandela realised this was a turning point in his life – the move that enabled him to begin building the foundation he needed to become the lawyer Mandela, the activist and struggle icon known affectionately and with reverence across the world as Madiba.Nelson’s mother – who would not have been expected to reject the offer for her son to be raised in the regent’s home – said a quiet goodbye and returned to Qunu. Her only words to him were: “Brace yourself, my boy!” Like any youngster dazzled by a new toy, he felt prepared for anything, as “I was wearing the handsome new outfit purchased for me by my guardian”. Fanny understood, he added, that he was to be groomed for a larger world and in the same spirit, did not protest when the regent later discouraged Nelson from visiting Qunu lest he “regress”.The young boy’s fortunes had changed markedly and he was enjoying everything – from the horse-riding to the chores – that Mgekhezweni, a Methodist mission station, had to offer. He instantly acquired a new “brother” and “sister” – Justice and Nomafa, the regent’s children. Justice, four years older, handsome and a fine sportsman, became the young Nelson’s hero.As at any mission station, religion was a big part of life and he attended church regularly to hear fire-and-brimstone sermons by Reverend Matyolo. And whereas Nelson admired the influence the reverend had over the people, he was more impressed by the unlimited power wielded by the regent, and the unwavering respect he received.“I saw chieftaincy as being the very centre around which life revolved,” he wrote. “My later notions of leadership were profoundly influenced by observing the regent and his court.” Tribal meetings – presided over by Jongintaba and his councillors and attended by any man who wanted to raise an issue or simply participate – were “democracy in its purest form”. Women did not attend, however: “I am afraid [women] were deemed second-class citizens.”A leader is like a shepherd Jongintaba’s habit of listening to all voices and allowing his subjects to offer criticism formed the basis of the leadership principles Mandela later adopted. “I always remember the regent’s axiom: a leader, he said, is like a shepherd.” Jongintaba took the same approach with his children and he and his wife, No-England, became like parents to Nelson. But perhaps the new addition to the family was a little less spontaneous than the other children because he earned the nickname Tatomkulu – “Grandpa”.At this stage, he said, he dreamed of training as an interpreter or a policeman – jobs traditionally done by African men – though he had been singled out to be groomed to become the counsellor to the future Thembu king, Sabata. But perhaps it was hearing from the chiefs and headmen who came to the Great Place about other great African leaders – such as Sekhukune, Moeshoeshoe and Dingane, who built strong nations – that inspired him to reach for a higher goal.One such chief, Joyi, railed against the whites for dividing the Xhosa tribe and the young Nelson began to weigh up what he said against what was printed in his British textbooks at school. Another chief, Meligqili, gave a doom-laden speech after Nelson had joined several other youths for the customary initiation ritual, saying that though they were now officially men, they had “no control over their destiny”. His words “had sown a seed” in his mind, Mandela wrote.The problem with girls Girls were a bit of a problem, and early encounters stung. Reverend Matjolo’s daughter Winnie – not the Winnie who later would become his wife – invited Nelson around for a meal on the instigation of her scheming older sister, to see how the country lad fared with a knife and fork. He could not pin down the skinny chicken wing he had been given, though he tried and tried and became “wet with perspiration”. Afterwards, he wrote, the older sister warned Winnie off “such a backward boy”. She had more mettle, however and: “I am happy to say the young lady did not listen – she loved me, backward as I was.”Winnie subsequently went to a different school and they lost touch. But the first female he related to as an equal and a close friend was Mathona, though again it was not a good start. Wearing new boots on his first day at the Clarkebury Institute, where he would complete his high school education, he said he felt “like a newly shod horse… As I clomped into the classroom, my boots crashing on that shiny wood floor, I noticed two female students in the first row.” One of the girls said to her friend: “The country boy is not used to wearing shoes,” at which, he said, “I was blind with fury and embarrassment,” and vowed never to speak to her. But they became the best of friends and he found the clever and mischievous Mathona was someone with whom he could “share secrets”. She was a lucky find because he wrote that she became a role model for his future relationships with women, “for with women I found I could let my hair down and confess to weaknesses and fears I would never reveal to another man”.And indeed, Mandela’s marriage partners have been strong, supportive women – African National Congress activists Evelyn Mase and Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela, and former Frelimo activist and human rights campaigner Graça Machel.The teachers were of a good calibre at Clarkebury, and Nelson participated enthusiastically in sport, if not shining at it. It was only later, at Healdtown , the Wesleyan College in Fort Beaufort, that he found his talent for boxing. Mathona was a good study mate and adviser and the Reverend Harris, the school governor, a man worthy of respect. He was serious, however, and “ran Clarkebury with an iron hand”. But again, just as it appeared Nelson would be in for trouble, fate stepped in: he was tasked with working in the reverend’s garden, where he met a gentler man, who was broadminded and unselfishly devoted to educating his African charges. He was able to get to know the school governor better and hone his skills in growing vegetables.Beyond Thembuland The young man was developing his talents and acquiring the skills that would later equip him to lead. But, he conceded that though being at Clarkebury broadened his horizons, he still had a parochial outlook: “I would not say that I was entirely an open-minded, unprejudiced young man when I left … My horizons did not extend beyond Thembuland and I believed being a Thembu was the most enviable thing in the world.”Much more water would flow under the bridge before the activist Nelson Mandela would emerge to fight for a non-racist, non-sexist South Africa.last_img read more