GALLERY: ONE: Conquest of Champions press conference

first_imgView comments ONE championship CFO Hua Fung Teh also announced the launch of the promotion’s athleisure line during the press conference at City of Dreams Manila.STORY: After eSports venture, ONE Championship launches athleisure lineFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe ONE Championship belt. PHOTO FROM ONE CHAMPIONSHIPONE Championship CEO Hua Fung Teh. Photo from ONE CHAMPIONSHIPONE heavyweight challenger Mauro Carilli. Photo from ONE CHAMPIONSHIPONE Championship CEO Hua Fung Teh. Photo from ONE CHAMPIONSHIPEduard Folayang tries to reclaim the ONE lightweight crown. Photo from ONE CHAMPIONSHIPONE Championship CFO Hua Fung Teh and Zillingo CMO Marita Abraham. Photo from ONE ChampionshipRaimond Magomedliev vs James Nakashima. Photo by ONE ChampionshipSuper Series fighters Deividas Danyla and Hiraoki Suzuki. Photo by ONE ChampionshipLightweight title challengers Eduard Folayang and Amir Khan. Photo from ONE ChampionshipLightweight title challengers Eduard Folayang and Amir Khan. Photo from ONE ChampionshipLightweight title challengers Eduard Folayang and Amir Khan. Photo from ONE ChampionshipONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera. Photo from ONE ChampionshipBrandon Vera vs Mauro Cerilli. Photo from ONE ChampionshipBrandon Vera talking to the media at City of Dreams Manila. Photo from ONE ChampionshipBrandon Vera vs Mauro Cerilli. Photo from ONE ChampionshipBrandon Vera vs Mauro Cerilli. Photo from ONE ChampionshipBrandon Vera vs Mauro Cerilli. Photo from ONE Championship Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title 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 LATEST STORIES Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college UAAP Season 81 Starting 5: Week 10center_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera and challenger Mauro Cerilli and ONE lightweight fighters Eduard Folayang and Amir Khan faced the media on Tuesday to drum up interest for the ONE: Conquest of Champions set on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.STORY: ONE champion Brandon Vera nothing but grateful to Filipino fans: I owe you more than a smileADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Guyana intensifies efforts to attain FAA Category 1 status

first_imgGuyana is aiming for higher skies and hoping to finally achieve full compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) within the next year, according to Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Egbert Field.Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Egbert Field and Rickford SamarooICAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation. It fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure the safe and orderly aviation growth of all its member states.In order to achieve compliance with the requirements of ICAO, a Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) is periodically conducted to assess the country’s level of effective implementation of recommendations.Field said Guyana has improved in its ratings, scoring 64.66 per cent up from 44.24 per cent. However, media reports indicate that Guyana had scored 70 per cent in December 2015.Nonetheless, the fairly new Director General said the GCAA will be moving forward by establishing a robust oversight system, equipped with qualified individuals.He noted that Guyana fell in the audit due to the limited expertise in the sector but said moves are afoot to recruit competent persons.He said the Authority will be sourcing a few experienced inspectors from the Caribbean who would become mentors and instructors for “those coming in so they can understand or appreciate the on-the-job-training.”Field noted too that Guyana was moving in the right direction and will continue to train its staff and acquire additional skills within the Authority.He expressed hopes that Guyana, within the next year, will possess the requisite documentation, regulation and staff to achieve a Category One Status: “But it depends on their audit and when they have the time to come in but we are moving full steam ahead.”Category One means that air carriers from the assessed country may initiate or continue service to the United States in a normal manner and take part in reciprocal code-share arrangements with US carriers.For Guyana it would mean that Guyanese operators would be able to fly direct to the US, among other benefits.Full coverageMeanwhile, the GCAA has embarked on a massive initiative to have full coverage of the country’s airspace.Acting Director of Air and Navigation Service Rickford Samaroo explained that an automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADSB) system, which is ICAO-approved, was purchased for US$120,000 and installed at the Timehri Air Traffic Control Station.This ADSB system broadcasts the aircraft’s position and intent automatically, and the ground station will receive that feed and display it.Next year, more systems will be purchased and installed at the other stations in the country, namely Port Kaituma, Kamarang, Kaieteur and Annai.Samaroo said it will take several months of testing before the entire system becomes operationalized.last_img read more

Sampdoria snap up former Arsenal goalkeeper

first_img1 Emiliano Viviano Former Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano has joined Sampdoria.The Italian spent last season on loan at the Emirates Stadium from Palermo and was expected to challenge Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski for a first-team spot.But Viviano failed to make a single first-team appearance for the club and was not kept on for the new campaign.Instead he returned to Italy, but is now on the move again, this time permanently, having been sold to Sampdoria.“On the day of the 68th birthday of Sampdoria, President Massimo Ferrero gifts Sinisa Mihajlovic and all the Blucerchiati fans official confirmation of the signing of Emiliano Viviano,” the club said in a statement on their official website.“The goalkeeper, who arrives from Palermo and has chosen the number two shirt, will be presented to the media tomorrow.”last_img read more


first_imgMembers of the Donegal Sports Star Committee making the final call for nominations for the 2015 Awards. Included at front from left – Grace Boyle, Patrick McLaughlin, Neil Martin and Paul Callaghan. With at back Seamus Curran, Bartley McGlynn, Myles Sweeney and Paul McDaidThere is now just two days to go to the close of nominations for the 2015 Donegal Sports Star Awards. It’s been another fantastic year for sport in the county with marvelous achievements at local, provincial, national and international level.“There is just two days to go now to the close of nominations so I would ask those who have not already done so to get their nominations in now as the deadline is this Friday evening the 27th of November” said Donegal Sports Star Awards Chairperson Neil Martin. A brief summary only of the relevant sporting achievements will suffice. Pictorial and DVD footage is also required.Nominations can be done online from the nominations page and emailed to or by completing a simple nomination form, which can be downloaded and posted to Paul McDaid, Post Office, Ramelton. Those not using on-line can simply post their nominations to Paul McDaid, Post Office, Ramelton.Donegal County Council will once again be the exclusive sponsor of the awards function, which will take place in the Mount Errigal Hotel on Friday the 29th of January.It will be a very special night for the organization as it celebrates 40th anniversary.For further information on the Donegal Sports Star Awards go to the website, Twitter at DonegalSportsStars or on Facebook at Donegalsports Starawards. TWO DAYS LEFT TO NOMINATE YOUR DONEGAL SPORTSTARS OF 2015 was last modified: November 25th, 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:Donegal SportstarsNOMINATIONSlast_img read more


first_imgSt Eunan’s GAA News:Congratulations to our all conquering U-14 boys football team who last week received the Municipal District of Letterkenny Mayor’s reception in recognition of their history making achievements this season.A huge crowd was on hand as the boys along with their management team of Joe Higgins, John Ellison and Pauric Daly were honoured by the Mayor and Council.  In an unprecedented season of success the boys went undefeated as they entered six competitions and claimed all six titles, including the All County Championship and All Ireland Féile title.  The U-14 Hurling and Camogie teams were also honoured in recognition of their County Championship and All Ireland Féile shield titles.  Many thanks to the Mayor and Council members for their hospitality on the evening.Good luck to our Minor Footballers as they take on Derry champions Slaughtneil in the Ulster Minor Tournament at St. Paul’s Belfast this Sunday, December 6th at 1.30pm. Ghlac an club páirt i mbabhta leath cheannais Uladh de Scór na nÓg oíche Shatharn i nGallbhaile, Contae Thír Eoghain. Ar an droch uair theip orthú an céim deirneach a ghlacadh a thabharfadh iad a fhad le babhta ceannais Uladh.All our competitors which included céilí dancers, solo singer and instrumental music can however be very proud of their performances and the manner in which they represented their club and county. It is a tremendous achievement for a club to win county titles in Scór na nÓg in three categories. Many of this year’s competitors will be underage to represent the club next year again and there is no doubt that if they stay together that they have the potential to progress even further next year.  Great credit is also due to all the parents, guardians and teachers who worked hard and ensured that the competitors were properly prepared, rigged out and transported to the various rounds in the county and in the Ulster semi-final. Our attention now turns to Senior Scór and anyone interested in taking part in Scór Sinsir is asked to contact Oifigeach Chultúrtha agus Teanga, Fergus McGee on 086 854 4445 before the 20thDecember as this is the cut off point for receipt of applications for the 2016 competition.The Minor Board A.G.M. will take place on Thursday, December 17th at 7pm in the Clubhouse.The Senior Board A.G.M. is on Tuesday, December 29th at 6.30pm, also in the Clubhouse.Tickets are now available for the New Year’s Eve function in the Clubhouse.  Priced at only €10 which includes a drinks reception, finger food and a great night’s entertainment.  Contact Ollie Harvey 087 6643694, Aidan McGlynn 087 9208969,  Peter Curran 086 3852973 or Gareth McGlynn 087 7552975 to order your ticket now.Tickets are now available from committee members for the National G.A.A. draw.  All monies raised from sales are retained by the club.Anyone requiring a Purchase Order is asked to please text Treasurer Niall Doherty on 086 3062893 at least 3 working days prior to the planned event.  This will allow the Treasurer sufficient time to allocate the Order and record the request.Congratulations to club man Brian McBrearty and Tír Conaill Gaels who captured the London SFC at the weekend.The club will be adding more teams in Camogie for next year.  Any coaches or parents wishing to come on board please contact Joe Kealy on 087 2446070 or Paddy Flood on 086 1082288. The Hurling/Camogie Academy continues on Fridays from 6.30pm to 7.30pm in the Aura Leisure Centre.  Cost is €3 per session with reductions for families.  Coaching is for Boys and Girls aged U-6 to U-14.  All children are welcome, particularly new players, from all parts of Letterkenny.The Century Cinemas Football Academy is currently on a break and will return shortly, full details to follow.  New members are always welcome to both academies.  For more information, please contact Ciaran Maguire, 087 4133372, Eugene Duffy, 086 8430240 or Eunan O’Donnell, 087 6775637.The Clubhouse at O’Donnell Park is now available to book for parties, functions, etc.  Contact Niall on 086-3062893 for further information/bookings.This week’s winning lotto numbers were 2,6,10,13. 4 people matched 3 numbers, each winning €25Edmund Cassidy, BallyraineCait O’Donnell, Palmerstown GreenJohn Haran, Hawthorn HeightsThe Coady Family, ManorNext week’s jackpot is €1925GAA NEWS: ALL CONQUERING ST EUNAN’S U14’S SIDE HONOURED AT MAYOR’S RECEPTION was last modified: December 1st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:GAASportlast_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL cyclist Matthew Doyle has been snapped up by a top Belgian team to compete on the continent in 2013.The Muff man competed for the Irish team at the World Championships in his first year as a junior.The Foyle CC rider has been in Belgium in recent days finalising his plans for 2013, when he will be a member of the ‘Jonge Renners’ team which is based in Roselare. “They saw me when Daniel Stewart and I first went to Belgium with the Belgian Project for four weeks in the second half of the season,” a delighted Doyle told the cycling website stickybottle.“I managed to win a kermesse when I was there and the team offered me a contract on the basis of that. It really was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.”Doyle was part of the youth FBD Talent Team 2020 concept this time last year and has since progressed very well into the junior ranks. While he was not included in an international junior line-up that went for a racing and training stint in Europe to prepare for the European Championships, to his great credit that did not deter him.Instead, he travelled to Belgium with equally promising Antrim East Audi rider Stewart, for a stint of racing with the Belgian Project. Both adapted to the harder races immediately and Doyle did enough to gain selection for the Irish team for the Worlds in Valkenburg. His silver medal in both the National Junior Road Race and TT Championships also underlined his form and potential.The Donegal teenager said he is relishing the idea of riding the bigger interclub races in Belgium next year and is hopeful it would bring him on to the next level now that he has completed his Leaving Cert.He will be living around 10km from the team’s base. Through the Belgian Project, he will again be staying with Rik and Sabien Masil.“They’ve been amazing this year,” he said of the couple.“The team has produced some very good riders. Jelle Feys who is only a first year U23 has signed for EFC Quickstep. So I’m really looking forward to starting work with the team and hopefully getting a few results.” Doyle added he had received help from a lot of people in the past season or two and was very grateful for all of their support.“They know who they are and I hope they know that I genuinely appreciate everything they’ve done for me to get me this far.”DELIGHT FOR DONEGAL CYCLIST AS HE’S SNAPPED UP BY TOP BELGIAN TEAM was last modified: October 21st, 2012 by BrendaShare 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)last_img read more

Astros get to playoffs

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “This one has to rank up there as maybe the best, coming from a long way back,” said Biggio, part of five of the Astros’ eight previous playoff teams. “That just tells a lot about the guys in this clubhouse.” Just like last season, when manager Phil Garner replaced Jimy Williams at the All-Star break, the Astros waited until the last day of the regular season to clinch. Oswalt became the first pitcher since 2001-02 with consecutive 20-win seasons, throwing six innings and driving in a run for the Astros (89-73). Houston lost the first two games of the weekend series, but avoided a tie with Philadelphia for the wild card, and having to go on the road for a one-game tiebreaker. The Phillies (88-74) won 9-3 at Washington and finished a game back. Houston will play at Atlanta starting Wednesday in a rematch of last year’s NL division series, won by the Astros in five games for their first postseason series victory in eight tries. The Braves were 5-1 against Houston this season, including a four-game sweep in Atlanta. HOUSTON – Once again, the Houston Astros waited to the final day. And once again, they’re going to the playoffs. “That’s the Astros’ way,” Craig Biggio said, “The only way we know how to get it done.” Roy Oswalt got his 20th win to lead the Astros over the Chicago Cubs 6-4 Sunday, clinching the NL wild-card berth and capping a historic comeback. Houston started the season 15-30 and became the first team to make the postseason after falling 15 games under .500 since the 1914 Boston Braves. center_img 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

Bush family’s one-time home becoming museum

first_img Another former Bush home in the 1950s in Midland, Texas, also is being turned into a museum. But the Compton apartment complex where the family briefly lived was bought and razed several years ago by school officials after it turned into a squalid drug haven.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Yeah, right – you’re dreaming,” said Lupe Fernandez, a real estate broker and mother of six who was dropping off her 1-year-old daughter at her sister’s house across the street. The long-vacant home’s hardwood floors are mostly covered by green shag carpeting, and a chain-link fence surrounds the property. Abernathy, who bought it for $65,000 in 2000, said the museum project will cost about $500,000 and will be funded by private donations. When the museum opens in 2007, it will feature Bush family photos – including one of little W. on a wooden horse with a cowboy gun – plus items from the oil fields that fueled Bakersfield’s boom. A new building in the backyard will house four classrooms for after-school reading programs for local children. “Our goal is to restore it to exactly the way it was when they were here in 1949,” Abernathy said. Help will come from the Bush family, the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, and the Kern County Museum, he said. BAKERSFIELD – The dilapidated little bungalow that briefly housed two future U.S. presidents named Bush more than a half-century ago will be turned into a museum. “My hope is that kids will come here and say if two presidents lived right here in Bakersfield, maybe I can accomplish great things too,” said the home’s owner, Republican political consultant Mark Abernathy, who also plans to build a children’s reading center in the backyard. George and Barbara Bush rented the two-bedroom, 950-square-foot white frame house on Monterey Street with their 3-year-old son, George W., while the elder Bush was working as an oil-field equipment salesman. Kern County officials approved the museum project last month. But some residents of the now heavily Latino neighborhood found it hard to believe that presidents 41 and 43 lived there for three months in 1949. last_img read more

Late Sidwell goal rescues point for Fulham

first_imgFulham 2 Everton 2Substitute Steve Sidwell netted a last-minute equaliser to rescue a point for Fulham.The outstanding Marouane Fellaini struck twice in the second half and appeared to have given Everton a deserved victory.But after Dimitar Berbatov had failed to connect with Sascha Reither’s right-wing cross, Sidwell crept in behind the Bulgarian to score at the far post.Fulham made the perfect start, going ahead when Bryan Ruiz’s seventh-minute free-kick was pushed onto the post by keeper Tim Howard and then rebounded into the net after hitting the unfortunate American.But Everton, who have now recovered from going behind in five consecutive league matches, responded strongly and should have been level by half-time.Phil Jagielka’s deflected shot flew inches wide of Mark Schwarzer’s right-hand post before Nikica Jelavic missed a great chance to equalise, lifting the ball over the bar following a mistake by Chris Baird.Fulham had another lucky escape early in the second half when both John Heitanga and Fellaini, with the goal at their mercy, could not get a touch to Jagielka’s left-wing free-kick.But Fellaini atoned soon afterwards, firing home from the edge of the six-yard box after Kevin Mirallas had pulled the ball back from the right.And the Belgian talisman went one better on 71 minutes, holding off Aaron Hughes to chest down Jagielka’s long ball before smashing an unstoppable shot into the corner.Fellaini almost netted a late third, his effort deflecting off Brede Hangeland and onto the post, with Steven Naismith’s attempt to force in the rebound blocked on the line by Hughes.Schwarzer then had to produce a fine save to keep out Fellaini’s classy volley from Naismith’s right-wing cross.It proved to be a crucial stop because, having dominated much of the game, Everton switched off at the back and Sidwell pounced to score his third goal of the season.Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise (Dejagah 59), Duff, Diarra (Petric 75), Baird, Kacaniklic (Sidwell 68), Ruiz, Berbatov.Subs not used: Stockdale, Senderos, Karagounis, Rodallega. 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

South Africa, freedom and Shakespeare

first_imgThe Robben Island bible The Robben Island bible was disguised as the Hindu scriptures by a fellow political prisoner, Sonny Venktrathnam, in the 1970s to avoid seizure by the prison authorities who banned any literature in the island prison and had impounded the book after it was sent to him by his wife, Theresa. Venkatrathnam later persuaded a sympathetic warder to release the book when he insisted that it was “the bible by William Shakespeare”. The book became a treasured text in the island prison, and Venkatrathnam and 32 prisoners marked and signed chosen quotes which provided a means of discussing political and moral issues relating to the anti-apartheid struggle and what might follow its overthrow. (The Venkatrathnams, who live in Durban, South Africa, have safeguarded the “bible” for the past three decades since Sonny Venkatrathnam’s release from prison in 1977. The Venkatrathnams are visiting London as guests of the British Museum for this month’s launch of the exhibition.) The “bible”, exhibited in London for the first time this year, was viewed by upwards of 200 000 visitors to the British Museum during the course of the European summer. The names in the book include the late Walter Sisulu, Mandela’s closest confidante; the late Govan Mbeki, father of the democratic South Africa’s second president, Thabo Mbeki; leaders of the black consciousness movement, Saths Cooper and Strini Moodley; leader of the Unity Movement, Neville Alexander; Liberal Party member Eddie Daniels; and Ahmed Kathrada, a confidante and adviser to Mandela. “Somehow Shakespeare always had something to say to us,” Kathrada told Anthony Sampson in the authorised biography of Mandela. Sisulu chose Shylock’s “Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,/ For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe”. Kathrada chose “Once More Unto the Breach” from Henry V, while Govan Mbeki chose “If Music be the Food of Love” from Twelfth Night.Shakespeare ‘a way of talking about politics’ As interesting as the individual choices was the fact that the passages each inmate chose became akin to a calling card for some and continued to have influence in their lives beyond the confines of Robben Island prison. “After Robben Island the quotations continued to function as proxies or textual carte de visites which were produced in a variety of public forums,” according to Professor Isabel Hofmeyr of Witwatersrand University. She said the first reason was the style of schooling that Mandela and his colleagues experienced at mission schools, which “taught the English language intensively, often requiring pupils to recall large passages by heart”. Alexander Kerr, Mandela’s teacher at Fort Hare University, believed that all pupils should be familiar with the works of Shakespeare and Tennyson, and he taught “with a vividness which made Shakespeare seem totally relevant to contemporary Africa”. The second reason was that Shakespeare offered “an allegorical resource through which to comment on the oppression of apartheid South Africa”, in sharp contrast to the “anodyne and apolitical” teaching of English literature at most mission schools. “Shakespeare, in short, became a way of talking about politics.” Dr Dora Thornton, curator of the Shakespeare exhibition at the British Museum, said that the Robben Island bible was one of the most powerful examples of Shakespeare’s enduring legacy and reach 400 years after his writings. “The book was used in the same way as the bible has been used down the ages: as a constant reference for debating the moral issues of the day,” she said.‘More politically relevant than the Bible or Marx’ Also in London, earlier in July, drama lecturer and playwright Matthew Hahn, co-author of this article, presented a staged reading of The Robben Island Bible at the Southbank Centre. The script was drawn from extensive interviews with eight of the dozen or so surviving Robben Island prisoners and interwoven with extracts that prisoners had chosen from the collected works. Interviewing the former prisoners made a profound impact on Hahn. He found them to be “the most gentle of men”. The most popular choices for the 32 prisoners who highlighted their favourite passages in Shakespeare’s collected works were from Hamlet, King Lear, Julius Caesar, The Tempest and As you Like it. Mandela and other prominent leaders of the African National Congress, such as Thabo Mbeki and Chris Hani, quoted frequently from Shakespeare in their speeches after they returned from exile in 1990 ahead of South Africa’s first democracy elections in 1994. Anthony Sampson, Mandela’s official biographer, noted that for the second half of the last century, Shakespeare’s plays were one of the main influences on the liberation movement and its leaders. “Shakespeare became more politically relevant than the Bible or Marx,” the late Sampson wrote in 2001. “Successive generations of African leaders saw his plays as an inspiration for their struggle and for humanity.”The resonances of Julius Caesar The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) presented Julius Caesar with an all-black at various venues around Britain as part of the Cultural Olympiad, Britain’s cultural out-reach during the 2012 Olympic Games. The play, which was the RSC’s first all-black production, has strong resonance for Africa. Gregory Doran, artistic director of the RSC, said in an interview that Julius Caesar worked better in Africa than elsewhere. “It has always appealed to people in moments of crisis,’ he said. He said that Julius Caesar’s assassination raised questions today about the way tyrants were removed from power and what and who would take their place. Julius Caesar was first translated into the African language of Tswana by the South African scholar and author Sol Plaatje (1876-1932), a leading intellectual in the ANC, and published posthumously in 1937. In 1963, Julius Nyerere, the father and first president of an independent Tanzania, translated the play into Swahili. “Julius Caesar had more impact than any other play,” wrote Sampson. “But in South Africa the play had a deeper resonance, for it vividly described how an oppressed people can realise their potential against tyranny and escape from their sense of inferiority.” In his book The Reading Revolution: Shakespeare on Robben Island, South African author Ashwin Desai noted how Mandela’s quote from Julius Caesar must have taken him back three decades to 1944, when he was instrumental in drafting a manifesto for the ANC Youth League, campaigning for a more militant African nationalism. Mandela penned a quote from Cassius in Julius Caesar: Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come. In his personal memoirs, Conversations with Myself (Macmillan 2010), Mandela recalls two conversations with his late son Thembekile involving Julius Caesar. In a letter to his daughter Zindzi in 1979, Mandela recalled how a nine-year-old Thembekile had asked him who Mark Antony and Julius Caesar were after he had used Mark Anthony’s betrayal of Caesar as an analogy. In a letter to his former wife Winnie in 1969, when he was informed by the prison authorities that his 24-year-old son had been killed in a motor accident, Mandela recalled how Thembekile, on his departure for boarding school, had given him “an interesting interpretation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar which I very much enjoyed”. In a letter to Winnie a year later, in 1970, Mandela used a quote from As You Like It to amplify his point that “the chains of the body are often wings to the spirit”. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars … But in ourselves, that we are underlings. 14 December 2012 One of the most remarkable stories of South Africa’s freedom struggle took centre stage at the British Museum’s “Shakespeare: staging the World” exhibition, which ran in from 19 July through to 25 November. The exhibition featured a unique edition of the Collected Works of Shakespeare – known as the Robben Island bible – which includes a signed text by Nelson Mandela highlighting a soliloquy from Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s epic play about tyranny and conspiracy. Be absolute for death; either death or life Shall thereby be the sweeter. Sweet are the uses of adversity Which like a toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in the head. More Mandela quotes from Shakespeare Mandela’s most dramatic resort to Shakespeare came in 1964, when he was facing the death penalty in the Rivonia sabotage trial. Desai said that Mandela recalled drawing on the words from Measure for Measure: In 1990, addressing business executives, Mandela used a quote from The Merchant of Venice: “Hath not a Jew eyes?” In an address to the British Parliament in 1996 he used a quote from Coriolanus: “We are accounted poor citizens.”The significance of 16th December The RSC’s Doran said that he thought that the date of Mandela’s signing of Julius Caesar’s speech in the Robben Island bible – 16th December 1977 – was highly significant. The 16th December is one of the most significant dates on South Africa political and historical calendar. On that day in 1938, a small detachment of armed boers, white Afrikaner pioneers, defeated thousands of attacking Zulus in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and the adjoining Ncome river, later called Blood River, ran red with the blood of fallen Zulu warriors. The rifles of the Afrikaners overwhelmed the Zulus armed only with spears. Some 3 000 Zulus were killed and not a single boer was lost. But the Afrikaners saw the victory as confirmation that God was on their side, while black South Africans mourned the day as a wholesale massacre of their people. In 1961, Mandela chose 16th December to announce the formation of the military wing of the ANC, Spear of the Nation (Umkhonto we Sizwe) which marked the end of the ANC’s 50 years of peaceful resistance to apartheid. “We chose December 16 to show that the African had only begun to fight, and that we had righteousness – and dynamite – on our side,” Mandela wrote in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. On 16th December, 1961, MK, as the armed wing of the ANC was known, launched its first acts of sabotage against the apartheid government. When the first democracy elections were held in 1994, Mandela insisted, in the face of resistance within his own ranks, that the 16th December continue as a national holiday for all South Africans and be renamed Reconciliation Day.Shakespeare ‘like an African storyteller’ In 1997, Dame Janet Suzman, a South African-born actress enobled for her services to the theatre in Britain and who directed the acclaimed South African John Kani as the first black Othello in South Africa in 1997, went on to direct Kani, the doyen of South African actors, as Claudius in Hamlet in South Africa in 2006. Kani, who served time and jail for his resistance to apartheid, is as passionate about Shakespeare as Mandela and his colleagues. He said in an interview in 2006 that at the age of 16 he was fascinated with the lyrical sounds of a Julius Caesar transformed by the click sounds of his native isiXhosa language. “Shakespeare’s words paint pictures in glorious colour in my language. They were written by a man whose use of words fits exactly into Xhosa,” said Kani. “When I first encountered Shakespeare as a boy, I read every word this man had written. To me, he is like an African storyteller.” John Battersby is co-author of Nelson Mandela: A Life in Photographs (David Elliot Cohen and John Battersby, Sterling 2010). Battersby is author of the Afterword in the updated (2011) version of Mandela: The Authorised Biography (Anthony Sampson: Harper Collins 2011). He is a former correspondent of the New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor and a former editor of The Sunday Independent. He is currently the UK country manager of Brand South Africa, based in London. Matthew Hahn is a lecturer in Applied Theatre at St Mary’s University College, London. He also works for Theatre for a Change in Ghana and Malawi. He has a degree in political science and journalism from Indian University in the United States and is a gradute of Goldsmiths College Master’s theatre directing program. He has visited South Africa twice.last_img read more