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ESPN’s 2010 FIFA World Cup studio presentation on Wednesday, June 16, will include special coverage of Youth Day in South Africa. The annual holiday commemorates the horrifying and unforgettable events of the Soweto Uprising of June 16, 1976. This day each year is treated not as a day of mourning but as a day of remembrance and celebration, honoring the children of South Africa for their commitment and courage in facing down the armed forces of the former Apartheid Government.
ESPN World Cup reporter and former U.S. Women’s National Team captain Julie Foudy will host coverage from the ESPN studios at the International Broadcast Center in Johannesburg, where she will be joined by ESPN’s South Africa cultural consultant Moss Tau – a 63-year-old lifelong resident of Soweto who lived through Apartheid – and ESPN World Cup analyst and former South African National Team player Shaun Bartlett. ESPN’s Sal Masekela, who is covering cultural and human interest stories throughout the World Cup, will report live from the Moretele Park Music Festival outside Pretoria.
In addition to studio coverage, host nation South Africa will return to action on this day with a pivotal match against Group A opponent Uruguay at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN at Tswhane/Pretoria.
Voices of South Africa: Soweto
A signature piece in the “Voices of South Africa” series, “Soweto” is a moving portrait of the Soweto Uprising and the spirit of the people who populate the township today. The memories of that terrible and significant day still linger, but the people have moved on, embracing their new freedoms and the possibilities a post-Apartheid South Africa offers them. The “Voices of South Africa” series was created exclusively for ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In Episode Four of Sal and Hugh Masekela’s father and son journey through South Africa, Sal gains a deeper understanding of the troubled history of his father’s country – though he wasn’t prepared for what he would saw on March 21st, the 50th anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre, one of the most significant days in the country’s history. The Sharpeville Massacre focused world attention on the evil of Apartheid, and today March 21st is commemorated around the world as International Human Rights Day. Hugh’s lifelong friend Moss Tau met Sal before dawn last March 21st to bring him to the old cemetery in Sharpeville – ground zero in the South African people’s great struggle for freedom. This episode of Umlando: Through My Father’s Eyes, produced by eight-time Emmy Award-winning director, writer and editor Jonathan Hock, is an informative and moving memorial to the Sharpeville Massacre and to the movement it inspired.
Masana Sam Nzima
Sal Masekela offers a feature about Masana Sam Nzima, the man who photographed 18-year-old schoolboy Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying away 12-year-old Hector Pieterson’s body away from the rioting crowd at the student protest in Soweto on June 16, 1976. He was both a witness and a documentarian on this day. Towards the end of 1976, the South African Security Police began targeting and going after students and journalists, as well as photographers, who had been at the June 16 uprising. This continued into 1977. A friend of Sam’s, who was a member of the Johannesburg police at the time, informed him that he was a target too. Sam then decided to go back to Lillydale. He fought for the legal rights to the photo for many years and now fully owns the image. Today, Sam still lives in Lillydale, Bushbuck Ridge, where he runs a school of photography after being donated a black and white enlarger by The Sowetan. He also serves on the Bushbuck Ridge municipal council and the council of Bohlabela District.
Soweto Feature: ‘A Man that Marched’
In 1976, the South African government introduced the mandatory use of Afrikaans language as a medium of instruction in the black school systems. Tension over this new ruling mounted and, on June 16, thousands of students gathered to march in protest. The plan was to march from school to Orlando Stadium to list their grievances, but this didn’t happen. A Man that Marched tells the story through a first person account of that fateful and politically significant day by a man who was there. Revealing, emotional, sometimes haunting, the piece is an unfiltered look back at a day South Africa will never forget.
Apartheid Museum Feature
Tau, ESPN’s South Africa cultural consultant, takes Foudy on a tour of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg where he shares the first-hand experience of what he and his country went through to end Apartheid. It took years of struggle, but freedom ultimately came to South Africa, and the museum conveys the nation’s startling legacy of oppression.
What is Youth Day? Feature
The events of June 16, 1976 were horrifying, unforgettable and historically significant. From the tragedy of the Soweto Uprising, a national holiday has emerged. Since high school students were the ones who took up the cause against the mandate to teach in Afrikaans, the language of their oppressors, the youth of South Africa are honored on June 16th for their commitment and their courage in facing down the armed forces of the Apartheid Government. This feature explores the holiday as it is currently observed, not as a day of mourning but as a day of remembrance and celebration.
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