first_imgTactical workout ahead of the 2017 AFCON and the 2016 CHAN qualifiers which should have begun on Monday, April 21, was suspended over the lack of super players.The “pick and choose” of these cream of local players are giving Coach James Salinsa Debbah severe headache, particularly in the absence of the domestic cream of players.It seems that the two weeks’ tour on some 1st and 2nd practice grounds which led to the selection of 10 players from BYC FC were not enough to seal the final 24 local players to kick off the training.Reports say that the crucial call-up of players is finally hinged on an eight-day football league, known as Coca-Cola Top 8 Tournament.The tourney which begins on Friday, May 1 to Friday, May 8, at the Blue Field, with eight top teams, includes onetime arch rivals, IE and Barrolle.The other six participating teams include BYC, FC Fassell, Nimba United, NPA Anchors, Watanga FC and Aries FC.It might be laughable in the absence of a domestic league for a coach to pick players from a “Special Tournament” but the exclusion of some other top teams from the tourney is laughable.The clubs’ omission might have been either “deliberate for a payback of sour relationship” or “calculated attempt to deny other players of wearing the national team jersey to have their first run.”However, LFA Secretary General B. Alphonso Armah in defense of leaving out of one of the top teams, LISCR FC, said the selection was done by the LFA’s Competition Committee.The Competition Committee’s Chairman, Ansu Dorley, who is the chairman of the First Instant Board, responsible for the certification and de-registration of clubs also added the selection was done based on merit.Interestingly, LISCR FC is comparatively one of the two best teams in the first division, with a double championship, knockout and super cup titles and other titles.LISCR FC is also the 2nd most organized team to BYC while FC Fassell is still struggling to be third despite their big spending.  The third most organized team is inarguably Nimba United.Nevertheless, besides the stoppage of the domestic league, another problem that would delay the “pick and choose” of players would also be absence of a Deputy Coach – who could technically prop the head coach in recruitment.Meanwhile, with 46 days to go to the Togo mission, there are lots of hesitations that the Debbah’s boys would spin the wheel of the qualifiers in the country’s favor.Even though, Coach Debbah has mentioned 40 overseas-based players to blend with the topnotch locals, truthfully with the crash in our economy owing to the hit of the Ebola Virus the actualization of more than five players to play in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers would be a miracle.Many football connoisseurs have considerable doubtful that the employment of inexperience Coach Debbah; the delay in the selection of players, lack of deputy coach and the unpleasant relationship with the LFA and the Liberian government coupled with the ‘No Money Syndrome” would question if Liberia can qualify since we last appeared in 1996 and 2001.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgFormer President Obama’s visiting Oakland for MBK Rising! — his foundation’s event devoted to helping young men of color achieve their dreams.The My Brother’s Keeper conference also features appearances by NBA star Steph Curry and music celebrity John Legend, so it’s no surprise that the group decamped Monday night to dine at International Smoke. That’s the San Francisco hot spot that Steph’s celeb wife, Ayesha, owns with restaurateur Michael Mina.“No greater privilege than to cook for this …last_img read more

first_imgFrom left, artists Noah Mdluli, Phuzu Mtshali, Shadruck Masuku and Jiggs Thorne in a screen grab from the House on Fire website. House on Fire was carved out of local materials in all kinds of shapes, figures and towers. It is a castle where colourful mosaics line the walls, impressive sculptures hang from the ceiling and sprout from the ground, and detail is infused in every inch. (Images: House on Fire) MEDIA CONTACTS • House on Fire +268 528 2110 info@house-on-fire.com RELATED ARTICLES • Showy and subversive: Holy Afro! • SA’s ‘zef’ trio thrash music scene • South African art • SA art snapped up at UK auction • Mines, headgear and the mindFour men are changing the global image of Swaziland one artwork at a time, as the group running the whimsical art-filled castle that is House on Fire work to turn their country, one of the smallest in Africa, into the most happening place on the continent.House on Fire is the brainchild of Jiggs Thorne, a formally trained Swazi artist. Where others saw tourist craft markets Thorne saw undiscovered artists, untapped potential, and partners – in the form of Noah Mdluli, Phuzu Mtshali, and Shadruck Masuku – for his new venture. Concerned about how many talented young people in his country struggled to make a living and had no vehicle to display their work, Thorne took action.“I started to work with road-side carvers that had a lot of humour and it played to my senses,” he said. “At some point I realised that we needed to come together under the same roof. We needed to build a platform to inspire the arts in Swaziland and that was really the inspiration for designing the space.“Our history is really from roadside to gallery.”The gallery in which the group work and collaborate is an art-filled castle of impressive proportions, what resident artists call their “fantasy-scape” and one that has steadily become a national point of reference.The space was carved out of local materials in all kinds of shapes, figures and towers. It is a castle where colourful mosaics line the walls, impressive sculptures hang from the ceiling and sprout from the ground, and detail is infused in every inch. It is a magical marriage between Gaudi’s architecture, Picasso’s distorted shapes, and Southern African carving; surreal and comfortable, it also includes a stage and garden.A far cry from traditional development projects, House on Fire is a local artist’s alliance.“We are a collaborative team in a real relationship because we need each other to succeed,” Thorne said. “We absolutely could not make it without each other.” He said art buyers were sometimes confused by their inability to attribute a single author to their pieces. “But we cannot, because we work in synergy.”The group’s work expands beyond running their fantasy gallery. Aside from creating sculpture, carving, and installation art, they promote events and music performances, and are involved in community action. House on Fire is open day and night to both locals and visitors.“A really exiting part of this is the idea of a cultural meeting point,” said Thorne. “We call that the ‘juncture of hum’.”Part of what the space does, by virtue of its location in rural Swaziland, is challenge stereotypes. “You can be an artist in Swaziland, and artists can share their stories and create a new language that has relevance,” Thorne said.The Swazi landscape is dominated by sugarcane plantations, plain fields, natural reserves, and small towns. Driving past the capital, Mbabane, it is hard to imagine that a gallery and cultural space of spectacular proportions hides at the next roadside exit.The national economy is supported by tourism and agriculture, but poverty remains calamitous. Swaziland is one of the poorest countries in the world and faces increased challenges due to the HIV/Aids pandemic. The country has the highest HIV prevalence rate worldwide and the United Nations estimates life expectancy to be 32.5 years of age, the lowest on the planet.Not discouraged by the statistics and challenges, House on Fire and its artists became involved in artfully fighting poverty. “We already had House on Fire and the idea was to let that fire spread though the walls and into a wider space. We set our sites high,” said Thorne.“Our work is about accepting that you have a story to tell and a mandate to carry on your own message. House on Fire is a conscious platform; we recognise the need to develop the local arts, but we also act on the concerns that affect us all as Swazis.”With this in mind, House on Fire created Bushfire, a music festival that brings musicians from all over Africa to Swaziland and raises funds to fight local poverty. The 2010 edition of the Bushfire Festival had more than 19 000 visitors over three days of concerts.Profits benefit Young Heroes of Swaziland, an independent organisation that supports local Aids orphans. The issue is pressing in a country of 1.5-million, where an estimated 80 000 children have been left parentless due to the pandemic.For critics who have difficulty imagining art as important in developing Swaziland, Thorne said: “The idea of creation for creation’s sake is not very well understood here. But we have made this conscious decision to start specialising and cultivating a special language and sense of identity through our work.”The numbers back up Thorne and the House on Fire group. The conservative estimate is that this year’s Bushfire Festival injected R6-million (US$830 000) into Swaziland’s economy.The next Bushfire Festival is planned for 27 to 29 May 2011. In the meantime, the House on Fire foursome have an upcoming art project: carving whimsical armours and dressing their bodies as a league of Swazi Knights. Nothing could seem more appropriate.Source: MediaGloballast_img read more

first_imgThe Government of Jamaica will be renewing its effort to dispose of several public sector assets during the new financial year, through a managed privatisation process.Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, informed that the assets will be divested to either the private sector or communities, where it is determined that they would be used more productively, on a sustainable basis. “In doing so, the Government will seek to balance, the well-understood need for getting the best price possible for certain assets and the urgency to put these assets into productive use to create jobs, goods or services,” the Governor-General stated, while delivering the Throne Speech at the opening of the 2013/14 Parliamentary Year on Thursday, April 4, at Gordon House.He explained that Government has arrived at this position because it has found that many assets have been allowed to remain idle for years because it has been trying to secure some incremental increase in price, at or above, the perceived worth of these assets.He advised that the Parliament would be kept informed of any action that will be taken in this regard and the reasons for so doing.The Governor-General noted too that the model of Public/Private Partnerships, some of which are currently being undertaken, will continue to be pursued as a matter of policy.By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporterlast_img read more