Thousands of journalists have descended on South Africa for the World Cup, but the question is how many will dig deeper to provide stories that go beyond mere sports or superficial events coverage? The 126 African journalists of the Twenty Ten project, and particularly the 18 brought to South Africa for the event, are tasked with telling Africa's stories more fully and with unique perspective.
Images from Twenty Ten: Amos Gumulira, Oupa Nkosi, Nikki Rixon and Samantha Reinders
The first nine journalists are already producing some outstanding stories, according to Greg Marinovich, Editor-in-Chief. He explains that the Twenty Ten editors have chosen to explore three basic themes:
1. Behind the World Cup The background to the football crazy continent. Stories include the fans, 'juju' and black magic, the passion for football, the insights on the African teams and their fans and a search for the stars of the future. There will be short news reports, but also longer features, digging in behind the scenes!
Eg 1: No Redemption: a hard-hitting and insightful text story about the fickleness of African supporters. Eg 2: Rising Star: a photo feature about a talented young Malawian. Eg 3: Football and Worship: a text feature about football's impact on the church.
2. The economic impact of the World Cup (South) Africans expected the event to be a goldmine. The team will find out the true story: is the World Cup beneficial to the country and the continent? And who really benefits? Twenty Ten journalists tell the stories of those on the ground: the taxi-drivers, prostitutes, immigrants and all those people selling all manner of souvenirs. But other stories will also highlight the sacrifices that communities have had to make to be able to host the international football teams (e.g. in Orange Farm, where investments in the community were diverted to upgrading training facilities).
Eg 1: Tin Can Town: a photo feature on the infamous Blikkiesdorp, outside Cape Town, where people have been relocated in a bid to 'clean up' the streets during the World Cup. Eg 2: Dreams Shattered: a multimedia feature about a food vendor who has been banished from proximity to the stadium.
3. Xenophobia, racial differences and national diasporas South Africa has traditionally been a country divided by racial differences. But as apartheid has receded, the 'Rainbow Nation' has been faced with a new development: the xenophobia against the millions of Africans who have migrated to South Africa. The World Cup might take the focus away from xenophobia and divert some of the most acute tensions, but how long will that last and will xenophobia return after the event in a dramatic form? Twenty Ten documents the everyday lives of the millions of Africans that are looking for 'luck' in South-Africa.
Eg 1: Body Builder Bouncer: a photo feature about the qualified IT engineer from Benin who works as a bouncer in a Johannesburg nightclub. Eg 2: Congolese Car Guards: photo and radio feature on car guards in a Cape Town tourist destination who have turned guarding cars into a professional valet service. Eg 3: Barbara's Dream: a multimedia story about a Zambian prostitute working in Johannesburg. Eg 4: Ventersdorp: a multimedia feature about the existing racial realities in the small rural town made famous by the life and death of the Afrikaans rightwing leader.
About the project: Twenty Ten: African Media on the Road to 2010 (and beyond) is an initiative of World Press Photo, Free Voice, Africa Media Online and lokaalmondiaal, dedicated to reporting on African football, related issues and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa from an African perspective.
For more information on the Twenty Ten project, see www.roadto2010.com. To find out about publication rights to the articles, email . To commission a Twenty Ten journalist, email .
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