ENTRANCE TO THE I.B.C. at Soccer City

Thurs – 3 June 2010

On a chilly Highveld winter morning a motley crew of guides, drivers, TV production guys dragging bags and other sundry baggage arrived at the designated time at a designated place  in Parktown, for our briefing and eventual transfer to the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) to start work.  No one really knew anyone else and so diffidently we introduced ourselves to each other, got told vaguely what we were going to be doing for the next month and   had a slightly friendlier lunch, now knowing that we were all together for the next 30 – 40 days. With our extra paraphernalia and bags, we were herded onto coaches and taken to the IBC.  Here we were introduced to our teams, given more paraphernalia including our buses and uniforms, so we now all looked alike (something like a Smurf?)




The next 2 days were filled with the crew learning about their equipment, us drivers and security people spent our time learning GPS’s, got told about safety procedures, etc. We, i.e. the 2 Pretoria crews overnighted in Sandton and spent time starting to get to know each other.

 Sat 5 June

The bus was police checked – dog sniffed, scanned and finally cleared, fitted with a cabinet to hold our equipment.  Loaded up, we now left for Pretoria on our 1st assignment.


The smurf crew, known as PTA 1 consisted of Steve – cameraman; Lindsey, Driver/guide;  Andy – security (we called him Ninja); Jon – producer and Andy - editor as well as a car and a bus.

Our 1st assignment was at Atterdgeville Stadium to get the atmosphere of the friendly game between Bafana Bafana and Denmark. 

The traffic queues we encountered:
The first of many, took us 2 hours to get to the game and we arrived       minutes before the goal was scored.






Our first filming session successfully completed,                                                                                      we headed into the sunset to our hotel.

Sunday – 6 June

Off to Rustenburg this Sunday.  Our brief; to film the Royal Bafokeng Stadium and whatever else we found.  As we drove into Phokeng Township, we encountered a group of boys playing football on a sandy field. An hour or so later, having met the boys, their coaches, the opposing team from a local mission station and the police security officers, we moved onto the stadium (see background).

I contacted a guide friend – Lebo - in Phokeng, who said he could meet up with us later in the day, so we drove around to the back of the stadium and came upon a settlement of plots with various forms of housing. The guys chatted with and filmed a man planting his vegetables, next door, we encountered a Zionist church meeting in progress.
We then met up with Lebo who took us into Phokeng to show us the formal housing section. 
Jon had an extensive interview with him and then it was off to film the stadium for the rest of the afternoon.  We met up with Lebo again in the early evening and went off to Lucky’s Pub, one of the many local shebeens. This pub in fact became a favourite British supporter’s pub. After an exciting days filming under their belt, we made a late return back to Pretoria.

Mon 7 June – M Day -4. 

It was off to Johannesburg to meet Bjorn Heidenstrom.

This crazy Norwegian decided to travel on a bicycle with a trailer, through Europe and Africa to collect Football Club shirts and raise money for the UNHCR fund. We picked him and his lady friend up and then went to Mark’s Park the Wits University football training ground.  Here we met up with Bjorn’s support crew.  We off loaded the cycle and the interview started.  Later the T Shirt was off loaded and laid out. Now with several hundred football shirts sewn together, the combined shirts weighed 500 kgs.

Amazing and extraordinary.    



















A very interesting man with a heart of gold who only wants to raise awareness for his charity.  Bjorn’s journey will end at Cape Aghulas. The interview lasted all day and by the time we finally dropped him back home, and returned to Pretoria, it was already quite late and my guys were exhausted. With all sitting around and only going off to buy lunch, I should have to gone home, seeing I was so close. Pity about that!

Tues 8 June – Match Day -3

This was the  day to catch up with household type things, laundry, shopping and then Jon and Steve filmed around Loftus Versveld Stadium, while Andy did what he does best, stayed in the edit suite to finish off editing the last few day’s worth of filming. While the guys were filming I went looking for a suitable high spot to film the stadium. Went to Fort Klapperkop. I had a Police escort to show me this spot.  I found the police to be so helpful throughout the month.  My hat off to them at all times. This was an ideal spot! So I went to pick up the guys and they loved the views of Pretoria and filmed there for a while. 

The next adventure was off to Soshanguve.










We picked up Thulani Ngcobo - the young man who had won the MTN ‘Last Fan Standing’ competition. He was about to break the Guinness Book of Records for attending more than 20 matches during a World Cup Soccer Tournament.  We had a police escort into the township and went off to his little home.  This man is a football fanatic, a Kaiser Chiefs and Man U supporter; he plays 5 times a week for the local club and eats, sleeps and lives football. He was so excited about the upcoming tournament and the adventure he was about to undertake. We were invited into his 3mX3m concrete block house.  It was dark, lit by one globe powered by a car battery, so filming for Steve was quite a challenge.   This house was furnished with a very large ornate double bed with matching dressing table and wardrobe and a chair and that was all. The toilet was an outside long drop and cooking was done in the house next door but in the open on a fire. After the interview, during which he showed us all his memorabilia, scrapbooks, etc, we  went to meet his sister at her house in Mapopane.  A very proud and happy family.

It was then off to Eastwoods for dinner; a pub/restaurant opposite Loftus.  Had a great evening and really got to know each other.  After that, I got teased mercilessly by the crew on all kinds of things.  Always in good fun and lots of laughs.

Wed – 9 June – Match Day -2.

Packed for overnight and ready to leave early, we headed off to Nelspruit.

We had an interview organised with the architect of this lovely new stadium.






On meeting Mike, he was very excited to tell us about his innovative designs including the gantries being turned into Giraffe and his Zebra design seating. His final comment was that this was a once in a lifetime project for an architect and was extremely overjoyed with the final result despite various construction hiccups along the way. 
The Giraffe Gantries

The guys spent most of the day filming around the stadium.  I went to the Halls shop and bought them REAL biltong and Peri Peri Cashews which they loved. In the evening – at sunset – while filming the exterior, I found out that there was a Fan Pub in town, so that is where we headed. The Jock and Java, was in the centre of Nelspruit and by 17h30 is was ‘rocking’ and getting busier. The guys filmed fans, took in the building excitement, put a few beers under their belts, we had a great dinner and we finally checked into the hotel - late, exhausted and happy with the day’s work.

 Thurs – 10 June – Match day -1

We returned early back to Pretoria as Jon and Andy had editing to do. Steve, Ninja and I had the rest of the day off.  Steve had stuff to sort out in JHB at IBC so they dropped me off at home.  Nice to see Ray and Purdy. They picked me up a bit later and it was back to Pretoria. Steve and I took in the atmosphere at the Hatfield Fan Park – plenty expectant excitement in the packed square. We watched the opening concert at the hotel. What a show!! What energy!!! What colour and vibrancy!!! ONLY IN AFRICA! What a pleasure to have a fairly early night.

It was today that we met Janine – our new features coordinator. Ninja and  I went on a ‘reccy’ around Pretoria for Fan Parks and the venue for the expected Ghana fan’s music concert this evening after the game.  We eventually settled on the Centurion Fan Fest Park. The excitement around Pretoria was absolutely palpable and on reaching Centurion the atmosphere was electric with excitement and expectation. Janine and I encamped ourselves convenient to the big screen and the bus while the guys went off filming.
This man passed out before the match started.

The game started, the Vuvuzelas blew and the crowd had a ball. After the game Andy (editor) & I left to return to the hotel and the others  went off to the Ghana Fan Music Festival. By 2am nobody had arrived, nothing happened and it was the big non-event of the night. The event was then postponed to Sunday but we never got back to it. And so the BEAUTIFUL TOURMAMENT HAD STARTED ON A HIGH WITH SA not totally disgracing themselves.

Sun – 13 June

Today we went to Jail!

Sat – 12 June

Off Day.  Steve and I chilled while Jon and Andy spent the day editing.

 Zonderwater prison to be exact.
A 6am start and off to Cullinan – NE of Pretoria.  We received a very warm welcome from the Correctional Services’ chief and together with a CNN crew we were locked up in the medium security section.  It was here we met a group of very excited prisoners. The usual collection of murderers, rapists and other serious offenders. This group were about to have a game of football outside their compound confines.  They were going to meet up with England football supporters for a friendly encounter. So after breakfast (them not us) of sloppy porridge and a mug of milk or weak tea (not sure which) and Steve and Jon had gone into a cell to film, we went with the men to the kit room.  They were very friendly and chatty as each door was unlocked and then locked again behind us.  The officers’ boardroom was laid out with all brand new green and yellow kit including boots and now the excitement broke into a cheer. Once kitted out, the ‘team’ and sundry personnel (us) were finally led through two more locked gates and out into the ‘open’.  The team and camera crews boarded the bus and we followed in our vehicle to the field of play. We – the media crews – had missed out on our breakfast which had apparently been laid on, but in a different part of the prison. Two bus loads of prisoners were brought in with lots of guards around.
We met the organizers of this game – Khulisa. This is an organisation that assists in the rehabilitation of prisoners. The England fans bus arrived a little late as they had travelled from Rustenburg. This group turned out to be motley crew; a few youngsters,  a kid of 11 and several older beer bellied men and some wives. After many formalities and speeches, the game finally got underway. A fun time was had by all.  I don’t think we ever found out the score, but I seem to think they let the prisoners win.  More speeches and prize-giving with a boerie-roll under the belt, we finally left around lunch time and headed straight for Loftus.

Jon and Andy edited at the Host Broadcast Services and Steve and I managed to get tickets to the Ghana/ Serbia match.  Lots of noise, lots of fun and reasonable footie.  Ghana had their band playing and during half time they marched up and down the pit around the pitch singing and dancing.
Great excitement at the end, with the Ghana win.
Fri – 11 June – Match Day and the Start to the Greatest Show on Earth.













































Today I learnt how the system works to get freebee media tickets and freebee meals on match days from HBS.

 Mon – 14 June

Another laid back day, did some shopping, took in all our laundry and in the evening headed off to meet with the German fans at the Pretoria University of Technology.

























This remarkable young man came 2nd in the World Football Freestyle Play Championship. We filmed him on stage playing with our ball. I never had any idea that there’s such a sport. It was amazing to watch what can be done with a ball.  We then moved up to Nelson Mandela Square. The crew filmed Kamil in various situations around the mall.

On our return to Pretoria, we went straight to Loftus, Jon and Andy set about editing, Steve and I went to the match – Cameroon vs Denmark. Cameroon played the better game but lost 2-1.

Tues – June 22

This was the last game that the SA team was to play. It was against Uruguay. We went off to find a shebeen in Mamelodi to film the fans for this game.  We found a really informal bar. 

The owner had to get his TV from home and then set it up. Steve filmed the whole process of getting the place ready for the afternoon match including going to the local bottle store to stock up with more beer. Jon did many interviews. The community got all excited and they dressed up in their Bafana Bafana gear. We let the kids play with our soccer ball and all the time Steve’s camera was rolling. The game started and the people arrived, bringing their own plastic chairs to sit on. There was lots of excitement and expectation of a win.

Unfortunately that did not happen.  We packed up and left soon after the game finished. The guys disappeared into the edit suite and Ben and I went to supper at Pappas in Duncan’s Yard in Hatfield. We had a delicious seafood pasta and great bottle of wine.  As we were walking and off duty, the wine went down very well.

Wed – June 23

Back to the IBC for Jon and Andy to edit. Steve got a request to film children in Soweto playing football with a Chilean flag in the background. It was not easy to find this flag and eventually we talked the manager at a supermarket in Maponya Mall to sell us his display flag. We then went to find a group of boys playing footie. This was not difficult and found a group of kids in Diepkloof playing on a grassy field.

We approached the coach, who had no problem letting three of his under 11 boys do Steve’s bidding for particular film shots. When we finished, we went off to find some refreshments for the kids. They were thrilled with this gesture.  A really nice bunch; well mannered and polite. We left a happy group and Steve had had a satisfying filming session.

The PTA2 crew had now finished their job so we met them at Zappa’s for a farewell supper. A fun evening was enjoyed by all and on our return to the hotel, the party continued into the early hours of the morning.  I went to bed.

Thurs – 24 June

One very hung over crew climbed into the vehicles with two very alert drivers and we headed for Bloemfontein. An interview had been arranged with three Swiss journalists, a German, a French & an Italian. Somehow Jon managed the interviews with Steve filming around the stadium. I went off to investigate the Waterfront shopping and restaurant area. Beautiful setting around this lake drenched in the afternoon sun.

When the crew was finished we headed for our hotel – City Lodge. Checked in and booked for dinner – a Braai. We were reasonably hungry so looked forward to this. When we went to help ourselves, there were 2 lamb chops each, potato salad and green salad and desert (ice cream & choc sauce).  We were told that this was all that was left and would cost R90 each.  I caused a bit of a ruckus about and eventually the price was dropped to R70.  Still a rip off!!

Fri – 25 June

It is now the turn of the German and English fans. We hung around the Waterfront all day hoping to meet up with some fans, but the match of the day was Switzerland vs Honduras, so those were the only fans we saw. We eventually gave up and just spent the day at leisure and got match tickets for the evening game. Uneventful match that ended in a draw.

Sat – 26 June

So now we had to find our fans for the Sunday game – Germany vs England. We managed to buy flags.  Then Jon found some England fans by mid morning and Ninja and I went out looking for German fans.  We picked up three guys at the tourist office and coerced them to join us at the Waterfront.

By the end of the morning, the crew had completed their quiz between the two groups –much hilarity and took them all to a pub for lunch time beers etc. Meanwhile Steve and I went around the shops looking for interesting items to film about each of the teams.  We found small balls, t-shirts, scarves, hat and interesting looking trinkets. These film clips were to be used in conjunction with the quiz that Jon had set up. Once done Andy and Jon spent the rest of the day editing.  I rested all afternoon, knowing that I would be driving in the evening. Once they had finished we packed up the cars and returned to Pretoria.  We got back around 1am Sunday morning. Jon and I shared the driving so it was an easy journey.




































































To meet up with Paraguay fans in Sandton.   We met up with a group of youngsters carrying their Zakumi dressed in Paraguayan colours, followed them through the streets to the ticketing centre to try and buy tickets for the Paraguay vs Spain ¼ final match.  Then went to the home of one of the fellows and met up with a whole group of fans where there was a celebration party in progress.  We spent the afternoon with this lovely family while there was singing and dancing and just fun and laughter.  What a great way to finish off our exciting WC adventure.


Thurs – 1 July

Jon & Andy finished off their last edit. I packed up. Finished off emails etc, took the guys to Centurion for their last download, had our farewell dinner with Janine and her boyfriend at Zappa’s.  Once again, a great evening with good food and good company.

Friday – 2 July

And it’s all over! We all return to the IBC. Check over cars, hand in equipment, hand over car keys, hand over cell phones, dress back into civvy’s and finally have our braai lunch in the garden before parting company. Andy security will return to Pretoria, Jon, Andy and Steve fly back to England and Ray will fetch me to go home.

What a time we had!!!  And now we have to step back into reality.

My WC experience did not end here.  In the next week I was working with a very VIP group of executives and their associates from a large multinational company. We were two guides with a host of security guys around at all times. We took a coach load to the Pilanesberg for the day.  They were all very excited when my group in the open vehicle sited the last cheetah, the other groups saw elephant and rhino (both black & white) and we had a bush tea overlooking the dam and a boma lunch near Manyani gate.

The next day was a visit to the Apartheid Museum and a drive around Soweto, lunch at Moyo and some shopping. Then it was Sunday, final shopping at the Rosebank Craft Market, lunch and  off to the final at Soccer City.

Lots of excitement, lots of expectations. It was really cold but we saw our guests through the gates and off to their hospitality suite. 

Chris returned to the coaches, I had brought my IBC accreditation and met up with Ben, so we went to watch the match on the 3D screen in the IBC cinema.  If I could not watch the match live, this was the next best thing to do. It really brought the match to life and Spain’s win just too exciting.  Ben and I raced back to the stadium at the end of the game to wait for our groups to emerge.  Oi! Was it cold waiting for them!!  Eventually, I met up with the group, their group leaders and security. In the crush, it took a while to get to the coaches, and we got the group back at the Westcliff by 01h30.


My amazing 6 week experience of a life time had come to an end.

The crowds entering soccer City



Sun – 27 June

This was our very first full off day.  So we decided that we were going to see wild animals.  After a late start, I took the team to the Rhino and Lion Park in Muldersdrift.  We had a great day, we saw virtually all the animals and buck living in this reserve.  We went to the Lion, Cheetah and Wild Dog feeds.

They played with the cubs in the animal crèche, viewed the Reptile house and had lots of fun.  We then met up with Ray at Gilroy’s (an Irish pub also in Muldersdrift – NW of JHB) to watch England vs Germany.  What a disappointment for the guys, Germany absolutely thrashed England.  While at Gilroy’s and just after we had eaten a late Lunch, Jon received an invite to Moyos for dinner.  This was to join our HBS Production crew for their farewell dinner as they would be leaving during the week.  So we raced back to Pretoria, changed out of our dusty gear, dressed up for Moyo’s and went off to Melrose Arch.  Because I had already eaten I only had a salad, everyone else had a good time.  Garth from the JHB1 team was there, so we caught up with each other’s adventures.  At some stage I joined the dancing and hilarity on the ground level and danced with Mexican and other fans. They too had a great time. Another very late evening.

Mon – 28 June

We did not have any assignments, so it was time to catch up with emails, photos etc and in the afternoon I took Andy and Jon for a Pretoria drive around.  We had lived here for almost a month and really had not seen anything of the city. We went to Pappas for dinner and actually had a reasonable early night.

Tues – 29 June

Our 2nd last assignment was to go to a Referee’s training session.

There has been many bad referee calls during the tournament and this was a media day to see what kind of training the ref’s did and then to interview whoever we wished. An interesting morning, with well over 100 press corps being present. In the afternoon we all went off to the stadium to film, Paraquay and Japanese fans for the evening game. We could not get tickets, so Andy(Ninja), Janine and Steve managed to gate-crash the game and Jon, Andy and I returned to the hotel.  Ben and I watched the game at Hatfield. Dinner at Zappas after the game.  Great dinner but over ate!!!!

Wed – 30 June


Our last assignment. 

A party at the home of one of the Fans.




Lindsey at the Final wearing 3D glasses
















Mon – June 21 

The whole crew went to Florida to meet with Mrs Denise Pienaar, Steve Pienaar’s mother.  We were filming a family profile feature. Mrs Pienaar is a shy lady but only too happy to talk about her successful son.  He bought her this house in a quiet part of this old West Rand suburb several years ago to take his family out of Westbury, a rough gang-ruled western Johannesburg suburb. Interesting interior décor.  The house is filled with memorabilia, but lacks the warmth of a home even though Mrs. Pienaar lives with her younger children and 2 foster children.  When the filming around the house was finished, Andy and I went to the IBC for him to start the edit while Ninja took Mrs. Pienaar, Steve, Jon and Janine to film around Westbury. Apparently a very rough neighbourhood. This turned out to be a very long but interesting day.

Steve filming in a JHB Power light repair truck.




The front of convoy was to be led by an Orange open top bus and there was also to be a police escort to Midrand. Steve and I got onto the bus and so did several other press corps and all the Kamper press officers including Wieke. Off we went.  It was BL&*^$@$#%$Y COLD but as soon as we set off and were on the highway the bar was opened and the H++++++N Beer was poured. How Steve managed to operate his camera is a wonder but he did a great job and I just had to help with the microphone.  The highway was cleared of traffic except for one lane and there were lots of media cars driving up and down filming this unbelievable spectacle. The traffic coming in the opposite direction could not believe their eyes and hooted as they drove past.  Sometime later we arrived at the New Road off ramp.  It was here that the police left the convoy, and everybody was on their own to meet at the campsite in Durban.  Most of the Orange vehicles stopped and took a break for some breakfast. We stayed for a coffee to warm up and then raced down the motorway to find a bridge off which Steve could film the Kampers carrying on down the road. Having completed the most fun assignment ever, we then returned to Pretoria. 

Our assignment was the start of a continuing feature that was filmed all around the country as the Kampers moved from city to city for their matches. What a fun day!!! On our return, I put our names down on the media list for tickets for the game that evening – SA vs Uruguay.  It was so cold in the stadium, all 5 of us left early to have our freebee supper and get home.

Thurs and Friday were off days as Jon and Andy spent the time to catch with their editing and paper work.  I had to hang around Pretoria on Thursday but on Friday the guys went to the IBC to work for the day, so I got the whole day off in Johannesburg and I spent it catching up with friends and family. That evening it was back to Pretoria around 8 and off to Zappa’s to join the rest of the team for a great steak dinner.  Super restaurant, great prices and a Blue Bulls fan pub. We all had a great evening.


Sat -  June 19

We went to Johannesburg to the Innes Free Fan Fest to meet Kamil Ranshod.

Sun – June 20 

A fun day at Gold Reef City.  It was not as busy as I would have expected, but the crew filmed all around the amusement park, Andy took one of the water rides to film the action and got quite wet. He spent the rest of day with wet feet. They interviewed several of the fun seekers. I think that Steve really enjoyed himself on this assignment.  Jon and Andy worked at editing all the way back to Pretoria; we dropped them at Loftus and then return to the hotel.  I finally got a call at 9 to collect them. We had a late dinner and it was off to bed after another fun day.








Wed – 16 June.

A very early, bitterly cold start. Just Ninja, Steve and myself. Jon and Andy were at the hotel editing. This was the morning to meet the ‘Oranje Kampers’ – the Netherlands fan group.

They were encamped at ‘The Fountains’ Camping ground on the outskirts of Pretoria. The press officer Wieke met with us and gave us our press passes.  Steve was then free to move around the camp to interview and film. It was so cold that the frost was still centimeters thick on the ground but our task was to film the campers, decamping and leaving in the convoy to Durban for the next Netherlands match three days hence against Japan. The convoy would comprise 25 Orange vehicles and 150 regular camper cars. The Orange vehicles had all travelled overland through Europe and down through the east part of Africa. It had taken 70 days for the convoy to reach Pretoria. This then meant there would be 600-odd people on the road in a 6 km long convoy. It was all very exciting to be involved with setup. At 8 o’clock the convoy started to get ready to line up and leave.


Map on a truck showing their route through Africa

Not one of the most exuberant parties; they had just travelled back from Durban after their encounter with Australia where they had won and partied most of the night.  Anyway we met up with two musicians; one playing African Bongo Drums and the other, a specially made Alpine Horn painted with the German and South African flags and colours. The interesting part was that they are raising funds for the international ‘SMILE FOUNDATION’. An organisation that offers facial re-constructive surgery to disfigured persons, normally children born with cleft lips and pallets. Steve filmed, Jon interviewed, Andy held the mikes, Ninja, Janine and I just sat around. We had a bit of a supper with the Germans, watched the game on the big screen and then left. Another successful but late night.

Tues – 15 June

A late morning start and in the afternoon we headed off to ORTambo International Airport to meet Korean fans from South Korea (or so we thought). We met our translator as the group came through the arrival door, and this made the meet and greet easy. The crew travelled on the coach, did interviews and filmed the group. Andy (Ninja) and I followed in the car.  We went for dinner to a small Korean restaurant in Rivonia.  Interesting dinner!

Not really sure what we ate! Dinner was not a lengthy process and we were soon back on the road to Pretoria.  Once the group finally checked in, the interviews continued when Jon was informed that an interview room had been set up. Sometime later, my crew emerged and said they were ready to go. Jon then told us that this group were not really fans but an entire TV programme production crew. Actors, cameramen, makeup artists, the lot. They were entirely sponsored for this trip. It turned out the main characters were comedians.