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They are big with different kinds of colors. They don’t care about life as long as they get something to eat. You will find them everywhere, but they stay in a township called Alexandra yes I am talking about Rats. Others may take rats and mice and make them their pets but for us people of Alex it’s terrifying to have rats as our pets.

We live, eat, sleep with them. These rats have invaded our beautiful township. mobile public screening in Setshwetla Alexandra

They are seen day & night yet we think it is normal, at first it was 1, 2, 10 but there are millions of rats in Alexandra township. These rats come with their own diseases, but still we sit and keep quiet. I am a citizen journalist of Alex who is very concerned because these rats won’t only give me their disease, but the whole of Alex will suffer.

So we took the rats’ film to Setjwetla one of the informal settlements in our township, trying to hear their views and what can we do about this problem.

The people were very shocked when they heard about the diseases that the rats carry. We consulted with them. This is what they said, “as long we don’t clean after ourselves nothing will be done to get rid of these rats”, the other one said “we as Alexandra citizens, we need to help the municipality and work with them to keep our township clean”.

We do not plead to the government only but to the people as well please let’s keep our yards clean, let’s live in a clean environment, the government is trying to help Alexandra by bringing owls to the township so people I leave you with this question. What do you think about owls in the township of Alex?






There comes a time where you have to think about the aftermath of the world cup. There were rumours about the outbreak of xenophobic attacks post world cup. I don’t think that we are united enough to stop these attacks because we as people don’t think about other people’s needs.
Football for Hope Festival in Alexandra
Think about when you’re going to their homes and they start these hate crimes, how will you feel being tortured and treated like an animal? You may say I’m overreacting but I’m not, it was not long ago when our own revolutionaries went to their countries for safety.

We must stop blaming foreigners for lack of jobs and poor service delivery when it is our own government that is slow when it comes to delivery. Let us start to stand up to the government using peaceful means pressuring them to deliver on their election promises.

As a video journalist of Hillside Digital I can say we need to stop such hate before we end up being a nation with no spirit of togetherness. We need to figure out how we can solve all these problems that we have as a country.  

The world cup just ended let us stop this whole madness and carry on with that mojo of one nation. We were united by football so let us be proud of being united as Africans. At Hillside Digital we are very happy about the screenings that we’re going to do in Alexandra, we have issues that are affecting the community. The major problem is the rat issue and it is becoming very sensitive because they even eat babies and they have diseases. If we are not careful and continue to wait for others to solve our problems then we may face the real possibility of an outbreak of the plague. We must work together as a community, as a nation, to solve these problems.

If we can dream to be one, we can become one. At Hillside Digital we are the voice for the voiceless. Let us be proud of who we are and where we come from.

The most magical youth soccer tournament will be another world spectacular; the Football for Hope Festival in Alexandra Township. It becomes the potential land mark for FIFA to leave behind a lasting legacy, influence social change amongst youth and social integration.

It is the first time that the FIFA Football for Hope Festival will be hosted in a township rather than first world city centers. This after the same Alexandra experienced xenophobic attacks a year ago. South Africa is one of the most sensitive countries  in racial and tribal clashes, however the objective of the world’s most popular sport may just be the way to a peaceful world and a  tolerant planet.

On the 28th June 2010, the Football for Hope organizers welcomed the 32 teams from around the world in the Team Village East of Johannesburg. It is only the beginning of an exciting season ahead. Amongst the teams were South Africa, England, Uruguay, Kenya, America, Brazil, Cambodia and others. Teams were carefully selected from different community social initiatives within the Football for Hope movement for their commitment. Teams were drawn to play against each other for three beautiful trophies, the main one made by the same manufacture which made the FIFA World Cup trophy, and the Clay Pot trophy made by a local artist as it carried African originality and the essence of South African Pride.

Our cameras followed around Tshepiso, our presenter, as the teams were socializing and enjoying themselves. It truly became a top experience when we had to adjust our presentation language; we were exchanging languages from English to French from Portuguese to Zulu, and it only meant the world is one.

I want to dedicate this moment to the late king of pop Michael Jackson; his famous song loved by the youth around the world “We are the world, we are the children.” May his vision for one world come one step closer through the Football for Hope Festival beginning this Sunday.

Football has become a vital instrument for hundreds of social development programs run by non-government and community based organisations all around the world.

These programs are providing children and young people with valuable tools that make a difference to their lives by addressing the most pressing issues in each community, they are contributing to positive social change on a global scale.

Boys and girls from around the globe between the ages of 15 and 18 yrs, who in their respective countries are members of organisations that tackle social issues using football, form the 32 delegations that are participating in the Football For Hope festival between 4 July to 10 July in the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg.

Millions around the world play football and it is a tool that brings peace and harmony. It is a privilege that Alexandra is hosting the “baby” world cup of FIFA. As a disadvantaged community we are very happy about the FFH Festival, because it will bring the community together and it’s a legacy that will be left by FIFA.

I am convinced that the time is right to build on understanding, to encourage governments, development agencies, and communities to think how sport can bring people together to be one Nation. Alexandra has a rich history in sports especially in football, so I say let us embrace the game let the love spread for the 32 teams that will be playing on Sunday.

I never thought that one day I would walk through and work in a place where I always saw their name only on the TV, that place is the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). I reached my goal of making my documentary by working with colleagues in Hillside Digital and the Siyakhona Project, and I hope it doesn’t stop there. Sometimes dreams come and go. If I don’t hold onto what I believe I will lose what I wanted to achieve in life. I am now taught how to be responsible and to be strong but there is one thing holding me back.

I must teach myself to talk and share my opinions with others. I am not shy, it’s just that sometimes others say what I wanted to say and that is why I don’t speak, but now I realise that I must stand my ground and be me. I will never give up in life even if it means that I must go the extra mile to begin a successful future in my life, I will.

I have learned a lot since I started at Hillside Digital and I will try by all means to succeed. I will try my best to do the impossible. I’d like to be one of those professional film makers, that is my dream that I have as a person and I will make sure that I give my all to that dream.

Shirley Langley is a 20-years old and lives with her foster family in Alexandra where she was born and raised. She finished high school in 2007 and excelled at sports. Her passion is to be a sports reporter and a video editor and to tell stories on camera which encourage young people to engage in sports as a means of keeping healthy and focused – and as a way of avoiding teenage pregnancy, crime and substance abuse.