NJSIAA Keeps Hope Alive for a Spring High School Sports Season

first_imgCoaches may interact virtually with their student-athletes, including providing workouts or training materials. However, such virtual contact – as well as any activity that may result from it – must strictly conform to all directives in effect related to the coronavirus out- break and social distancing guidelines. In addition, any virtual contact and resultant activities must be entirely in keeping with all NJSIAA in-and off-season protocols. With the doors shut on high schools, the spring sports season is on hold. Many athletes and coaches fear there could be no sports played for the remainder of the school year, but the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJ-SIAA) is keeping the door open to the possibility of some sort of spring sports season, if schools reopen. The NJSIAA executive committee held a teleconference April 1 and released the following statement: No, the NJSIAA Scholar Athlete Luncheon, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 17, has been canceled. NJSIAA is continuing to solicit nominations from each member school and will send each honoree a certificate and gift. Monetary scholarships, however, will not be awarded this year. While the return-to-school date will play a significant role in determining the length of the regular season, NJSIAA staff will also discuss options with officers of each league and conference. Important factors in determining the potential length of the regular season will be feedback from these officers related to the status of various county or conference tournaments, as well as plans for abridged divisional and/or inter-con-ference schedules. By Rich Chrampanis What is the status of NJ-SIAA championship tournaments? Here are the NJSIAA’s answers to some frequently asked questions, as of March 25: This article originally appeared in the April 2nd, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. During the governor’s statewide shutdown of all schools, no practices, scrimmages, or games may be held. This includes any event organized by a parent, captain, or other student-athlete. RICH CHRAMPANIS Pitcher Shane Panzini looked to lead RBC as the defending Shore Conference champions. All spring sports are side- lined during the quarantine from the coronavirus pandemic center_img No, during the governor’s statewide shutdown of all schools, no NJSIAA member school, school district, or coach may conduct practices, scrimmages, or games (which includes all official interscholastic contests). This is a mandatory period of no in-person contact between coaches and their student-athletes. Are coaches allowedto have in-person contactwith student-athletes whileschools are shut down? When schools are able toreopen, how will NJSIAAdetermine the length of theregular season? “While a return-to-school date and related public health guidelines will determine the viability of a spring sports season, NJSIAA is committed to doing whatever is possible to provide New Jersey’s student-athletes with some type of spring season. We have not given up on spring sports and will continue holding teleconferences and virtual meetings with leaders of our various leagues and conferences to assess options. To be clear, any effort to arrange for scholastic competition outside the traditional academic calendar would require support and approval beyond our office.” As stated in the previous FAQ, all dates, locations and qualification requirements per each sport’s tournament will be subject to change. As soon as a return-to-school date is made official, NJ-SIAA staff will work directly with key tournament staff for each sport to structure championship tournaments. Also, NJSIAA staff will work together to ensure that all sports will, as much as is feasible, provide consistent opportunities for participation and championship play. These restrictions are in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with restrictions imposed by the governor and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health. These restrictions relate to all sports, not just spring sports. Will NJSIAA host its annual Scholar Athlete Luncheon? last_img read more

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The delay of Tokyo puts an Olympic generation in danger

first_imgIn the case of the classified European teams (Spain, France, Romania and Germany) there was already a problem with age, since the tickets were distributed at the U-21 Euro Cup in 2019, which was for players born in 1996. In that sense, La Rojita had nine footballers who achieved the ticket and who, due to age, could not go to being from 1996 (Sivera, Junior, Aguirregabiria, Fabián, Roca, Ceballos, Pedraza, Fornals and Mikel Merino). Luis de la Fuente had decided to occupy the three places of those over 23 years old with three of the nine who were champions (he did not contemplate the idea of ​​taking footballers such as Ramos, Piqué or Jesús Navas).Now, if the norm is not changed, the championship in 2021 would become for soccer players born from 1998. In other words, the Sub-21 that began its cycle last September. In that case, only two of those who were champions in 2019 could attend by age (Dani Martín and Dani Olmo). Adding the three exceptions that the regulation allows, only five of the 23 champions could enjoy the prize they won in that Euro Cup and be among the 18 chosen by Luis de la Fuente.However, although the IOC must first resolve other more far-reaching issues, when the new calendar and regulations are organized, an exception is included for these 2021 Games and football becomes an U-24 competition. This is indicated by logic and this will be claimed by all the participants. The Olympic Games will be held in 2021 and this opens an unknown question in football, the only sport with an age limit. Of the 18 players called up by each team, 15 must be under-23 (the other three have no age limit). That is, in this 2020 the players should have been born from the year 1997.The one-year postponement means that the footballers born in 1997 will be 24 years old in 2021. This means that, if the regulation is not changed exceptionally and it is allowed to be U-24, the soccer players who obtained the Olympic ticket will not be able to compete. Sources from the Spanish Football Federation consulted by AS assure that it is still too early to find out and that nobody has notified them of anything, but they trust that the footballers born from 1997 will play the tournament. They understand that this postponement is something exceptional and, as such, an exception should also be made in the rule. It would be, according to these same sources, the most logical option and the one that everyone would prefer.Normally, all federations follow the same path as Spain. In fact, the first voices have already asked for it. “I hope that FIFA and IOC change the rule so that the players who have qualified for the Olympic Games can fulfill their dream”, Graham Arnold, Australia coach, has assured.last_img read more

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Rookies added to Windies Women World Cup squad

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC): Uncapped Akeira Peters and Shawnisha Hector have been named in a 20-member training squad to prepare for the Women’s Cricket World Cup in June. The 23-year-old Peters is an all-rounder from Grenada who was part of the training set-up ahead of last year’s home series against England in Jamaica but failed to gain selection. She was also a member of the Windward Islands squad for the Women’s Regional Championship in Guyana last year. Seventeen-year-old Hector is a fast bowler who hails from Antigua and who captained Leeward Islands during the Regional Championship. The call-up represents her first to the West Indies set-up. The duo will join the likes of mainstays Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin, and Merissa Aguilleira in the squad, which undergo camp from March 7-20 in Antigua. Later this year, West Indies Women will have a two-week camp in England to further prepare them for the Women’s World Cup, which is also being staged in England from June 24 to July 23. WINDIES GOOD ENOUGH At the last 50-overs World Cup in India four years ago, West Indies Women were good enough to reach the final before losing to Australia Women. West Indies Women are the reigning World Twenty20 champions following their triumph last April at the T20 World Cup in India. SQUAD: Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Erva Giddings, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Shaquana Quintyne, Tremayne Smartt, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor.last_img read more

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Hold both the Government and the Opposition accountable

first_imgDear Editor,I would like to take this opportunity to ask the media to be impartial and hold both the Government and the political Opposition accountable.While a free press is important to our fledgling democracy, they also need to be impartial in the discharge of their duties and be nonaligned.Governments, be it the People’s Progressive Party or the People’s National Congress, are known for spending Guyanese monies without providing a reasonably good service. They are quick to flash a big budget without resolving Guyana’s many problems. Hence, they need to be held accountable.Focus on the issues as you keep up the good work Stabroek News, Kaieteur News and Guyana Times.And, expect as you become/remain nonaligned for all sides to want to attack you with fallacious claims that you are supporting the other side.Yours faithfully,Sean Orilast_img read more

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MacArthur clash could be costly

first_imgThe judgments, he said, will be a “waste of taxpayers’ money,” with the city already struggling to balance its budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Two class-action suits already have been filed against the LAPD in U.S. District Court, alleging violation of demonstrators’ civil rights. Villaraigosa also repeated his promise that he and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton will investigate every aspect of the altercation “We’re going to get to the bottom of the situation because we have to,” the mayor said. At the same time, the mayor vowed that he won’t allow a witch hunt against the officers assigned to MacArthur Park on May 1. The clash between LAPD officers and demonstrators at a May 1 immigration rally will likely result in multimillion-dollar legal judgments that will be a “waste” of taxpayer dollars, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Sunday. The mayor’s comments came during an appearance on KNBC (Channel 4) and nearly two weeks after a televised altercation showed police wielding batons and firing rubber bullets at protesters and journalists in MacArthur Park. As the LAPD and Police Commission investigate the melee, the city has asked participants and witnesses to come forward with information and any video or photos. Villaraigosa said evidence provided by bystanders will be a key element in the city’s investigations, as well as civil suits he expects will result. He refused to be pinned down on how much he believes the litigation will cost the city, but estimated it will soar into the millions. “We’re going to protect the rights of officers, who put their lives on the line every day,” he said. “When an officer goes beyond law, beyond tactical training, beyond common sense, they have to be responsible like the rest of us.” He also said the investigators will look at the role of every command official and officer involved in the day’s events. “Historically, it’s always been a line officer who’s taken the brunt” of the blame, Villaraigosa said. “This is going to change.” At least four investigations – including a civil-rights inquiry by the FBI – have been launched into the clash. The Police Commission is due to report its findings to the City Council at the end of the month. The council also created a special task force to monitor the city’s investigations. It is holding a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday at Charles White Elementary School, 2401 Wilshire Blvd., across from MacArthur Park. A week after the clash, Bratton demoted Deputy Chief Caylor “Lee” Carter, a 33-year veteran who was the top-ranking commander at MacArthur Park. Carter’s second-in-command, Cmdr. Louis Gray, was reassigned from LAPD’s Central Division to the Operations Bureau. At the time, Bratton said the reassignments were a “personnel” rather than “disciplinary” decision. The 60 officers of Metro Division’s B Platoon, who were assigned to crowd control at MacArthur Park, also have been taken off the street. The officers of the city’s elite division were reportedly back at the Police Academy last week, receiving training in crowd control – tactics that sources said the officers had not previously received because they’d been concentrating on crime-suppression duties.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Iran first World Cup team to arrive in Russia

first_imgThey then travel to Kazan for a June 20 clash against former World Cup winners Spain, before concluding their group stage matches against Portugal on June 25.The three-time Asian Cup winner easily qualified for their second successive World Cup, going unbeaten in 10 matches in their Asian group.Iran lost 2:1 to Turkey in their last friendly on May 28, and have one last World Cup warmup against Lithuania on June 8.Coached by Portugal’s Carlos Queiroz, who has also managed his national side, Iran are long-shots to make their first knockout stage of a World Cup.European bookmakers put their odds of winning the whole thing at 500 to 1.They will be based at the training facilities of the Russian Premier League club Lokomotiv Moscow, on the Russian capital’s southwestern outskirts.Grouping 32 nations, the World Cup concludes in Moscow on July 15.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Iran’s Mehdi Taremi (R) celebrates with his teammates Sardar Azmoun (C) and Alireza Jahan Bakhsh a © AFP/File / Karim JAAFARMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 5 – Iran became the first team Tuesday to arrive in Russia for the World Cup, a month-long celebration of football that kicks off in Moscow’s historic Luzhniki Stadium on June 14.Playing in their fifth finals and ranked 36 by FIFA, Iran begin their campaign against Group B rivals Morocco on June 15 in Nizhny Novgorod.last_img read more

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Inside Stars’ Paris camp- the medical room

first_imgFor the first time in the team’s history, there was bigger and better attention to the recovery and injury management of players.Harambee Stars team doctor Wycliffe Makanga fixes a recovery machine on midfielder Francis Kahata at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, France. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“I have been here for long and I can say this is the best investment I have ever seen in the medical department. Not just in terms of the facility but also the top notch personnel brought on board but also the amount of money used to equip this room. This are not cheap equipment,” Makanga told Capital Sport.The medical team headed by Makanga also has Wycliffe Oduo and Frenchman Hanneuse Olivier who specialize in physiotherapy as well as osteopath Ludovic Breul, whose speciality mainly rotates around injury management and recovery.“I have done this for a while now for several teams in France. I have also specialized in Chinese alternative medicine and working for the Kenya national team is an honor for me,” says Breul who hails from the Re-Union Islands.Harambee Stars team physio Hanneuse Olivier and osteopath Ludovic Breuil helping midfielder Francis Kahata in his recovery at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, France. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluBreul and Olivier were brought on board by head coach Sebastien Migne. Breul was seconded to the tactician by goalkeeper trainer Coffy Guillame with whom he worked with during is active days as a footballer.He also specializes in a special kind of aquatic recovery.Oduo who also works for Kenyan Premier League side Mathare United hopes that he can pick up lessons to take back home and has challenged clubs to invest in their medical teams because that majorly makes or breaks a team.He says that the National Rugby Centre has made it easier to work, saying it is equipped with modern and state of the art facilities which complement what they already have in their own medical room.Harambee Stars team physio Wycliffe Oduo gives defender Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma a massage to aid in his recovery at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, France. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“The gym is one of the best because it has all equipment we need both for strength and conditioning as well as measuring fitness and all. There is a Cybex machine that helps us measure muscle strength of a player and that helps us to know the weak and strong areas of each player,” Oduo stated.“The facility also has a tranquil nature park that we use for our recovery and early morning runs and the fresh breath around makes it really interesting,” he said.Harambee Stars Ludovic Breuil assesses Brian Mandela’s injury after he was carried off during a training session at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, France. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe equipment in the room is diverse, with majority leaning on recovery and injury management.There are two transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units that most of the players including Ayub Timbe have used to manage their knee injuries as well as an Aircast Knee Cryo Cuff with Cooler.The room also has several massage tables which the players find very comforting after tough training lessons.Harambee Stars team doctor Wycliffe Makanga and physio Hennuse Olivier assess Ayub Timbe’s recovery after a training session at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, France. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu0Shares0000(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Ayub Timbe and Francis Kahata relax on the bed during a Cryo session at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, France. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluPARIS, France, Jun 18 – On the first floor of the main wing at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, Paris, Harambee Stars took an entire room and turned it into a mini sports hospital, fully equipped and ready to deal with any eventuality arising from training or out of it.In Paris, Stars had a medical team of four, headed by the experienced Wycliffe Makanga who has worked with the national team for close to two decades.last_img read more

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Seven English targets for Man City as Guardiola aims to increase homegrown quota

first_img 7 Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) – City may have the worst goalkeeping situation among all 20 Premier League clubs. Joe Hart has been exiled and is set to be sold this summer, Claudio Bravo has been woeful since moving to England, and Willy Caballero is just not very good. Bringing in a new keeper is imperative, and Pickford from relegated Sunderland would be ideal. He is the goalkeeper with the best distribution in the top flight, and has proven himself a fine shot stopper with the Black Cats. Incredibly he is still only 23, and City could guarantee themselves a top class keeper for a least a decade by signing Pickford. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) – click the right arrow to see other potential Manchester City targets… – A known target of Pep Guardiola, rumours of Walker leaving White Hart Lane have increased in frequency since Sunday – when he was left out the team for the north London derby. Spurs are in no rush to sell any of their players, though the Independent claim Walker would be the first to leave this summer if they have to get rid of one. He is rated at £35m, and City need to bring in new full-backs at the end of this season to fix the most glaring weakness in Guardiola’s squad. The England defender would be perfect for the Spaniard’s system, and has proven himself one of Europe’s best full-backs since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs. 7 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) – Moving to the Etihad could revive Wilshere’s career, and Guardiola is also keen on saving another Arsenal player from the Emirates. Oxlade-Chamberlain has never properly developed since moving to north London, and he is said to be keen on leaving to reignite his career – with City interested. Still young, Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to be a perfect fit for Guardiola. He is remarkably versatile, having performed well in attacking, wide and central midfield roles; his recent switch to wing-back has also been a success. Guardiola’s ability to improve players on a one-on-one basis will surely appeal to Oxlade-Chamberlain, and this move could also benefit the England national team – with the 23-year-old yet to show his potential for his country. 7 7 Pep Guardiola has been handed roughly £150 million to spend in the transfer market this summer, as he looks to transform Manchester City into realistic title contenders.Despite being handed the same amount of money prior to the start of this season, City have been well below par, and Guardiola needs to fix some glaring weaknesses in his squad.However, it is not just positions that are important to Guardiola, as he needs to ensure he brings in English players to fill the homegrown quota requirement.Joe Hart is set to leave at the end of the season, and doubts remain about Gael Clichy, Fabian Delph and Tosin Adarabioyo. Should they all depart, only John Stones and Raheem Sterling would remain as homegrown players.City have been linked with bringing in a number of players to increase this quota, and talkSPORT take a look at seven potential English signings Guardiola could make.You can see them all by clicking the right arrow, above… 7 Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) – Though Wilshere has recently been ruled out until next season due to injury, City could still swoop for the Arsenal man in the summer – having signed Ilkay Gundogan whilst on the treatment table before the start of this season. Guardiola is a known admirer of the midfield player, who has spent this season on loan at Bournemouth. Wilshere would add further depth to City’s squad, especially in the centre midfield position where both Yaya Toure and Fernandinho are older than 30; Wilshere is still only 25. Doubts remain about his injury record, but Guardiola could consider signing Wilshere a risk worth taking – especially as he will be available on a cut-price fee with his contract expiring next season. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – Manchester City have a wealth of attacking players in their squad, many of whom consistently play at a world class level. However, Guardiola is reportedly keen on adding Crystal Palace winger Zaha, having been impressed by his performances this season. He is one of the best dribblers in the league, and City don’t really possess a top class player who just tears down the wing and crosses the ball into the area. As a squad player who is still young and would increase the homegrown quota, signing Zaha makes sense. 7 Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) – As well as Walker, Guardiola is a big fan of Spurs left-back Rose, rated at £50m. Signing the pair would immediately improve City’s defence, and increase the homegrown quota, making Rose another wise signing. However, Spurs are less keen on losing the left-back than Walker, and negotiating with Daniel Levy will not be an easy task. Like Walker, Rose is the perfect modern-day full-back, and would be a superb fit for Guardiola’s system. 7 Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) – As well as bringing in new full-backs, Guardiola is keen to address his central defensive problem. A new centre-half is likely to arrive at the Etihad, and Gibson is a logical choice. He will be one of the cheapest options out there – especially if Boro get relegated – and is young, homegrown and, most importantly for Guardiola, a gifted ball-playing defender. He may not be the kind of flashy name which will excite City fans, but signing Gibson will be similar to when Chelsea brought in Gary Cahill from Bolton. He is a better than average defender who is consistently good at his job, and will only improve under a world class coach. last_img read more

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Boro v Fuham: Whites unchanged, Bamford ruled out

first_imgFulham, having won their last three matches under caretaker boss Kit Symons, are unchanged from their 4-0 win against Bolton in midweek.Patrick Bamford misses out for Boro because of illness, while fellow Chelsea loanee Kenneth Omerou starts for the home side. Young goalkeeper Jamal Blackburn, who is also on loan from the Blues, is on the bench.Fulham: Bettinelli; Hoogland, Bodurov, Burn, Amorebieta; Parker; Christensen, Stafylidis; Ruiz; Rodallega, McCormackSubs: Kiraly, Kavanagh, Hyndman, Roberts, G.Williams, Woodrow, SmithMiddlesbrough: Fredericks, Ayala, Omeruo, Friend; Adomah, Clayton, Leadbitter, Reach; Tomlin, Kike.Subs: Blackman, Gibson, Williams, Whitehead, Vossen, Nsue, Wildschut.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

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Emotional connection the core of Mashika’s music

first_imgZethu Mashika is one of the youngest film composers in South Africa. A self-taught musician, Mashika’s sounds prompt listeners to meet him halfway and interpret the message in their own way. (Image: Shamin Chibba) • Zethu Mashika Film composer +27 72 386 0981 me@zethumashika.com • Songbird Abigail Kubeka remembers songs for Mandela • McGregor’s music captures the African village • Blake and friends bring pop-classical mix to stage • Voodoo Funk: Ambassador of Afrobeat • Goema music goes classicalShamin ChibbaZethu Mashika looks like any young man walking around Melville in Johannesburg. He wears faded jeans, an old T-shirt and Converse All Star sneakers. And on a cold winter’s morning, he covers his head with an oversized beanie. The only thing that gives away his age is the beard that trails his jawline; without it, he would look like a boy just out of school.Judging by his attire, no-one would guess the 30-year-old is a film composer with an ear for all sounds from classical music to hip-hop. Mashika follows in the footsteps of black composers from the past including Jonas Gwangwa, Mbongeni Ngema, Joseph Shabalala and Caiphus Semenya and he is quickly becoming a regular in the country’s film industry. His music has been the emotional pivot for South African films such as Zama Zama and Skyf.The self-taught artist has won the best score award two years in a row in the 48 Hours Film Project, a festival that challenges filmmakers to create a film in just two days. And currently, he is working on two major films, a sex comedy called Working for Willy and South Africa’s first dance flick, Hear Me Move, which promises to be a blockbuster.For Mashika, music is his entire being. It determines his mood and directs his life. “Sometimes when I’m really upset I need to listen to music to calm down. It really has that effect on everything I do. I can’t function without it,” he explains.Success, however, did not come overnight. It took Mashika almost 10 years before he got the recognition he needed to break into the industry.Watch the ‘Zama Zama’ trailer, in which Mashika’s music features It all started with an old pianoAs a schoolboy at Benoni High, Mashika had always found pleasure in singing, rapping and beat boxing. But he only really discovered his love for music when he came across an old piano inside the school’s gym. Whenever he had the chance – between classes, during break and even after school – he would go to the gym and play. “Even though I couldn’t play I would just carry on and teach myself certain songs.”He has received no formal music training apart from bits of advice from other pianists. “I would ask them ‘how do you play this?’ They would show me and I would repetitively do that over and over.”His love of harmony, which features so regularly in his compositions, came from his time in the school’s choir. “I joined the choir in matric just to keep my voice in check and I got a little bit more than that. Right now I harmonise everything.”After matriculating he went on to study electro-mechanical engineering at Tshwane University of Technology in 2003. It was here that he got access to a friend’s computer and a sequencing programme called Fruity Loops. He started making about 25 songs a week. “I was a machine. I was exploring all these ideas I had and it was exploding.”At first, he wanted to produce commercial music and become famous. But, he says, he grew up and wanted something more challenging. Then, in 2009, he found his calling when he met Mfundo Mkhize, a film director who became a good friend. It was a Friday night when a friend asked Mashika to score a student film. He jumped at the chance. He was collected and taken to the studio where he met Mkhize, the student trying to make the film. Mashika scored it in one night. He realised film composing was the challenge for which he was looking. “It was at that very moment that I decided I was a film composer.”LISTEN: ‘Facing the Rock’ composed by Mashika for the ‘Zama Zama’ original soundtrackBig breakBut when Mashika started hunting for work he did not expect it to be as tough as it was. He was staying on his own, broke and desperate. Going back to his parents’ home, however, was not an option. He kept at it for two years until his big break came.He was sitting in a coffee shop on Melville’s Seventh Avenue when he overheard two men at the next table talking about shooting a film. “In my head I was thinking, I could be polite and keep minding my own business, which wouldn’t get me anywhere. Or I could just speak to them and ask them politely. The worst that could happen would be that they would tell me to butt out of their conversation. Or I could get my first feature film.”He introduced himself as a film composer and asked to pitch to their director. It was a gutsy move that paid off because two days later, filmmaker Vickus Strijdom called him and set up a meeting. Mashika gathered all the material he had for his presentation. “I went into the meeting with a crappy laptop, and crappy earphones. I told him I hadn’t scored a feature before but I was studying it by myself.”Mashika asked for a chance and Strijdom gave it to him. “He said ‘I want you to create something organic. A sound the way you’ll see it.’ He gave me two weeks.”And so he started writing the music for Strijdom’s Zama Zama, a film set in the gold mines of Gauteng. The night before he began composing the music, Mashika lost his voice while out partying. “It turned out to be perfect for the song I was doing. The texture of my voice came out coarse.”He invited Strydom to a friend’s garage studio where he could listen to the sample. After hearing it, the director said: “Welcome to the project; we are taking you in.”Watch the ‘Skyf’ trailer, which features Mashika’s music Music a spiritual endeavourThe first thing one sees when entering Mashika’s Melville flat is the studio on the right. With three computer monitors, two mounted speakers, a keyboard and electronic drum set all placed on the table, it is clear that he is most comfortable exploring his ideas at home.He says film scoring forces him to feel the music, and at times he is so overcome by emotion, he tears up. The score he wrote for Zama Zama was particularly painful. “The emotion takes over me while I’m composing. I have to feel it before I can make anyone else feel it too.”This is the sort of sensation he looks to project to audiences through his music. He also adds vocals to some of his compositions, often using his own singing voice. In the process he creates his own language, one that does not exist, he says. “I want you to hear a human voice that you can connect to. And once you connect to it, I don’t want you to understand what I’m saying but feel what I’m saying.”Words, he believes, are a weaker form of communication as people remember what they feel more than what they hear or read. “Nothing works better than music, or something visual. Once you remove words [from] the equation, you rely on spiritual communication.”LISTEN: ‘Run’ composed by Mashika for the ‘Zama Zama’ original soundtrack Being a young black composer a blessing and curseThe New Age and the Goethe Institute have called Mashika the youngest black composer in South Africa. While this may be considered a compliment, it has also posed a problem. “Within the industry right now, the perception of film composers from directors is that they are old white men. But when they see the direct opposite – a young black man – it creates the Great Wall of China between me and them, even before they even have the chance to listen to my music.”It took a lot for him to break through that wall, but judging by his success, he has managed to tear it down.Mashika is one of the few South African film composers working in the country. There are not enough of them to render the art form an industry. He speaks of Philip Miller, for example, who scored the film The Bang Bang Club and the television series Yizo Yizo.As for black South African musicians who have worked in film, Mashika can only think of Lebo Morake. He arranged and performed the music for Disney’s The Lion King. Even then, Mashika points out, Morake did not score the film. That was left up to Hans Zimmer. With this in mind, Mashika opted out of this year’s 48 Hour Film Project. He says if he won the best film score award again, it would mean there had been no growth in South African film composition. Always looking to improveHe is constantly striving to improve himself, taking on projects that push his creativity to the limit. Dance movie Hear Me Move was one of those that saw him go beyond himself. “After seeing the first cut I knew the music was going to make or break it. That is awesome for me because I don’t want to stay at the same place. I want to have something that will push me to become better.”In the coming year he will be scoring Working for Willy as well as a television series. And again, he will be using the small studio in his flat to create the big sounds that move audiences. He says composing music electronically makes more financial sense to him and that it is the quickest way to get a song from his head to reality. “It’s only recently [that I have been] hiring software, otherwise I always had to use the cheapest and the best ways. It doesn’t matter what you use. It just matters that you have an idea and how you execute it.”Mashika believes that he has found his life’s path in film composing, and he has a bit of advice for those who wish to find their own way. “Whatever you choose to do for the rest of your life shouldn’t be done just to express yourself. It should be a way of life. Then it means more to the person who is going to receive it.”Being a film composer is his core and is an essential part of his existence. “I’m a film composer on a spiritual basis. I know I’m never going to retire. I know I’m going to be in the middle of a score when I pass out.” – This article was updated on 1 August 2014.last_img read more

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