12 April 2007Evelina Tshabalala, Zukiswa Matamo and Nomawethu Nika from Mandela Park informal settlement in Hout Bay, Cape Town are used to making their way through hardship.That’s why they’re not daunted by their latest project: to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents and, in the process, become the first black women to conquer Everest. The journey beginsMatamo and Nika summited Russia’s Mount Elbrus on 9 September 2006. Tshabalala summited Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro on 8 July 2006, followed by Matamo on Women’s Day, 9 August and Nika on 9 November.Next up was Aconcagua in Argentina, South America’s tallest peak, summited by Matamo and Nika on 7 January, followed by Tshabalala on 26 February. Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko is next in line for the trio, with Tshabalala planning to catch up on Elbrus before or after the Australasia trip.They’ve called their project “Isicongo”, after the isiZulu word for the top of a mountain.“Every summit has its own character,” says Tshabalala. “They differ in heights and levels of difficulty. Kilimanjaro is not the most difficult or dangerous, but when I reached the top, at that very moment I was the highest person in Africa.“There is no feeling like it. I can’t wait to get started on Elbrus.”The Seven SummitsLess than two hundred people have climbed all of the so-called Seven Summits, the highest mountain top on each of the seven continents.Subject to debate, the seven are: Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa; Elbrus in Russia, Europe; Vinson Massif in Antarctica; McKinley (also known as Denali) in Alaska, North America; Kosciuszko in Australia, Australasia/Oceania; Aconcagua in Argentina, South America; and Everest in Nepal, Asia.[*Note: there is some controversy over which seven summits count as the seven – and accordingly over how many have climbed all seven. See more on this below.]Although the seven are “non-technical” mountains – meaning that advanced rock climbing skills and equipment are not needed to climb them – they involve gruelling routes, hostile weather conditions, and extreme altitude.John Reader, in his book Kilimanjaro, describes climbing Africa’s highest peak as follows:“The climb is not difficult in mountaineering terms, you could say it is equivalent to scrambling up a staircase more than three kilometres long. Or you could say that it is equivalent to clambering up the side of nine Empire State Buildings laid end to end at about sixteen degrees.“But then at 4 710m, where the final ascent of Kilimanjaro begins, there is little more than half the density of oxygen which occurs on Manhattan or at the foot of most staircases. So, in effect, the aspiring climber attempts the equivalent of those feats with the equivalent of only one lung.“The result is agonising, there is no other word for it.”Tshabalala, no stranger to endurance sport, describes her own experience on the mountain as follows: “When I was near the top of Kili, I began to get very tired. My water was frozen, my feet were frozen and my legs felt heavy.“I had to talk to myself and focus my thoughts. I thought about all my family, living and dead, and willed them to help me. I imagined the pride I would feel when I reached the top. Eventually I got there.”Beating the oddsTshabalala, 41, is a single mother, the sole bread-winner in her family, and lives in a one-bedroom shack next to a rubbish dump. She’s survived a car accident, the death of her second son – and the news that she’s HIV-positive.She’s also an accomplished marathon runner: in 1994 she realised her life-long dream of taking part in the London Marathon, where she placed 25th.It was running that first brought Tshabalala and Matamo, a domestic worker and mother of three, together in 2003.Matamo had spent the previous two years struggling to lose the weight she had put on after the birth of her third child. Tshabalala’s solution began with a 20-kilometre run.“After that run I decided I never wanted to see Evelina again,” says Matamo. “I kept looking at her and thinking, I’m never running with you again.”Eighteen months later, the two were running marathons together, Matamo had shed 42 kilograms, and the friendship was unbreakable. They remember each others’ times for every race they have run together. And Matamo doesn’t mind finishing behind Tshabalalo – because she always runs back to keep her company until the finish line.Then there were threeIn 2005, Tshabalala and Matamo climbed Table Mountain, and were hooked at once on this lofty new expression of their sporting abilities.In the same year, Matamo met Nika, also a mother and domestic worker, who had also starting running in order to lose weight.Matamo encouraged Nika to start running competitively, and within the space of a few months Nika had completed the Winelands Marathon, Two Oceans Half Marathon and Knysna Marathon.Achieving their new goal will require intense physical and psychological effort – and a fair dose of good luck, especially when it comes to the highest of them all: Mount Everest.Logistical mountains“Denali [or Mount McKinley, in Alaska] is the best preparation for Everest,” says Matamo. “You are dropped off on a glacier where you have to drag your supplies on a sled as you start climbing. We will need to dig a hole in the ice and pitch our tent inside the hole.“After that, we will need to hack enormous bricks out of the ice to place around the perimeter of the hole to protect our tent from the violent winds. All this must happen in the wind, snow and freezing cold. This mountain is going to test our strength, mentally and physically.”The logistics involved in the project are daunting in themselves. Take the Vinson Massif, part of the Sentinal Range of Antarctica, located at 78°S and a mere 1 200km from the South Pole.In order to get to the Vinson Massif base camp, mountaineers must take a plane from Punta Arenas in Chile to the Patriot Hills blue-ice runway on the Antarctic surface. From there, they must take a one hour’s helicopter ride to the base camp – and hope that the weather is kind.People often have to wait up to three weeks before the weather will allow helicopters to land there – to drop them off or to pick them up afterwards – often resulting in supplies being exhausted.And that’s just one leg of the Seven Summits journey. There are six more trips to be organised, timed and carried out.Mountains of the mind“What we are doing may be newsworthy because it is a ‘first’, and no other black women have done this,” says Tshabalala.“But just because it makes the papers, it doesn’t make it more important than someone overcoming their own challenges – whether it’s getting an education, a promotion, or surviving an ordeal.“Isicongo is a project that we hope will move others to move their own mountains.”Which seven summits?To climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents is a challenge that mountaineers have aspired to since American Dick Bass first publicised the idea in his book “Seven Summits” in 1985 – although he climbed the Australian summit Kosciuszko instead of the higher, more difficult Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.Canadian Pat Morrow was the first to complete all seven summits with Carstensz in 1986. Four months later, the great Reinhold Messner followed suit.Since then, there has been controversy over which seven count as the seven – some arguing that Kosciuszko, the highest point in Australia, should be included; others arguing that Australia is really not a continent, but that Australasia/Oceania is, and that Carstensz should therefore be included.Two overlapping lists of climbers who have climbed the seven summits – the seven with Carstensz list, and the seven with Kosciuszko list – have thus developed.According to 7summits.com, there are currently 100 names on the former list, and 139 on the latter. Taking overlaps into account, a total of 180 climbers have climbed the seven summits … 59 of them having climbed all eight!The eight summits (including both Carstens and Kosciuszko) are: Mt Everest, Nepal – 8 850mAconcagua, Argentina – 6 962mMt McKinley (or Denali), Alaska – 6 194mMt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania – 5 895mMt Elbrus, Russia – 5 642mVinson Massif, Antarctica – 4 897mCarstensz Pyramid (or Puncak Jaya), Indonesia – 4 884mMt Kosciuszko, Australia – 2 228mThe 8 000 metre peaksOf course, the seven summits – excepting Everest – are nowhere near being the tallest seven in the world.For these one has to consult another of mountaineering’s favourite lists: the list of the world’s 14 highest mountains, all of whose summits top 8 000 metres (above which one enters mountaineering’s “death zone”) – and all of which are found in the Himalayas (eight in Nepal, five in Pakistan, one in Tibet).SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
A guide to South Africa’s commercial radio stations, which includes what each offers, what frequency to tune into and where the broadcasting areas are.South Africa’s commercial radio stations include Metro FM, Jacaranda FM and Kaya FM. (Image: Jacaranda FM, Facebook)Brand South Africa reporterUnder apartheid, South Africa had only two independent radio stations. With the deregulation of broadcasting in the late 1990s, the number of commercial stations operating outside of state control proliferated.In 1996 six lucrative SABC stations were privatised: Gauteng’s 947 and Radio Jacaranda, KwaZulu-Natal’s East Coast Radio, the Western Cape’s KFM 94.5, the Eastern Cape’s Radio Algoa and the Free State’s OFM. The government raised over R500-million as the stations were licensed to various black-controlled groups.In early 1997 eight new commercial radio licences were granted for broadcasting in South Africa’s three biggest cities – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.Applicants targeting black audiences with new formats were generally favoured, with two “smooth jazz” licences, Heart 104.9 in Cape Town and Igagasi 99.5 in Durban; one urban youth station, YFM; and one urban contemporary station, Kaya FM. The remaining four licences went to an English-language talk station, CapeTalk 567; two Afrikaans talk stations, Punt in Cape Town and Durban; and a classical music station, Classic FM.Metro FMBroadcast in English, Metro FM is the largest national commercial station in South Africa, targeting 25- to 34-year-old black urban adults – who its owner the SABC describes as “trendy, innovative, progressive and aspirational”. While the station does have some information and educational aspects, the focus is firmly on contemporary international music – hip-hop, R&B, kwaito and more.Frequency: 96.4 FMMetro FM websiteBroadcast area: Metropolitan areas of Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western CapeAudience (past seven days): 5.26-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audioJacaranda FMOne of the largest independent commercial stations and also broadcasting in Gauteng, Jacaranda offers a mix of more easy-listening adult contemporary music and news.Frequency: 94.2 FMJacaranda FM websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 2.32-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audioEast Coast RadioEast Coast broadcasts a mix of music and news to Durban and throughout KwaZulu-Natal.Frequency: 94 to 95 FMEast Coast radio websiteBroadcast area: KwaZulu-NatalAudience (past seven days): 2.06-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audioYfmHome of Kwaito and the “Y Generation”, Y is the country’s most popular youth station. Yfm has a self-imposed 50% local music quota – more than any other radio station in the country. It works in partnership with New York-based Masters At Work, who have released SA artists into the US and Europe as part of YFM’s ongoing commitment to South African music and culture.Frequency: 99.2 FMYFM websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 1.34-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audio5FMThe SABC’s trendy youth-oriented station, 5FM’s emphasis is on the latest music, movies and South African youth trends. Broadcasting in English to South Africa’s metropolitan areas, its music styles are international, and include a strong component of South African artists of world standard.Frequency: see the 5FM frequency finder5FM websiteBroadcast area: Metropolitan areas of Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western CapeAudience (past seven days): 1.32-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audio947 (previously known as 94.7 Highveld Stereo)Popular home of Anele’s Breakfast Club, 947 broadcasts a mix of contemporary music that connects with Joburg. It is owned by Primedia Broadcasting.Frequency: 94.7 FM947 websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 1.18-millionLanguage: EnglishOwned by: PrimediaKaya FMKaya FM provides an African-focused adult contemporary and jazz format, with a mix of music and talk. One of the country’s newest radio stations, Kaya broadcasts throughout Gauteng.Frequency: 95.9 FMKaya FM websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 932 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioGood Hope FMCape Town’s largest radio station, the SABC’s Good Hope FM plays contemporary music ranging from R&B, ballads and pop through to hip hop, dance, jazz and old school. With a broadcast footprint covering metropolitan Cape Town, Langebaan, Malmesbury, Wellington, Paarl, Franchhoek, Stellenbosch and Gordon’s Bay, it targets the 22- to 32-year-old age group.Frequency: 93.9 to 96.7 FMGood Hope FM websiteBroadcast area: Western CapeAudience (past seven days): 620 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioAlgoa FMAlgoa FM’s music and news is broadcast to the entire Eastern Cape region.Frequency: 94 to 96.7 FMAlgoa FM websiteBroadcast area: Eastern CapeAudience (past seven days): 448 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audio702702 is Gauteng’s number-one current affairs and information station, offering news, sport, business and actuality programming – and lots of phone-in debate. Established in 1980, it was initially a youth music station, moving to the more adult talk format in 1988. During the apartheid era it was one of the only independent sources of broadcast news. The station is owned by Primedia.Frequency: 92.7 FM702 websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 281 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioCapeTalk 567Broadcasting on Medium Wave 567, CapeTalk is Cape Town’s first talk radio station. CapeTalk promises to bring you all the news, views, sport, weather, traffic and information you need. It is owned by Primedia.Frequency: 567 AM (MW)CapeTalk 567 websiteBroadcast area: Western CapeAudience (past seven days): 82 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioClassic FMBased on the UK station, Classic FM has been broadcasting classical music throughout Gauteng since September 1997. Through their partnership with Business Day, the station offers in-depth business coverage each week night from 6pm. There are also lifestyle features, news, financial updates, sport, and interviews with local artists and composers.Frequency: 102.7 FMClassic FM websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 151 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioKfm 94.5With the tagline “The most music. Feel Great”, Kfm 94.5 broadcasts adult contemporary music in the Western Cape and as far afield as Alexander Bay and the Northern Cape. It is owned by Primedia.Frequency: 94.5 FMKfm 94.5 websiteBroadcast area: Western Cape, Northern CapeAudience (past seven days): 1.29-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audioOFMThe commercial regional station of the Free State (a province with the name Orange Free State before 1994, hence the O), OFM broadcasts adult contemporary music.Frequency: 94 to 97 FMOFM websiteBroadcast area: Free StateAudience (past seven days): 436 000Language: English and AfrikaansOffers live internet audioRadio 2000To the listener, Radio 2000 is a laid back and non-intrusive radio station. Radio 2000, being a facility station, relies heavily on sports broadcasts. The result is that its listenership fluctuates, since it is often based on national and international sports events.Frequency: 97.2 to 100.2 FMRadio 2000 websiteBroadcast area: All provinces, except the Northern CapeAudience (past seven days): 151 000Language: EnglishChannel AfricaThe international radio service of the SABC offers a multilingual source of information on Africa – with news, music and sports. Broadcasts are in Chinyanja, Silozi, Kiswahili, English, French and Portuguese, with shortwave broadcasts covering south, east, central and west Africa, satellite broadcasts covering the sub-Saharan region – and internet broadcasts covering the entire world.Frequency: see the Channel Africa frequency guideChannel Africa websiteBroadcast area: south, east, central and west Africa (shortwave)Language: English, Chinyanja, Silozi, Kiswahili, French and PortugueseOffers live internet audioUseful linksAnt RadioBroadcasting Complaints Commission of South AfricaDepartment of CommunicationsFreedom of Expression InstituteInstitute for the Advancement of JournalismWits JournalismMedia Development and Diversity AgencyMedia Institute of Southern AfricaNational Association of BroadcastersNational Community Radio ForumPrimediaSouth African Audience Research FoundationSouth African Broadcasting CorporationSouth African National Editors ForumWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Zaheer AbbasI don’t see Pakistan winning this World Cup. It’s not at all a strong team. Pakistan have only two good batsmen-Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. If these two fail in a match, there is no one to navigate the team out of a crisis. Younis Khan is an experienced player and knows how to play according to the situation. Though he started playing cricket at the international level very late-at the age of 27-Misbah has been improving with every game. What has impressed me most is his effort to spend maximum time at the crease.Our bowling has obviously lost the sheen. The team can’t depend on Shoaib Akhtar as he is not 100 per cent fit. He is limping and can break down any moment. There is no immediate replacement for Akhtar. It’s heartening to see him taking wickets but the team clearly misses the services of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir who have had to sit out of the tournament due to their involvement in the spot fixing scam. Umar Gul has to be consistent and Abdur Razzaq can be effective only on fast wickets. I would also want to see Razzaq bat ahead of captain Shahid Afridi. Razzaq has won us several matches coming at No.6.Misbah-ul-HaqThe team is winning under Afridi but only a crisis will expose how good he is as a captain. He should bat only during slog overs as he doesn’t take responsibility. He wants to hit every ball for a six and doesn’t play according to the situation. He is now too old to change his style, so he should come out to bat only in the last six or seven overs. He should learn from Indian captain M.S. Dhoni. Dhoni was a pinch-hitter earlier, but ever since he became captain, he doesn’t throw his wicket.The Pakistan team is also one of the worst fielding sides in the tournament. They have to improve in this department quickly. Only then can the team hope to reach, at least, the semi-finals.advertisementZaheer Abbas is a former batsman of Pakistan. He spoke to Kaushik Deka. PITCH REPORT”There is pressure if you win, pressure if you lose. I would have told you the exact figure if I had a machine to measure it.”M.S. Dhoni, Indian captainWords WorthJournalists have deleted Tony Greig ‘s number from their phonebooks. The 6´´6´- tall English commentator has sent a letter to ESPN Star Sports asking for more money if he has to express his “valuable” views on the World Cup. He has already been paid over Rs 20 lakh by the channel for his services as a commentator. “If I have to open my mouth except for eating, you will have to pay for it,” Greig wrote.The SoothsayerAhead of the India vs England match at Bangalore on February 27, Shane Warne predicted on Twitter that the game would be a tie. Since then bookies across the globe are trying to get his number on speed dial. “Before you think there was something untoward regarding the prediction of a tie, I thought it was going to be a cracker-it was tongue-in-cheek, but right,” he tweeted again. Warnie, you are the new Octopus.