More Than Just a Game

Synopsis: Told through the stories of five former prisoners, this is the story of political activists sent to the notorious Robben Island prison in the 1960s by the apartheid regime, who rise above their incarceration by creating a football league and finding an outlet for their passion and commitment to discipline through the Beautiful Game.
Genre: Drama, Sport
Director(s): Junaid Ahmed
  1 nomination.
90 min

Left! Left! Left! Left! Left! Left! Left!

In South Africa in the '60s,

apartheid was Iaw.

The poIice... The poIice were

extremeIy powerfuI, Iike an army,

peacefuI protests were met with kiIIing,

torture and imprisonment.

Our peopIe were denied aII basic rights.



Come on, boys, defence!

We risked our Iives

to advance the struggIe for freedom

and many of us ended up

on the notorious Robben IsIand,

the AIcatraz of Africa.

We found ourselves in a place and a ime

when i was easy o lose one's self.

lf spor was never here on Robben lsland,

hen really, i would have been

a very noorious place o live.

l seems srange ha wih wha

we remember and wha we've done,

ha we go and ell people

ha we've played soccer in prison.

lf you look a he way

ha we had o figh and campaign

o be allowed o play soccer, i's...

You could equae i o he figh for freedom.

Bu we did play soccer on Robben lsland

and l hink we played i well.

We were just becoming aware

of a crueI and unjust system

that was taking over most of our Iives.

My firs knowledge of his sysem

came from a primary school eacher.

He came ino he class and wroe he word

''apar'' and ''hae'' on he board,

emphasising the ''apart'' and ''hate''.

l made explosives.

In those days, you couId get the

components of expIosives aImost anywhere.

Imagine today going into a shop and saying,

''Good day, sir, can I have some ammonium

nitrate and ten kiIograms of toIuene.

''l wan o make some TNT, you see.''

I think we knew that we were getting

into something dangerous

when we were getting into the StruggIe.

But I don't think we knew exactIy

how dangerous it was going to be.

l seemed normal o

be involved in he Druggle.

Do much injusice in he land.

There was ension. And we were young.

I was in Standard 9 at

Hofmeyer High SchooI in Pretoria.

We were coIIecting unexpIoded sheIIs

from a nearby range for use at a Iater stage.

In the end, they came in overnight,

raided different homes,

arresed 250 o 300 kids.

Came in again, and those of us who were

simpIy trying to make sense

of the chaos that were around

were aIso taken in.

The Druggle mean a lo o me,

because l saw wha was happening.

I reaIised that our peopIe were oppressed

and therefore I feIt that I shouId invoIve

myseIf into the StruggIe.

Good evening, Mr Dioo.

Do where do you hink you're going?

I was arrested by the British

in Northern Rhodesia.

And hey drove us

all he way back o Preoria.

And of course, some of us came from

a differen poliical radiion.

The main Iiberation organisation

didn't offer what we were Iooking for.

We were a group of young activists,

rather inteIIectuaIIy incIined.

We had decided to study Mao Tse-tung's

book on guerriIIa war, Yu Chi Chan.

And when hey finally arresed us,

he media sounded as if he whole Red Army

had landed in Douh Africa.

We were at the beginning stages

and some of us were stiII trying to

organise to Ieave the country.

And then a comrade and I were arrested

getting a Iift with a famous person.

-Good afernoon.

-Good afernoon.

Your pass, please.

l don' carry a pass.

Chairman Mao says

he does no carry a pass.

Never mind, Mr Dolomon,

we know who you are.

You and Mr Bam.

Will you come wih us, please?

Good day, Mrs Mandela.

Bloody bich!

Fooball was my passion.

You could even say i was my obsession.

I was the Terror of AtteridgeviIIe.

-Pass he ball.

-I wanted to win.

When I pIayed footbaII, I pIayed hard.

I pIayed every chance I got.

Every time I got a baII or an open fieId,

I pIayed.

They toId me not to go to schooI that day.

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Tom Eaton

Tom Eaton (born April 8, 1982) is a prop comic. He tours nationally in the U.S. with his "trunk o' junk", the trademark of his prop comedy. Eaton has performed his comedy act in over three countries and on two continents. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "More Than Just a Game" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Oct. 2020. <>.

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