Mike Haley: How to perfect your positioning at 15

first_imgSale Sharks full-back Mike Haley gives his top tips on how to defend in different situations Bright spark: Mike Haley makes a burst for Sale Sharks. Photo: Getty Images Mike Haley made more carries (207) and more metres (1,180) than any other full-back in last season’s Aviva Premiership. Here the Sale Shark talks through how a No 15 should defend in a variety of situations…Danger area: A lineout during a Mitre 10 Cup game in New Zealand. Photo: Getty Images1. LINEOUT IN 22“If the opposition have a lineout near their 22, I’ll be on halfway in the middle with one of our wings tight to the same touchline as the lineout. If they box-kick, our wing is there to take it and I support him. If they kick cross-field, I’ll move across to cover it.”2. SCRUM IN 22“For an opposition scrum in their 22, I’ll be deep behind halfway. Our wings are further forward covering the touchlines. I’ll look at their kickers and the way the scrum wheels to predict where the ball will be kicked, then work in a pendulum with the wings.”Central positioning: For a lineout in the middle of the field, Haley would sit deep. Photo: Inpho3. MIDFIELD LINEOUT“For an opposition lineout around halfway: one wing covers the touchline, the other is about 15m in from the other touchline and I’ll be further back to cover the long kick. If their back-line is standing quite flat, it’s an indication that they’re going to kick.”4. BREAKDOWN KICK “If there’s a counter-ruck, I’ll drop deep in the middle of the park. They might have a left-footed and a right-footed kicker and I need to cover both. As soon as it looks obvious who is going to kick it, I’ll hedge my bets – move forward/left/right.”Be alert: It’s important to get your positioning right from a restart. Photo: Inpho5. RESTART“At a restart, if our ten kicks left, we’ll keep the eight back behind halfway close to the touchline and I’ll be a few metres inside him. That covers a box-kick, one to catch it and one to support. If I kick it back, the ten will drop to cover a cross-field kick.”6. GENERAL DEFENCE “If the opposition are attacking between the ten-metre line and our 22, myself and the nine will each cover half the pitch in the 22, standing just behind the defensive line. If I make a tackle, the nearest wing will drop back to cover with the nine.” TAGS: Sale Sharks LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HEREWHAT YOU COULD DOThe back three is all about support play – communicate and understand what you’re trying to do in defence.Work out what’s best for your team, whether you use the nine and eight in the backfield with the 15 or drop your wingers.To take a high ball, you need a high knee, high elbows, high hands – and your eyes on the ball.This is a drill focusing on support play: someone puts up a box-kick to you and a support player. You take it and decide whether to pass, run or go into contact, with the support player to clear out.Here’s another training game: the attacking team kick from just outside their 22. The defending team kick it back, then the back three look to counter. So it’s a two-kick drill and then you counter-attack.This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Rugby World.last_img read more

The tax man cometh

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. The tax man comethOn 1 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article A new ruling from the InlandRevenue, IR35, will have far-reaching implications for interim managementprofessionals and their clients, By Caroline HornThere are many reasonswhy a person should decide to become an interim manager, just as there are manyways in which they can go about doing so. How they operate – whether as anemployee, a self-employed person or through a limited company – can depend onseveral factors.Today, most interimmanagers choose to work through a limited company because of the tax advantagesit gives and because, more often than not, their clients will demand it.Andy Whally,commercial manager for Headwhay marketing consultancy and on the steeringcommitte of the Institute of Interim Management, says, “Most of the largersuppliers of interim managers will insist that managers operate through alimited company. Certainly in the past couple of years, that has been the case.Interims are requiredto have limited company status, a company registration document and VAT numbers.Increasingly, they are also having to provide professional indemnity insurance.They are also having to consider the implications of the new tax ruling, IR35,which came into force in April 2000. The implications ofthe ruling are far-reaching, both for interims and for their clients. So greatis the concern it has raised among the IT and contract services industry thatthe Professional Contractors Group has challenged IR35 in the High Court and ajudicial review is underway, with a hearing due in mid-March.IR35 investigates thestatus of “contract workers” to evaluate whether they are genuinelyworking under contract or whether in effect they should be considered to beemployed. Because it is still so new, no one is clear about how stringently theInland Revenue will apply the new rules.Interim managerstherefore need to pay close attention not only to the wording of theircontracts but to how the work itself is structured. There is, of course, nosuch thing as a typical contract. An interim might be brought in to help theclient company through a period of change such as a merger or acquisition or toreplace an absent director. Or a group of individual interim managers might beemployed as a team to work on a particular project.Alyson Gilbert-Smith,managing director of Interim Human Resources, says agencies do not generallybecome closely involved in developing interim contracts – nor in helpingclients to avoid the implications of IR35. “We are steadfast concerningthe rulings of IR35. We can’t advise everyone from a legal aspect because weare not in a position to do that. They need to get their own expert help fromsolicitors or accountants,” she explains but adds, “We have noticedno difference in how contracts are drawn up since the introduction of IR35.”This, however, couldbe a mistake, warns Ian Milroy, tax partner at Robertson Milroy. “BecauseIR35 hasn’t yet been tested, we are not totally sure what it will mean. Ifagencies and clients can adopt a position which they feel covers IR35, wherethe interim is self-employed in nature, then fine. But the ruling has not yetbeen tested by the Inland Revenue so no one knows what type of contracts willbe challenged.”He adds, “My viewis that people are window-dressing contracts to try to overcome IR35. Therewere lots of contracts in place before IR35 which would not have beenIR35-compliant. Simply by going into the workplace, interims are becoming partof the organisation so it automatically becomes a grey area in terms of the newruling.”Milroy says IR35 isgoing to become a major negotiating matter in any contract and is somethingagencies will have to start working with more closely. It is likely that anumber of changes will follow in the wake of IR35, not just in terms of whatinterims need to charge to cover the new costs, but also for clients. There aremany large blue-chip companies which regularly employ banks of contractworkers. They, too, will need to start taking a much closer look at just howthose people are employed.Legal status ofinterim managerWhile most interimmanagers choose to operate through their own limited company, they also havethe options of working as an employee or to be self-employed. Each option hasdifferent tax implications for the interim as well as the client.EmployeeMost peopleconsidering working as an interim will have spent several years as an employee,where they fulfil an open-ended contract for an employer with agreed rates ofpay and benefits such as holiday pay, and statutory benefits such as redundancy.But working as an interim manager to fulfil short-term contracts reduces thebenefits of working as an employee, while the interim also loses tax advantages.Self-employedA self-employed personwill provide a service under contract for a fixed fee. One of the main issuesof being self-employed is that the person does not become part of theorganisation and has some control over when and how the service is provided. The advantage of beingself-employed is that the interim can deduct certain expenses incurred duringthe course of fulfilling the contract. These can include travel costs –providing the interim’s business base is their home – equipment used for thebusiness including computers and mobile telephones, and administration costssuch as telephones and stationery. A self-employed status therefore offers taxadvantages to the interim, as well as to the client, who does not have to payNI contributions for the self-employed contractor.Limitedcompany statusOperating through alimited company means the limited company – rather than an individual, whobecomes the employee and worker of the limited company – is responsible forfulfilling the contracted services. The advantage for the client is that theinterim manager’s limited company pays the salary, deducts PAYE, NationalInsurance and so on. These advantages are similar to those when hiring aself-employed interim. But the new IR35 ruling means it has become much harderto work through a limited company (see below).InlandRevenue requirementsWhile working in aself-employed capacity carries obvious benefits for both the client and theinterim, it is unusual for an interim manager to be contracted on this basis.Clients will often refuse to employ an interim on a self-employed basisbecause, should the Inland Revenue decide that the self-employed person is toall intents and purposes an employee, then it can claim the PAYE and NI duefrom the client organisation. The client is unlikely to be able to recover theamount from the interim, who by then is quite likely to have moved to adifferent company.This is why manyclient organisations have preferred to hire an interim working through alimited company. While the administrative and financial advantages are similarto those of hiring a self-employed worker, the client is not responsible forthe real employment status of the interim.Mark Watson,employment law partner at Fox Williams, says in the CBI’s title, InterimManagement (AshtonPenney Partnership): “The essential point is that it isnot the responsibility of the client company to assess the tax status of theinterim management company to which it is paying fees, nor to make taxdeductions. That is the responsibility of the interim management company. Noliability for failing to make deductions will fall on the client company.”But as Watson adds,”Engaging an individual interim manager direct can, on the other hand,result in problems if payments are made to them gross, without a fullassessment of their employment and tax status.”IR35Falling foul of theInland Revenue can be a costly mistake for interims, too, where they have setup limited companies. Until the introduction of IR35 in April 2000, working asa limited company was a popular option for interims. Limited company status gaveinterims tax advantages and provided clients with a cost-effective means ofhiring a person with particular skills for a limited period.Nicholas Boothroyd,director of human resources consultancy Project IT Resource, says, “IR35is a new piece of legislation that directly affects the freelance industry. Insummary, IR35 investigates the ‘status’ of ‘contract workers’ by applyingcriteria to their contract that are designed to evaluate whether the contractengagement on which they are employed is of a genuine ‘contract’ nature, orshould be regarded as ‘akin to employed’”.He says, “Whilethe Revenue will not apply these criteria retrospectively to contracts writtenprior to the new legislation becoming law, it is important to recognise that ifa contractor has ‘looked, felt and smelt like an employee’ in the past then asignificant number of factors will have to change for them to be able to showthat they are in fact ‘genuine contractors’ under the new laws. A cosmeticchange to a contract of employment will not be sufficient to demonstrate anengagement being of a ‘genuine’ contract nature.”The Inland Revenuewill assess engagements undertaken by the limited company, and check the termsto clarify whether “if the interim was working for the client direct,he/she would be employed or self-employed”. If the IR decides that theinterim was, in effect, employed by the client, then the interim has to pay duePAYE and NI contributions on the contract, after deducting certain expenses.Deductible expensesinclude the employer’s NI contributions, pension contributions, 5 per cent ofthe gross value of the contract to cover administrative expenses and limitedexpenses which would be allowed if the interim was an employee.The client, meanwhile,continues to enjoy the benefits without taking on the tax risk that comes withhiring self-employed individuals. Even if it is found that the interim wasworking as an employee, the client is not penalised by the tax office and cancontinue to pay the interim’s limited company gross without deducting PAYE orNI. Obviously for the interim, incorrect classification can become a verycostly mistake.It is hard to knowexactly how the Revenue will interpret the new ruling and whether certaincontracts will comply. Milroy says, “We have a self-assessment basis forcompanies and anyone running their own company has to assess their liability.It is up to the Inland Revenue to decide where that will lie. IR35 ispotentially a lucrative area for them so anyone running their own company islikely to be checked.”Julia Meighan,managing director of Interim Performers, says, “The most important aspectof interim management and IR35 is the true concept of an interim manager. Toall intents and purposes, the interim manager integrates themself into theclient organisation.” With or without linemanagement responsibility, she adds, “their total focus is on achievingobjectives within a predefined period exclusively for that organisation.”There are generallytwo types of possible interim assignment – a project-based activity with abeginning and end and predefined objectives or the care-taking type of role foran unplanned vacancy in the organisation for a fixed period of time.”Both haveproblems with fitting the IR35 rule,” says Meighan, adding that the latterclearly does not fit in with the IR35 ruling as the interim is acting as anemployee of the organisation by fulfilling a role that would ordinarily befilled by a full-time manager or employee. She says, “Demand for interimmanagers is growing more rapidly at the senior end of the middle managementmarket and ‘filling the gap’ roles are growing as quickly as the project-basedones.”But Meighan is alsokeen to point out that it is still very possible for an interim’s contract andwork status to be IR35-compliant. There are a number of areas, however, thatfall outside the ruling. For example, the contract could allow for someoneother than the interim to complete the project, so the contract is for servicescompleted rather than focusing on the actual individual completing the work.But it is often the individual’s skills on which the client is relying.Other guidancesuggests using your own equipment rather than the client’s, not being paid afixed daily rate and certainly not a salary, and being paid on the achievementof work done or milestones reached. Again, however, some of these points couldprove difficult to set up for both client and interim.Gettingthe contract rightThe introduction ofIR35 means interim managers need to be clear about their working status, and becareful about their contractual arrangements.Some interims already working aslimited companies will, inevitably, have to change their classification whileothers will not be affected. There will also becontracts where it is hard to determine whether an interim is”employed” or “self-employed”. Standard contracts willgenerally be inadequate but by putting in place certain criteria that confirmthe “self-employed” nature of an interim, then interim managers couldcontinue to work through their own companies.It is still too earlyto know exactly how IR35 will be enforced. But the bottom line is that no onecan assume that existing contracts are IR35-compliant. If the nature of thework means a contract will not be IR35-compliant, then a number of interimmanagers will need to reconsider the value of working through a limitedcompany. Some might decide togo back onto a company’s payroll. Others will look again at their costs andraise their prices accordingly.”If there is amarket for interim management then that market will grow and develop, howeverit is managed,” says Ian Milroy. “But the tax rules will have aneffect. If IR35 is part and parcel of acting as an interim manager, then the marketrate will have to rise to cover that. That is when it becomes a market issue.”Howto comply with Ir35Defining the terms ofa contract IR35 will apply only to a contract where the interim manager would,but for the existence of his limited company, have been treated as an employee.To comply with IR35, the contract must show that, by nature, the interim isself-employed.In their brochure,Becoming an Interim – A Financial Perspective, Robertson Milroy and InterimPerformers provide a summary of factors which are helpful in agreeingself-employed status. These are as follows:– You can send areplacement rather than carry out the work yourself– You are at libertyto carry out the work without the client telling you what to do, when or how– Payment by way of aproject fee with instalments being subject to the achievement of certainmilestones instead of payment by the hour, week or month. The interim must notbe entitled to holiday pay or other benefits provided to the client’s staff– You can work forother clients during the term of your contract– You provide theequipment required to perform your work– You control thehours you work each week and whether the work is carried out a the client’spremises– The client has noobligation to offer work following completion of the contract and you have noobligation to accept further work– The contract is fora short duration– Adopt abusiness-like approach to obtaining a series of engagements for various clients– Issue invoices, nottimesheets, and register for VAT. Comments are closed. last_img read more

What I said about Guardiola — Man City’s Zinchenko

first_imgRelatedPosts Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Aguero could be out of action until November, Guardiola says UCL: Benfica kicked out by player who left club one week earlier + other results Manchester City left back Oleksandr Zinchenko on his wedding day clarified comments he and his new bride, Vlada Sedan, made about manager Pep Guardiola in his club’s Champions League defeat by Olympique Lyon.Television reporter Sedan delivered a scathing assessment of Guardiola’s tactics and posted an interview with Zinchenko to her YouTube channel after City crashed out in the quarter-finals with a 3-1 loss. The video prompted an angry response from City supporters and Zinchenko took to social media to defend his comments.“First of all, I didn’t say anything bad or judgmental about our tactics so don’t confuse my words please,” he said in a lengthy Instagram post.“On the night we lost to Lyon that doesn’t mean the manager was wrong to try. If you have seen my interviews in the past and the way how I talk about our manager then you can believe me. He’s number one.“Second one about my wife. Although she is a journalist, she is also a fan … in the video you can see her emotions straight after the game and she gave an opinion like all fans do because she wanted us to do better.“I’m writing right now from my wedding and instead of enjoying that unbelievable moment I have to do this because I can’t skip it and leave it like that.” Reuters/NAN.Tags: Manchester CityOleksander ZinchenkoOlympique LyonPep GuardiolaUEFA Champions LeagueVlada Sedanlast_img read more

Suspect Arrested in Fatal West Palm Beach Hit-and-Run Crash

first_imgWest Palm Beach Police say the victim of a hit-and-run crash died Saturday, and one person is in custody.The pedestrian in the crash was identified by police as 35-year-old David Dering.The crash happened Friday night just before 9 p.m. at 45th Street and Broadway Ave.According to officers, Dering was crossing west to east at the intersection, when an SUV struck him and fled south on Broadway.Shortly after 11:30 a.m. Saturday, police announced that they have located the driver of the vehicle. He is identified as 23-year-old Juan Castanon Perez, and is now in custody.Charges are pending.last_img

FDA Issues Emergency Approval of COVID-19 Test for “Pooled” Use

first_imgThe Food and Drug Administration over the weekend gave emergency approval to a new approach to COVID-19 testing that combines test samples in batches rather than running them one by one, thereby speeding up the process.The FDA announced on Saturday that it had reissued an emergency use authorization to Quest Diagnostics to use its coronavirus test with pooled samples.It is the first test to be authorized for use in that way.With pooling, labs would combine parts of samples from several people and test them together.A negative result would clear everyone in the batch.On the other hand, a positive result would require each sample to be individually retested.Pooling works best with lab-run tests, which take hours, not the quicker individual tests that are used in clinics or doctor’s offices. The potential benefits of sample pooling include stretching lab supplies further, as well as reducing costs and expanding testing to millions more Americans who may unknowingly be spreading the virus.Health officials continue to say they believe that infected, asymptomatic people are largely responsible for the rising number of cases throughout the country.“It’s a really good tool. It can be used in any of a number of circumstances, including at the community level or even in schools,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said last month at a Senate hearing.Pooling does not save time or resources when used in a COVID-19 hot spot, such as a nursing home. That is because the logistical and financial benefits of pooling only show when a small number of pools test positive.Experts recommend the technique be used when fewer than 10 percent of people are expected to test positive for the virus.last_img read more

Going through the Process of Picking out a Headstone with Lasting…

first_imgLet’s face it, picking out a headstone is a strange activity. The process brings death front and center when we prefer it to stay out of view. Well, there is a silver lining and no, it’s not a ‘get out of jail’ free card – so to speak.Helping guide you through this little bit of awkwardness is Tony Ward, owner of Lasting Touch Memorial in Yelm. He’s been in the death care industry for nearly 30 years. During this time he’s helped thousands of people pick the right memorial for a loved one or for themselves.“First thing I do is ask people to visit a cemetery and look at the colors and designs to find what they want,” says Ward. Ward takes this information and comes up with a computerized sketch that usually takes ten days to put together.Ward then goes over the sketch with the individual(s) to make sure everything is correct. He double checks names and dates but he also wants to be sure the images are correct and the wording is right. If everything is fine and Ward has the desired memorial in stock then installation can be completed in three weeks. If materials have to be ordered then the time frame expands to 90-120 days.Of course there can be complications. Ward likes to do installations himself but some cemeteries only let in-house staff do this work. Inclement weather – such as snow or a hard freeze – can cause delay.  However, this isn’t a major concern for us in the Pacific Northwest.This is just a quick overview of the process. To find out more call Tony Ward at 360-458-9070 or visit the Lasting Touch website. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Some Rumson Homes Deemed Uninhabitable; Power Could be Back by Thursday

first_imgBy John BurtonRUMSON — Borough officials said about 70 percent of the homes in the borough’s West Park section are heavily damaged and have been deemed uninhabitable by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).“Quite a bit of homes have sustained some structural damage,” primarily in that section, said Dennis Peras, the borough’s construction official.The West Park section is near St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church, located on Lincoln Avenue, the eastern point of the borough. The area includes Parker, Washington and Waterman avenues, Warren Street and Oyster Bay Drive, near the Shrewsbury River.Homes are Warren Street and Waterman Avenue were impacted by a surge that was as much as 72 inches above grade, Peras said.Peras spoke about the damage at a late afternoon borough council meeting during which the lack of power was also discussed.“The elephant in the room with us is the power,” said Mayor John Ekdahl about the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy.Ekdahl was talking at the meeting which was held in the cold and quickly darkening council chambers as the sun set Monday afternoon.Borough hall, like the rest of the borough, lost power as a result of the storm and has yet to have it restored a week later.The mayor said a Jersey Central Power & Light representative told him about the power possibly being restored by Thursday but he cautioned that estimate “isn’t gospel by any means.“We have no control over that in any way,” Ekdahl said.JCP&L, the electric utility company, has restored power to parts of Red Bank, with that restoration driven in great part by Riverview Medical Center being located there, Ekdahl said.Power company representatives have indicated Fair Haven, just west of Rumson, will probably get its power back by Wednesday with the Rumson, if all goes well, getting it back  Thursday.The reason for Fair Haven’s earlier return is because JCP&L is moving west to east in this area, said David Marks who is with T&M Associates, the borough’s engineering firm.The electric company has been working on repairing high voltage lines before undertaking repairs to its substation. “This gets the most number of people energized,” Marks said.“What bothers me is we’re suppose to have a fairly strong nor‘easter on Wednesday,” Ekdahl said, noting that that storm, with possible 50 mile-per-hour winds could hamper repair efforts and exacerbate the damage the borough has already sustained.last_img read more

PBA gives Chot OK to form best nat’l team

first_imgLATEST STORIES IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Magsayo world title bid put on hold Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendcenter_img MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission Gilas Cadet members who are now playing in the Jones Cup will also represent the country in the Southeast Asian Games from Aug. 20 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, practically assuring the likes of June Mar Fajardo, Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva will play in Lebanon.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next At the same time, the league has also moved the opening of its next season to December to accommodate Gilas in the first three home-and-away series of the WCQ as the PBA has now made it sure that Reyes can have the time with his players.Commissioner Chito Narvasa made this announcement in a teleconference with a small group of Filipino media covering the 39th Jones Cup Invitational here and it ends weeks of speculation as to who will represent the Philippines in the Lebanon showcase slated Aug. 8 to 20.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“It was agreed upon by the board (of governors) that the PBA should participate,” Narvasa said. “The PBA, its coaches in particular, were just informed of the schedule (of the Gilas events), which is important to all of them.”Another thing which the PBA will do is tweak the schedule of the Governors’ Cup, which is set to open on Wednesday, so as not to disrupt the teams that will lend its stars to the team that will play in Beirut. TAIPEI—The PBA has just gone “all in” for Gilas Pilipinas.In order to help the National team program field the best team possible, the PBA has given the green light to coach Chot Reyes to tap its multimillionaire veterans for the coming Fiba Asia even if the event is not part of the hectic World Cup Qualifying series.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer View commentslast_img read more

Songbird Abigail Kubeka remembers songs for Mandela

first_imgLegendary singer Abigail Kubeka features in the second episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to air on SABC2 on Sunday 22 June at 9pm. “When I think about uTata and all that he has given us I know we will never see another man like him. He had a heart of hearts,” Abigail Kubeka says. (Image: Abigail Kubeka) • Yase Godlo Manager: Mandela Day and Outreach Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory +27 11 547 5600 • South African music • ‘He was not a bust made of marble – he was a man of flesh and blood’ • Mandela’s close friends express the world’s grief • Mandela and the making of a woman • SA bestows National OrdersSulaiman PhilipYou can hear Abigail Kubeka running through scales as she warms up her voice. From somewhere in her Soweto home, you hear the opening notes of Yini Madoda, a favourite song about the indomitable spirit of rural women. Her voice is warm, playful and clear, as if washed by angels. It’s still tinged with jazzy inflections, as it was four decades ago, when she first sang the song with the legendary Skylarks.With Kubeka’s jazzy voice as the soundtrack, the 20-minute wait is a joy. She sashays into the room, trailing diktats for tea to an unseen maid. Music has been good to Kubeka, who still performs today. It has built her home, a few blocks away from Vilakazi Street in Soweto, and allowed her the opportunity to travel the world. She has performed on stages in the US and for the Queen at Buckingham Palace.In a legendary career, the performances most meaningful to her were the intimate evenings she spent singing to an intimate audience in a home in Houghton, Johannesburg: Kubeka, Thandie Claasen and Dorothy Masuka were often guests at Nelson Mandela’s private birthday dinners.“We talked about music, he loved mbaquanga music. It was a change from the political discussions he had every day. Towards the end of dinner, he would got really quiet and say, ‘It’s a pity that Miriam [Makeba] and Dolly [Rathebe] could not be here’. That was such a special moment for me.”Kubeka’s smile warms her voice, staring off into space remembering the evenings. She begins talking about Mandela’s smile, his warmth. And his mischievous expectation of his guests. “He would begin by saying in his gentlemanly manner, ‘Ladies’. You would turn all your attention to him waiting for some pearl of wisdom. Then he would say, ‘You know what I have not heard in a long time…’, then we would sing for him.” A heavenly choir: Kubeka, Thandi Klaasen and Dorothy Masuka were birthday guests at Mandela’s Houghton home. (Image: Abigail Kubeka)Kubeka first met Mandela as a 16-year-old member of the Skylarks and a protégé of the legendary Miriam Makeba. She remembers the lawyer he was, the well-dressed gentleman, the music fan ­– not the political firebrand he was. “When you’re young notice things without taking note of everything,” she says.The songbird was among Mandela’s first visitors when he returned to his home on Vilakazi Street. Kubeka remembers the warmth of his smile when he laid eyes on her. As she talks about those early days before he was claimed by the world as an icon, her voice cracks. “He asked about Dolly and Miriam. Even in prison, he followed our music. He said we spoke to people through our music.” When she could, she would join Mandela on his early-morning walks. They would chat about people in the music business, some of whom she had forgotten. The walks were long and often interrupted. Mandela would stop at neighbour’s gates and reminisce with families he had last seen 30 years before. “He would always say, ‘I am back amongst you’, and it was true.”Kubeka says she is glad that Mandela is at peace now. When she thinks of him she remembers the man who hugged her warmly on his triumphant return to Soweto. The man who lingered alone with his God is not the man she knew and loved. “Forever I will remember him saying, ‘Oooh Abigail’ whenever we sang one of his personal favourites.”last_img read more

Brazil must embrace favourites tag

first_imgBrazil v Croatia Brazil must embrace World Cup favourites tag – Edu Brasil Global Tour 07:28 5/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Edu Gaspar Brasil Granja Comary 21 05 2018 Pedro Martins / MoWA Press Brazil v Croatia Austria v Brazil Brazil v Switzerland Brazil v Costa Rica Serbia v Brazil Brazil World Cup Friendlies The Selecao’s Technical Coordinator Edu Gaspar admits the Selecao will be among the front-runners in Russia and insists their tournament stars now Brazil’s Technical Coordinator Edu Gaspar has reminded all the players and staff that this week sees the beginning of a “special moment in their lives”. On Monday, the staff and players began arriving at their Granja Comary training complex for the pre-World Cup preparations.And Edu was first to face the media, opening up on Neymar, the importance of their upcoming Brasil Global Tour clashes against Croatia and Austria.  Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now TAKING CARE OF NEYMARGFX Neymar Granja Comary 21052018“Neymar will hear from Tite that he spent three months off the pitch and will not be the exceptional Neymar after that,” said Edu. “We will create some ground for him to get his self-confidence back, and that it goes up without too much pressure on his performances.”“He will keep doing what he has been doing at Paris Saint-Germain. There is a physical part, then a technical aspect. But there will also be the emotional side, so he understands the magnitude of what we are doing.” THE WORLD CUP BEGINS ON THE BRASIL GLOBAL TOURTite Brazil 23032018“Today, we talked about playing those two games as if they were the World Cup“We studied those two teams tactically and saw they were ideal opponents. For now, they are more important than our [first game of the World Cup].”WE HAVE OUR SQUADFernandinho Ederson Brazil Germany BGT 27032018“The regulations say we have to submit a long-list of 35-players to FIFA. My deadline to submit the final list [of 23] is June 4, at which point the list of 35 is cut.“After that date, in case of [injury] problems, it can be changed 24 hours prior to the opening. But it is important to know that, even with these details, none of the [12 players on the list of reserves] would miss Copa Brasil or Copa Libertadores matches if we needed to call them.”FAVOURITESBrazil celebrate“We must not be afraid to say that Brazil is among the favourites, and not take that as a burden, it’s a matter of being realistic. If we look at all the facts, Brazil is a great national team.”Follow Brazil’s World Cup preparations by joining us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.last_img read more