Final Product!!

First, go through and enjoy the four separate timelines I have created.  Notice the different pictures and videos I incorporated into the presentations!  I am very happy and excited about how these timelines turned out, my only complaint is that some of the dates did get messed up no matter how many different ways I entered the dates!  Nonetheless, I know you will appreciate them.  After looking through the timelines be sure to read my arguments and conclusions below!  (Link to Benni McCarthy’s timeline) (Link to Patrick Ace Ntsoelengoe’s timeline) (Link to Portia Modise’s timeline)  (Link to Neil Tovey’s timeline)


For my project, I researched the lives of four South African soccer players.  These four individuals were: Benni McCarthy, Patrick “Ace” Ntsoelengoe, Portia Modise, and Neil Tovey.  I chose these four individuals to represent diversity within this project.  Benni McCarthy is a black South African that was born in the late 70’s.  Patrick “Ace” was also a black South African but he was born in the early 50’s.  Furthermore, Portia Modise was the only female South African included in this project and she was born in the early 80’s.  Finally, Neil Tovey is a white South African who was born in the early 60’s.  My aim was to conduct the research on these four individuals and determine how their differences impacted their lives and sports career.

After the research was gathered, I created four different timelines (one for each person) using the online illustrative tool of TimeMapper.  Most of my data was found from various South African news publications.  In addition, I was able to find material in places like FIFA’s official website, ESPN’s official website, and other sports or specifically soccer news websites.  Online resources through the Michigan State library was another avenue for information.  On the other hand there were two main problems that occurred when conducting my research.  The first problem which was consistent for all four individuals, was being able to locate material that was not related to soccer.  The second and more significant problem was the limited amount of information and resources available about Neil Tovey.  Despite these two obstacles, I was still able to develop two main arguments that became evident after my research.

The first argument I was able to develop was the effect of apartheid on a generation of soccer players in South Africa.  As I have learned in great detail throughout this semester, the racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa as a product of apartheid destroyed dreams and ambitions of many individuals.  It would be naive to believe that apartheid only diminished dreams of athletes or more specifically soccer players, but I whole-heartily believe the history of South African sport would be significantly different if it was not for apartheid.  The generation of soccer talent for South Africa was evident, and Patrick “Ace” Ntsoelengoe was at the center.  FIFA would ban South Africa from international play because of apartheid so Patrick “Ace” would only play in one game to represent his country.  Furthermore, because of apartheid, Patrick would play soccer only in South Africa with the Kaizer Chiefs and four different teams in the NASL in America.  Despite these obstacles, “Ace” was still considered one of the best players in the world.  He is viewed as someone whom, if born twenty years later, would have been remembered as one of the greats.  In addition, he is still considered arguably the best soccer player from South Africa.  One talented individual does not make a successful team though, especially in the sport of soccer.  After research, it became clear that other players such as Jomo Sono from South Africa were also extremely talented.  I can not help but wonder the amount of success the South African soccer team could have enjoyed if it was not for apartheid.  More importantly, the majority of the population in South Africa are black South Africans with soccer being the most popular sport among this community.  I wonder what the success of a South African national team, comprised of mainly black South Africa’s like Patrick “Ace,” would have meant for the country of South Africa.   

The second argument I was able to develop was the difference in financial status between the men and women soccer players in South Africa.  The comparison between Benni McCarthy and Portia Modise epitomizes this argument.  Both Benni McCarthy and Portia Modise were born and grew up in poor and rough areas of South Africa.  Furthermore, both Benni and Portia were able to play soccer for the national team when FIFA took lifted the ban after the end of apartheid.  The opportunities for men were much more readily available than they were for women in South Africa because of gender role differences among other circumstances.  Nevertheless, Portia Modise recently reached the milestone of one hundred international goals for the country of South Africa.  She was also the first woman to win the African Sports star of the year award in 2014.  Even with all of this tremendous successes, a story was released just before Portia won the award about how she was struggling financially.  On the other hand, Benni McCarthy was experiencing no such issues.  Benni McCarthy was the all-time leading scorer for the men’s South African national team with thirty-one goals.  Benni McCarthy was also able to enjoy the opportunities to play in the top leagues in the world.  Benni McCarthy had a successful career in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, England, and in his homeland of South Africa.  Benni McCarthy had no financial difficulties as shown in an episode on the African television show called, “Gold Diggerz”.  In America, we also have a pay difference between men and women soccer players, but not to such an extent as was present in South Africa.  Fortunately, Portia Modise was given a BMW for winning the award.  With the money that she received, she looks forward to being able to buy a nice house for her mother to live in.

In summary, I enjoyed learning about and developing a better grasp of not only the history of soccer in South Africa, but also four important individuals that have contributed to that history.  Throughout this semester, I have appreciated the real life in-depth examples of how apartheid has affected individuals in South Africa.  The multiple personal stories humanized apartheid to enhance my understanding. The research I conducted on these four individuals accomplished an even deeper understanding of not just apartheid, but life in South Africa in general.  Furthermore, at first I was hesitant but am now very grateful about sharing my research in the form of a digital project instead of a common research paper.  The different forms of media have allowed me to understand more about the individuals I researched.  Finally, the end product is a much more visually appealing and interactive display of my research.


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