Mzansi PB was at La Liga Cape Town Fan Event

29 02 2016

12795222_10208624130458503_816411554153618813_oOur beautiful mothercity Cape Town hosted the first of hopefully many more Fan events on Saturday, 27 February 2016.  Seapoint Promenade provided the venue with a backdrop of all things #LaLiga.

Whether you were a fan or just a spectator, the day was nothing short of amazing. Young and old came out to support. The fans were thrilled. The grounds were filled with supporter jerseys ensuring you knew who their favourite teams were.

12748075_10208624128658458_527283430038681175_oLa Liga, in partnership with local television networks, hosted football clinics to young kids.

It was hard not to spot well known players such as Patrick Kluivert, Gaizka Mendieta, former South African football defender Matthew Booth  and of course La Liga president Javier Tebas.

Fans had plenty of photo opportunities alongside the players, the jerseys and trophy display.

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Our very own Gerry Arendse (left) and Charl Asia (Right) of Mzansi Penya Barcelonista supporters club (Cape Town division), proudly represented in their Barcelona jerseys, pictured alongside Javier Tebas. Javier putting on a brave smile between those two muscular Barça fans.

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Charl standing at trophy. All the Liga club gear was on display – you cannot see the Barça gear as it was placed in the left out of picture zone (…).

Interestingly, the Liga VIP box had many Madrid tops and of course most of us Barcelonistas were down amongst the people where we prefer to be.

The day culminated in everyone watching the game between Real and Atletico with Atletico winning.  Everyone shared in watching the game together, possibly a sporting event which no doubt unites our young and old alike.  Irrespective of who you supported, the love for soccer was truly visible.

12771860_10208624134938615_9070269992137349157_oThe day drew to a close with Kluivert and Mendieta doing an onstage draw for a lucky fan to watch a game in Spain. So with the sun setting on this beautiful horizon, a young Barcelona fan took home the prize. We hope he gets to watch a game at Camp Nou!

VISCA EL BARÇA 😉

Looking forward to the next event.

—- Article by Chantal Arendse





Mzansi Penya Barcelonista – 5th Anniversary and AGM

6 10 2015

Invitation 5th Anniversary AGM 10Oct2015 ItCorner MelvilleDear culés,

Please join us this Saturday for our 5th  Anniversary and Annual General Meeting, in memory of Sumaya Kola. Music Legend and Barça fan Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse will open the programme with a keynote address on Jazz, Football and Social Justice.  A discussion will follow on Non-Racial sports in South Africa.

The AGM will take place from 5.00 to 6.00pm.

The programme will close with the screening of Messi, the Movie.

Venue: IT Corner 7th str cnr 3th Av, Melville.

See you there.
Força Barça





21 09 2015

Dear penyista,

Notice is hereby given in terms of section 8 of the constitution which obligates us to convene an annual general meeting of the members, towards the end of the organisation’s financial year.  This years ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will take place on October 10, 2015, at the new IT Corner, as it has moved to Cnr 7th St and 3th Ave, Melville, one street away from its old location.

Whilst the constitution is silent on the time periods for when notice must be given, we aim as a minimum 2 weeks notice. We have provided this notice earlier in other formats.

The organisation will deal with the following business, amongst others:

– Chairperson’s report.
– Treasurer’s report — .an important notice is attached that we consider increasing membership fees.
– General: discussions on resolutions and programme of action for the year

The highlight of this 5th anniversary AGM will take place before the formal business of the annual gathering: roundtable discussion entitled “Critical reflections on non racial sport.” From 3 to 4.30pm.

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The AGM will follow from 4.30pm and the meeting will close with the screening of MESSI, The Movie, for those willing to stay afterwards. Read more about it here.

Issued on behalf of the Exco,

Hassen Lorgat – President
Terry Jeevanantham – Secretary





Petition to call on FIFA Congress to suspend Israel until it respects fair play and ends discrimination

28 05 2015

The Mzansi Penya Barcelonista has over the years committed to supporting the rights to sovereignty for Palestinians. We have learned that the head of the Palestine Football Association is pressing forth with his bid to oust Israel from FIFA despite efforts from its president to diffuse the crisis. Jibril Rajoub says Monday that he “will not withdraw the motion and will not accept any compromise and any side deals.”

We support this bid: NO NORMAL SPORTS IN AN ABNORMAL SOCIETY. Thus the Mzansi Penya Barcelonista supports the petition to call on FIFA Congress to suspend Israel until it respects fair play and ends discrimination. Please read below… and follow the link to add your support to this important petition:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/fifa_ban_israel_5_mena_locked/?tMYfCbb

In 48 hours the FIFA Congress could vote to suspend Israel’s membership for its racism towards Palestinian athletes. But 75% of the Congress members need to vote yes for this decision to pass. Let’s urgently call on them to suspend Israel’s membership until it stops the discrimination.

FIFA’s own rules forbid racism and make it illegal to forcefully use another nation’s soil for matches, yet Israel’s violence and racism towards Palestinian football goes without punishment. Israel is lobbying hard to convince FIFA to refuse the Palestinian request to suspend Israel. But we only need a few more votes and insiders say what’s missing is a massive push for them to make a strong stand for equality.

Sign the urgent petition to call on FIFA Congress to suspend Israel until it respects fair play and ends discrimination and tell everyone, fast — we’ve literally only got hours. As soon as our petition roars with momentum, we’ll deliver it to the FIFA Congress.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/fifa_ban_israel_5_mena_locked/?tMYfCbb

The arguments for a suspension are clear — Five Israeli football clubs are based in settlements, built illegally on Palestinian lands, violating FIFA’s rules. Footballers have been shot, and Israel’s racist occupation policies strip Palestinians from their right to freedom of movement, making internal matches in Palestine difficult, and traveling outside the country exhausting, and sometimes impossible.

The FIFA Congress suspended South Africa and Yugoslavia for acts of discrimination. There is no reason to treat Israel differently when it commits the same violations. FIFA’s decisions helped push countries like South Africa and Yugoslavia to eventually change their policies – a suspension now could nudge Israel towards ending its discrimination as well.

We have just 48 hours to build a mega petition – sign now and send this to everyone:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/fifa_ban_israel_5_mena_locked/?tMYfCbb

History has shown us that injustice and repression come to an end the moment they are courageously confronted, and when the perpetrators are shown that racism has no place in our world. A FIFA suspension on Israel will send a strong message of equality that will make oppression and occupation more costly, and make peace a better option.





Watch the Copa del Rei final with fellow culés in Johannesburg!

27 05 2015

copa del rei 30 JunyAnd again, we will watch the match together. This time at Marks Park Sports Club, Orange Road, Emmerentia. We meet from 8pm onwards. Do come, it’s a lekker atmosphere watching with fellow cules!





About football, pulmonary hypertension, awareness and organ donation

6 05 2015

Mzansi Penya Barcelonista member Sumaya Kola and her passion for football and Barça.

Sumaya explains what is Pulmonary Hypertension. And adds, “If I had to describe to a Barça fan what it is like, I would not be able to walk from one end of the goal post to the other end of the goal post in Camp Nou without getting severely out of breath”

Become a team player by helping create awareness about PH and becoming an organ donor.





Family, Football and Pulmonary Hypertension (PH)

5 05 2015

Today 5 May is World PH Day. Mzansi Penya Barcelonista has decided to dedicate this year to understanding what Pulmonary Hypertension means to those affected by it. Our Campaign is spearheaded by the chairperson of our Lenasia Branch Sumaya Kola.

Sumaya Kola, member of the Mzansi Penya Barcelonista

Sumaya Kola, member of the Mzansi Penya Barcelonista

Football, as long as I can remember, has always been a big part of my life. Although much of my family have supported different teams, I know one thing which I am certain of and that is, each of them has always been highly passionate about the sport.

I was born into a footballing family 26 years ago. My late grandfather on my father’s side was deeply involved in developing football (soccer) as a choice of sport among men in Lenasia in the early 1980’s. He managed and coached one of the local teams called LESCO and my father and uncle, who both have sadly passed away, played for the adult team. My earliest memories as a child was going to football practice with my dad, attending team banquets or award ceremonies and never forgetting the lounge-turned-trophy-room in my grandparents’ home. On my mother’s side all or most of my cousins played for local teams and were avid supporters of either Manchester United or Liverpool – a classic rivalry that was exciting to all. I remember old photographs with my cousins holding up Liverpool banners or wearing football kits of teams they loved. To this day, the fan rivalries continue within my family. I guess being surrounded by people who loved the sport, I naturally transitioned into being a football fan myself

Neither of my family members, family friends or personal friends supported FC Barcelona. When I was 11 or 12 I remember watching a Barca game and loving the way they played, it was during that game almost 15 years ago that I began my journey as a Barca fan. It was so exciting watching the Blaugranas play, Barça Legend Pep Guardiola, current Barça Manager Luis Enrique, Brazilian Legend Rivaldo, Luis Figo & Patrick Kluivert all still played for Barça’s back then – and then – a moment I will never forget, Xavi Hernandez, a player I would soon come to love and admire made his debut for the first team during that season. To this day Xavi, in my eyes, remains one the greatest and most humble Barça players of all time and remains my favourite football player – maybe that excludes Lionel Messi ;-). The best season for me as a dedicated supporter was the 2010 – 2011 season under the management of “the awesome” Pep Guardiola. It was the very same season Maestro Messi had made his debut and what an absolute beauty he was & still is to watch! Poetry in motion is what he is described. Watching your team win every football title in a football season is a feeling indescribable; it was the dream come true for every Barça fan.

Being diagnosed and living with a rare disease

When I was 14 years old, my life changed forever. In September 2002, after being misdiagnosed with Asthma for 4 years, I was diagnosed with having a rare life-threatening and life-altering disease called Pulmonary Hypertension (PH).

What is PH?

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of your heart.

PH begins when tiny arteries in your lungs, called pulmonary arteries, and capillaries become narrowed, blocked or destroyed. This makes it harder for blood to flow through your lungs, and raises the pressure within your lungs’ arteries. As the pressure builds, your heart’s lower right chamber (right ventricle) must work harder to pump blood through your lungs, eventually causing your heart muscle to weaken and eventually fail.

PH is a serious illness that becomes progressively worse and is often fatal. Although pulmonary hypertension is not curable, treatments are available that can help lessen symptoms and improve the quality of life.

PHSA and coping with illness

Being diagnosed with PH was a very lonely and overwhelming experience for me, this is due to the fact that I knew very little about the illness initially and did not know any other patients who suffered with PH until late 2010. It was in 2010 that I came to know about an organisation called the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of South Africa (PHSA). It was through becoming a member of PHSA that I came to fulfill my hope of assisting newly diagnosed patients, ensuring to the best of my ability that their journey with PH is not as lonely, terrifying and overwhelming as it was for me & to let them know that there is always hope no matter how difficult it may seem for the moment.

When I was diagnosed in 2002 I was told that I was only one of 7 people in South Africa affected by the disease and that my condition was so severe, the doctors did not think I would live to see my 20th birthday. At 14, being in the middle of high school, being told that I had an extremely rare lung disease that I knew almost nothing about and that I probably would not live to see adulthood was life shattering. The initial shock and the possible prognosis drained me of any hope I had at that moment but with time, faith in God, support from my family, friends and doctors and educating myself about my disease, I managed to turn my world and thoughts around. I learned to have hope. I was no longer the fearful child I was at diagnosis instead I slowly developed myself into becoming a confident young woman determined to accomplish anything I had put my mind to. I was intent on living life as normal as possible, I completed school, studied a course in fashion design, worked as a project coordinator for a corporate IT company, got involved in work as a human rights activist for people in oppressed lands and now serve as the Vice Chairperson for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of South Africa. My personal goals as Vice Chair of PHSA is to:

• Help raise awareness for Pulmonary Hypertension in South Africa

• As a result of raising awareness, to help patients get earlier diagnosis and have access to appropriate treatment

• Raise funds for much needed PH research and to assist patients who are unable to afford treatment and expensive life-altering medication.

Since becoming part of PHSA I have developed invaluable friendships with other patients, sadly many of them have passed-away. Many of our patients do not have sufficient treatment or access to the appropriate support and much of this is due to the lack of awareness around PH.

It has been 12 years since being diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. Needless to say, even though I am still quite ill, I have certainly outlived the number of years the doctors had predicted for me. On most days I have difficulty doing simple tasks such as walking or getting dressed by myself, even taking a shower, brushing my teeth and eating can become tiring. I am now required to use oxygen 24/7, can’t walk for more than 400m without becoming severely breathless, I need to use a mobility scooter when walking for distances more than that and I am currently awaiting a lifesaving heart and bilateral lung transplant but despite the difficulties I am faced with, I still have much hope, my life is filled with love, positivity and tremendous support. I have also learned, through my experiences, to treasure each moment for what it is and to appreciate life more entirely.

PH In Detail

According to the World Health Organisation, PH is a rare disease, with an estimated prevalence of 15-50 cases per million, the prevalence of PAH in certain at-risk groups is substantially higher. For example, in HIV-infected patients the prevalence is 0.5%, in patients with systemic sclerosis it has been reported to be 7-12%, and in patients with sickle cell disease the prevalence is around 2-3.75%

The signs and symptoms of PH in its early stages may not be noticeable for months or even years. As the disease progresses, symptoms become worse and more noticeable.

Due to the non-specific nature of the symptoms, PH is unfortunately most frequently diagnosed when patients have reached an advanced stage of disease (WHO Functional Class III and IV).

PHAwarePulmonary hypertension symptoms include:

• Shortness of breath (dyspnea), initially while exercising and eventually while at rest

• Fatigue

• Dizziness or fainting spells (syncope)

• Chest pressure or pain

• Swelling (edema) in your ankles, legs and eventually in your abdomen (ascites)

• Bluish color to your lips and skin (cyanosis)

• Racing pulse or heart palpitations

There are 3 different types of PH

Idiopathic pulmonary hypertension

When an underlying cause for high blood pressure in the lungs can’t be found

Secondary pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension that’s caused by another medical problem is called secondary pulmonary hypertension. A list of factors of diseases that may cause PH:

• Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary emboli)

• Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema

• Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma or lupus

• Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders

• Heart abnormalities you’re born with (congenital heart defects)

• Sickle cell anemia

• Chronic liver disease (cirrhosis)

• HIV/AIDS

• Lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes scarring in the tissue between the lungs’ air sacs (interstitium)

• Left-sided heart failure

• Living at altitudes higher than 8,000 feet (2,438 meters)

• Climbing or hiking to altitudes higher than 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) without acclimating first

• Use of certain stimulant drugs, such as cocaine

• Use of over the counter diet pills

Although anyone can develop either type of pulmonary hypertension, older adults are more likely to have secondary pulmonary hypertension, and young people are more likely to have idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. Idiopathic pulmonary hypertension is also more common in women than it is in men.

The last type is Familial PH which hereditary, this happens when there is a family history of the disease.

Pulmonary hypertension is hard to diagnose early because it’s not often detected in a routine physical exam. Even when the disease is more advanced, its signs and symptoms are similar to those of other heart and lung conditions. A doctor may do one or more tests to rule out other possible reasons for your condition

Classification of PH using guidelines developed by the World Health Organization:

• Class I. Although you’ve been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, you have no symptoms.

• Class II. You don’t have symptoms at rest, but you experience fatigue, shortness of breath or chest pain with normal activity.

• Class III. You’re comfortable at rest, but have symptoms when you’re physically active.

• Class IV. You have symptoms even at rest.

It often takes some time to find the best treatment for pulmonary hypertension. The treatments are often complex and require extensive follow-up care. Unfortunately in South Africa due to the lack of knowledge, research, awareness, funds & resources we do not have any medication available to treat PH with exception of a Vasodilator called Sildenafil. Sildenafil itself is extremely costly and usually patients who are not on a medical aid are unable to afford the required dosage needed in order to maintain and stabilise their PH.

Although medical treatment can’t cure pulmonary hypertension, it can lessen symptoms. Lifestyle changes also can help improve the condition. A person with PH should:

• Get plenty of rest

• Stay as active as possible.

• Don’t smoke

• Avoid becoming pregnant or using birth control pills

• Avoid traveling to or living at high altitudes

• Avoid situations that can excessively lower blood pressure

• Find ways to reduce stress

• Follow a nutritious diet and stay at a healthy weight

Barcelona, Mzansi Penya Barcelonista and the importance of awareness

November is the official Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness month and May 5th the World Pulmonary Hypertension Day. It is important to raise awareness about Pulmonary Hypertension in every community, town, city or country. Heightened awareness leads to better care for PH patients, increased referrals to appropriate specialist or specialty centres, decreased time to diagnosis, and increased funds for research for new treatments and potentially a cure. It is also important for people to become aware of organ donation and sign up as organ donors, currently there are approximately 4300 people on the waiting lists for transplants and statistics say that 50% of people waiting will not survive to due to the shortage of organ donors, by signing up as an organ donor one has the potential to save 7 lives. Even if I were not to survive up until transplantation I would like to think that I least inspired one person to sign up and save at least one life

Through my illness 3 things have always been an escape, an escape from the pain and sometimes the chaos that has come to be my life; my faith in God, art and watching a good football game.

Being a super Barça fan, watching them play is like a breathe of fresh air, especially those magical games with brilliant goals from some of best players in the world, its indescribable how exhilarating it can be. Watching a Barça game or playing FIFA is one time I get to be myself putting all limitations aside. There are moments in a game that are a step back from reality, it’s like the world has stood still just for those minutes and I’m no longer that sick – if only that were the case, but that is why the Barça Motto is “Més Que Un Club” – More Than A Club – Barça truly does become more than just a club

Just under a year ago, I came to know about the local Barcelona Fan Club – Mzansi Penya Barcelonista, I could hardly believe that I did not know of the fan club before then. I have heard about the social campaigns for “Save Lenasia Greyville Swimming Pool” and “Freedom of Palestine”, had I known of Barça Penya back then I would have certainly supported these causes. Going forward it would be an honour to work alongside fellow Barça fans to help create awareness of PH and Organ Donation, hopefully in future getting other Penya’s from around the world to join in on the campaign in turn helping patients from those countries – even better would be to propose getting the Barça players to join in, perhaps wearing a ribbon or an arm band (like they sometimes do for cancer awareness) in support of PH and Organ Donor Awareness. The possibility of having Barcelona FC as ambassadors for these causes would be truly incredible, the magnitude of people they could reach with such a campaign would be phenomenal, the difference they could make to so many lives just by simply showing their support. I know that we are only a few patients and that PH is a rare disease but to me every life matters and every person deserves the help they require, it shouldn’t matter how rare a disease is or the social or economic standing of a people, every life deserves our support. It is said that the journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step. This article, I hope, is my first step to hopefully a wondrous journey with Mzansi Penya Barcelonista and I hope that through my personal journey I can make a difference to at least one life.