Fuad Esack

Wie gewohnt auf english, habe ich Sportjournalist Fuad Esack aus Kapstadt interviewed. Ich bin über Instagram auf ihn gestossen und habe so einen neuen interessanten Kontakt bekommen, der mir vielleicht beim nächsten Aufenthalt am Kap auch ein paar Türen zu den Sportarten öffnet, die eben ausserhalb von Cricket, Rugby und Fussball in Südafrika stattfinden. 

Here we go:

Hey Fuad, thanx for taking your time and I’m glad to meet you via social network and hope we will have a drink when I’m back in town next time.
I found your profile on Instagram and was amazed by all the great side sport pictures.
Coming to South Africa every year and watching SA sports people on TV whenever I can I see most of the time Rugby, Cricket or if there are Olympic Games Swimming, Running etc., but as in many cases SA has to offer much more than this.

1. Tell me something about your work and your bio.

I work for Cape Community Newspapers which is owned by Independent Newspapers, owners of the Cape Argus, Cape Fuad EsackTimes and Daily Voice. The Star in Joburg, Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley and Durban’s Mercury are also Independent publications.
I’m am the sports editor responsible for sport coverage in 12 of 14 Community Newspapers. We’re free weekly sheets distributed to households in suburbs across the city- from Hout Bay to Bellville, Tafelsig (in Mitchell’s Plain) to Table View.
I cover all sports in all of our distribution areas, especially the lesser known or marginalised sport like table tennis, basketball and volleyball. I enjoy taking pictures, am skilled at newspaper layout and design and a little bit if content creation for our social media platforms.
Must admit I never figured I’d be working as a sports journo, never mind being the sports editor. Been doing for 12 years during which I’ve won numerous industry awards, most notably the Sanlam Community Sports Writer of the Year-round 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Despite the accolades, I do not consider myself an expert in my field, just love what I’m doing. I jokingly say to whomever willing to listen that I was born to do this shit.😀

2. Who was your first big hero in sports?

Sports Hero – Muhammad Ali, without a doubt.

3. What kind of side sports is the next big thing in SA?

The next big thing in sports. I have a feeling it might be MMA or some kind of fighting sport. It already has a huge following, what we now need is a world champion for it to blow up big time.

4. I’ve seen a lot of Basketball pictures on your profile. How is Basketball organized in SA and do you see a chance for a pro league some day?

Doubt we’ll have a full on professional league anytime soon. I think it’s tough for any sport outside the big three – cricket Fuad Esackrugby and soccer – to crack it. On a professional level, if it can’t generate revenue, it won’t make it. Here we talking TV deals, sponsorship, marketing and all of that. I think the local market just not able to accommodate other sports in a big way. A number of minor sports – hockey, motor racing and even basketball have a professional league of sorts, but it can’t be compared to the big boys of professional sport. Long way to go!

5. When I’ve been at the Cape Town Sevens 2 years ago I’ve seen the first time in my life netball. Very british and with tradition I guess, but what about girls Basketball? I think it is much more attractive than netball.

Indeed, netball, like cricket, very British. We have a decent national netball setup, but not much happening at grassroots level. In some ways, netball also a little elitist. Those involved with the sport might disagree, but from what I can see, the development of netball I poorer areas are neglected.

6. What do you think will be the next big sports event in Cape Town’s white elephant – the Greenpoint Stadium.

You’re right the World Cup stadiums a bit of a white elephant. To throw a spanner in to the works if the euphoria that was all the rage during the 2010 showpiece in South Africa, I think the stadiums are a painful reminder of a nasty legacy FIFA left us with. Don’t get me wrong, the soccer was great, but just like Zuma and his cronies, Sepp Blatter and his Mafioso family, milked the country for their own benefit. But that’s another story… Short of the Olympics or Commonwealth Games, I don’t think there’s another big sporting event on the horizon for South Africa. That said, the stadiums are being used for big concerts, Sevens Rugby etc…

7. Do you think the Soccer World Cup was a good thing for the country? I think there are like always two sides of the medal.

Back to the Soccer World Cup, sure, we all enjoyed it while it lasted, but I don’t think the masses really benefitted in the long run. Only a select few made millions and they’re all criminals in my book anyway. Watch a documentary entitled „The Untouchables“ by some German sport journalist, who was in fact banned from covering the 2010 event. I actually attended a workshop he presented in the Cape Town ahead of the World Cup.

8. Are there any projects for kiddies you do support and is there a way for us here in Europe to give some support in sport projects for kids in SA?

There are few sports projects that I support but one of my favourites is „Run4Schools“. It’s a Netherlands-based charity foundation started by one Lesley Pangamanan, who runs marathons, including Two Oceans and Comrades, to raise funds for the project based in Mitchell’s Plain. Check em out.

9. As i told you, my sport is waterpolo. How do waterpolo players and swimmers deal with the water chrisis in Mother City? A lot of pools like the one in Newlands are empty and I hope there are still opportunities for the water sports except the Atlantic Ocean 🙂

Must admit I don’t know much about water polo. Very few schools actually offer it and on a club level, there’s not much happening at this point.

10. South Africa has a new president now. What is your biggest wish for your own future and for the future of your country?

New pres, new broom…😎
Hope the good vibes will last. I hope that South Africa can live up to its promise of being a leading country on the continent and of course on the global stage. My biggest wish is to become an expert in my field, to be able to tell our story on various platforms in the most creative and visually appealing way and to travel. My wish is for the country to prosper, so we can all prosper.

11. When will there be a book with all these great pictures by Fuad Esack? Is it easy to print one in SA with a lower budget like with all these online services we have here in Europe?

As for my memoirs
a work in progress…😁
It’s fairly easy and relatively cheap to have one published. I imagine that we’re on par with what’s happening elsewhere in the world. I have printed one or two photo books for clients

12. Have you ever been or are you planning to visit Europe in the future?

Never ever travelled abroad. Missed out on an opportunity to spend a year in China, last year. Was short listed by the company as one of two journalists to be part of and Afro-China exchange programme but missed out to a younger, prettier woman😕 The programme is indirectly linked to a BRICS initiave involving a closer working relationshipa between Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA. Undoubtedly, one of my biggest wishes is to travel but Ive made peace with the fact that it may never happen.

Thank you for taking your time and it would be cool if we can watch some interesting side sports next time when I’m around together.