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life photo essay



GO! photography by Jean-Marc Caimi

These women are going into their golden years kicking and scoring AS WORLD CUP MANIA focuses all eyes on South Africa

this month, we’re cheering for a local South African soccer team: Vakhegula Vakhegula, a group of grandmothers who are busy playing “the beautiful game.” The team started in 2007 as a health-clinic rehab initiative near the city of Tzaneen, about 600 km north of Johannesburg, but soon

healthy women were angling to join. The average player is in her mid-70s (Vakhegula Vakhegula means “granny” in the local Xitshonga dialect) and they practise twice a week in two-hour sessions under the hot sun. Here, they face off (and win!) against the Bold Moves Football Club, whose typical player is in her 30s. Let’s hear it for the girls!

Standing Room Only

The stadium at Nkowankowa, a small rural village in northern South Africa, is packed for a Vakhegula Vakhegula match.

| JULY 2010


Let the Game Begin Top: A young fan drums up support. Above: The Vakhegula Vakhegula players take their warm-up seriously.

Goooooal! The grannies celebrate their 2–0 win over the Bold Moves Football Club.

| JULY 2010


Go Grannies Go!  
Go Grannies Go!  

Jean-Marc Caimi reportage