A documentary about football, friendship and education
A story about making new friends and exciting new experiences. The South African team The Kusasa Stars are followed by a film crew making a documentary of the journey from Franschhoek in South Africa.
Camera man Sean Vermooten is running up and down the field on Noltorpsvallen in Alingsås, trying to find the perfect spot for himself and his camera. He is one of six people working on the documentary about The Kusasa Stars from South Africa.
“We are traveling with the team to tell their story. Football really is a great equalizer. At home they might struggle to get by, but at the same time they are the most amazing kids. We want to show what football can do for these kids”, says Sean Vermooten.
The movie is a part of BRICS, the association between five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This year’s BRICS Summit will take place in Brazil, which is also when the documentary will be premiered. 52 minutes long in total, the movie will show the players journey from South Africa to Gothia Cup and back again, including footage of their march on Ullevi during the tournaments opening ceremony. When 50 000 people were cheering them on.
”In that moment they were defined as footballers. And knowing where they’re from, I think it’s just an amazing story”, says Sean Vermooten.
The majority of the players live in Groendal, a shanty town connected with the city of Franschhoek and inhabited by 15 000 people. The Kusasa Stars started as a project to use football as a way of education, giving the kids a life-changing experience playing Gothia Cup. Working on the project and with the kids is Magnus Thell.
“We believe that education is the key to change, so if you go to school, stay away from drugs and act kind towards your friends, you are able to play football in The Kusasa Stars. Today we have 180 kids, boys and girls, in the organisation” he says.
This year marks the second time The Kusasa Stars participate in Gothia Cup, travelling with two teams in the Boys 12 and 13 classes. But Magnus Thell and the others are working for more and the plan is to be back next year.
“We are still in an early phase of the project. Last year we brought one team, and this year we focus on integration between different skin colours, to show the kids that you can consort during a longer time. For next year’s tournament we’re bringing the boys back, but also six girls from South Africa who will play together with six Swedish girls, on the same team”, he says.
The Kusasa Stars are all about friendship and development. And although Gothia Cup is a competition, winning is not the focus.
“It’s all about education and experience. The real winners are the ones who make new friends and have a great experience. We want the kids to develop as people”, says Magnus Thell.