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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 09:54 GMT
Football and Freedom
South Africa are hoping to host the World Cup in 2010
Seth is white. Thuso is black. Seth is from a wealthy background, while Thuso sleeps on his granny's kitchen floor.

Both are gifted young footballers in post-apartheid South Africa. This World followed their attempts to break into the professional game.

Seth Hutcheons leads a privileged life. His family are financially comfortable and well-connected in the world of soccer.

He goes to one of the best schools in Johannesburg but yearns for a trial with an overseas soccer club. He feels there is now too much positive discrimination for blacks when it comes to team selection at home.

Seth (left), Thuso (right)
Seth and Thuso approach their 18th birthdays facing critical decisions

Thuso Phala lives in Soweto. Only months before filming started, Thuso's dad was brutally murdered in a car-jacking incident. Thuso, his mum and two sisters, had no choice but to move into Thuso's granny's tiny house.

They struggle to survive.

Both Seth and Thuso have had a measure of success during the last five years. Seth was selected for the Ajax Amsterdam academy in Cape Town. Thuso was spotted by his hero, Lucas Radebe, captain of the South African national team, and Leeds United player.

However, Seth broke his contract with Ajax after only a few months and Thuso's trip to England did not materialise.

The film also explores the issues of housing and education.

Thuso, like Seth, goes to a private school. Many feel that the state system does not have much to offer. But Thuso's mother cannot afford the fees.

Will Thuso be forced to abandon his dreams of soccer stardom and start earning money to help his family? And will Seth obtain a foreign scholarship, or stay in South Africa and play for the Rainbow Nation?

This World charted the boys' lives over the last five years to discover how a decade of democracy is shaping their future.

Football and Freedom was broadcast in the UK on Sunday, 18 January, 2004 at 2100 on BBC Two.

Country profile: South Africa
08 Nov 03  |  Country profiles
The birth and death of apartheid
17 Jun 02  |  Africa


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