Alive & Kicking: The Soccer Grannies of South Africa (2016)

‘Alive & Kicking: The Soccer Grannies of South Africa’ (2016)

In this charming documentary, community organizer and radio show presenter Beka Ntsanwisi explains how and why she started Vakhegula Vakhegula, a soccer club for grannies in the region of Limpopo, South Africa. Suffering from chronic diseases or traumas, these Vakhegula (grannies, also called gogos) found football made them healthier and lifted their focus away from pain.

This 19 minute short film was the directorial debut of Lara-Ann de Wet as she concurrently finished with her studies at the New York Film Academy. 11mm Fußballfilmfest said when they showed it in 2017, “The Soccer Grandios left no eye in the audience dry.”

One of the charms of the film is that the women are playing in skirts, but as their activity became more accepted by their local societies, they eventually migrated to playing in football kits. Some of the Soccer Grannies have been able to travel to other countries to play, such as Massachusetts in 2010, Russia in 2018, and France in 2019, spreading their infectious joy.

8 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 8