HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in South Africa according to studies released by the South African Medical Research Council. In Kwa-Zulu Natal, the hardest hit province according to the report, studies show that the pandemic accounts for 42 percent of all deaths. At the center of this crisis are the region’s youth, and in particular, its future mothers—girls ages 9-14.
Siyathemba offers a unique opportunity to bring together the positive aspects of sports with an innovative health outreach program in a setting designed with and for the youth of Somkhele. Football, already the nation’s most popular sport, will only gain in popularity and interest when the World Cup comes to South Africa in 2010. By emphasizing a team approach, it is hoped that Siyathemba will be a field of hope, a place where the area’s health care professionals and its future leaders can come together.
About the design:
The Siyathemba Football Pitch is envisioned as a stage for sports and outreach events. The design aspires to create a space that will bring the community together in participation and celebration. The proposed utilizes the natural asset of earth to create terraces that emulate the gentle flow of the area’s landscape. These terraces provide a spatial enclosure and emphasize the ambience of the pitch. The openness at both ends facilitates a visual engagement with the community, while the seating terrace acts as a “billboard,” inviting onlookers to participate.
The pair of “V” shaped earth terraces is designed to create focal point similar to an outdoor amphitheatre, where talks and information dissemination may be conducted. They are constructed from earth and adobe brick and paved with concrete for seats.