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‘I finish cricket, have two days’ rest, then switch to rugby’: Precious Marange on her Zimbabwe caps | Global development

Representing your country in one sport is quite an achievement. Doing so in two is exceptional. Precious Marange plays both cricket and rugby for Zimbabwe’s women’s teams – while holding down a full-time job, being a mother and supporting her wider family.

Marange, 39, is one of the older players in the Eagles women’s cricket team and a role model for a new generation of Zimbabwean sportswomen. At Sunrise Sports Club, about three miles west of central Harare, her voice can be heard bellowing instructions to players bowling under the watchful eye of their coach.

The match begins with Marange thrown into the bowling attack; rapturous applause reverberates around the pitch. She claims her first wicket, giving the Eagles an edge over the visiting Mountaineers.

“I’m one of the senior players here and it is encouraging to see youngsters rise through the ranks,” Marange says. “My passion is to see them grow into international cricketers like myself.”

Precious Marange raises hands above her head as three other players congratulate her
Precious Marange celebrates as the Zimbabwe women’s national cricket team, the Lady Chevrons, beat Ireland in a one-day match in Harare in 2018. Photograph: Zimbabwe Cricket

Over the past decade, there has been a steady rise in the popularity of women’s cricket in Zimbabwe, and Marange – a single mother – has inspired many others to take up the sport.

She was working as a housemaid when she first saw a game of cricket on her employers’ television. When they went out, she would switch it on to watch matches as she worked. “It was 2004, and the television set was still black and white, but it was all cricket,” she says.

A few weeks later, she was walking past Takashinga cricket club in Harare, where women’s cricket had just been introduced. One of the first black cricket clubs, Takashinga is where most of Zimbabwe’s leading players have emerged from.

Marange doesn’t know what gave her the courage to go in and tell the coaches she wanted to play, but she did. They soon discovered she had a talent.

“I was still working as a maid in Highfield,” she says. “I used to sneak out for practice. This continued until I got my first break in 2006 to travel with the team to Botswana and an African qualifier the same year.

“I remember walking for more than 10km with my friend Modester [Mupachikwa] to the training ground. The love I have for the game fuelled my drive.”

In 2008, Marange boarded her first flight to South Africa for a match against Pakistan. “My coach told me to be an all-rounder to increase my chances of being selected.”

Lineup of 12 captains, all in rugby kit. Two central players hold rugby balls
Precious Marange (fourth from left) with other national team captains at the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens 2019 tournament in Monastir, Tunisia. Photograph: APO Group/Getty Images

It was a teammate, Yvonne Rainsford, who played for Zimbabwe, who suggested Marange might want to try rugby. She says: “Yvonne encouraged me to try the sport because of my physical fitness, and I made the national team for a regional tournament instantly. Ever since, I have been playing sevens and 15s rugby.”

Schedules can be demanding but Marange says: “Camps do not clash normally. When I finish cricket camp, I just need two days’ rest before joining the rugby camp. I feel proud to be able to represent my country at the highest level.”

However, despite being signed to the national teams, she doesn’t earn enough to support her son, mother and extended family and has a day job at a steel manufacturing company. “I played for 10 years for nothing,” she says. “I just wanted to be the best I could be in the sport.

“As you know, money is never enough. I always need more to be able to take care of my big family. My boss is a former rugby player, so she understands when I have games. She encourages me to go and play. I can even go for a month away from work, but whenever I come back, I work hard.”

Zimbabwean women’s cricket coach Gary Brent discusses tactics.
Zimbabwean women’s cricket coach Gary Brent discusses tactics. Photograph: Nyasha Chingono

Zimbabwean women’s cricket is now producing several players for overseas teams, says the national team’s new coach, Gary Brent. “I’m impressed with the standard,” he adds. “There is nothing stopping us. What we need is to get the talent out of the players on the big stage.”

Marange wants to be known not just as a sportswoman but as a pioneer who helped nurture young talent. “I still have more playing days, but when I retire, I’d like to work as a fitness trainer. My desire is to inspire young players to become better. I want the youngsters to see a role model in me.”

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Lina Gutierrez

    December 13, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    Great information shared.. really enjoyed reading this post thank you author for sharing this post .. appreciated

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    Brennan Jacobson

    December 26, 2023 at 5:35 am

    I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles

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Congratulations, Privacy Just Took A Great Leap Out the Window!

Your Data Is Being Used Without Your Permission And Knowledge

The Voice Of EU | In the heart of technological innovation, the collision between intellectual property rights and the development of cutting-edge AI technologies has sparked a significant legal battle. The New York Times has taken legal action against OpenAI and Microsoft, filing a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court. This legal maneuver aims to address concerns surrounding the unauthorized use of the Times’ content for the training of AI models, alleging copyright infringements that could potentially result in billions of dollars in damages.

READ: HOW YOUR DATA IS BEING USED TO TRAIN A.I.

This legal tussle underlines the escalating tension between technological advancements and the protection of intellectual property. The crux of the lawsuit revolves around OpenAI and Microsoft allegedly utilizing the Times’ proprietary content to advance their own AI technology, directly competing with the publication’s services. The lawsuit suggests that this unauthorized utilization threatens the Times’ ability to offer its distinctive service and impacts its AI innovation, creating a competitive landscape that challenges the publication’s proprietary content.

Amidst the growing digital landscape, media organizations like the Times are confronting a myriad of challenges. The migration of readers to online platforms has significantly impacted traditional media, and the advent of artificial intelligence technology has added another layer of complexity. The legal dispute brings to the forefront the contentious practice of AI companies scraping copyrighted information from online sources, including articles from media organizations, to train their generative AI chatbots. This strategy has attracted substantial investments, rapidly transforming the AI landscape.

Exhibit presented by the New York Times’ legal team of ChatGPT replicating a article after being prompted

The lawsuit highlights instances where OpenAI’s technology, specifically GPT-4, replicated significant portions of Times articles, including in-depth investigative reports. These outputs, alleged by the Times to contain verbatim excerpts from their content, raise concerns about the ethical and legal boundaries of using copyrighted material for AI model training without proper authorization or compensation.

The legal action taken by the Times follows attempts to engage in discussions with Microsoft and OpenAI, aiming to address concerns about the use of its intellectual property. Despite these efforts, negotiations failed to reach a resolution that would ensure fair compensation for the use of the Times’ content while promoting responsible AI development that benefits society.

In the midst of this legal battle, the broader questions surrounding the responsible and ethical utilization of copyrighted material in advancing technological innovations come to the forefront.

The dispute between the Times, OpenAI, and Microsoft serves as a significant case study in navigating the intricate intersection of technological progress and safeguarding intellectual property rights in the digital age.


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Culture

‘The Bill Gates Problem’ – The Case Against World’s Richest Man

The Case Against World’s Richest Man

When Clinton assumed the presidency of the United States, there was eager anticipation from the Chinese, not for Clinton himself, but for Bill Gates. This was during the late 1990s, a period when the internet was still in its nascent stages, and the digital boom of the early 2000s had not yet reached its peak. The enigmatic persona that captivated the attention of the burgeoning Asian powerhouse is now portrayed in “The Bill Gates Problem” as a “domineering, brusque figure” whose demeanor is likened to “a cauldron of passions that freely erupts.” According to a former employee cited in the book, Gates was perceived as “a complete and utter jerk to people 70% of the time,” while the remaining 30% saw him as a “harmless, enjoyable, exceptionally intelligent nerd.”

The 1990s were also the decade of the conflict between Microsoft and the now defunct Netscape browser, which challenged what was already being openly described as the former’s monopolistic practices. Gates was investigated and accused in Congress for such practices; he ultimately won the battle, but the case harmed his reputation, and in 2000 he resigned as CEO of his company. From there he undertook an expansion of the foundation that he had established with his wife and to which he has dedicated his main efforts in the last two decades. In 2006, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

With a personal fortune of $100 billion and tens of billions more in his private foundation, Gates has been one of the richest men in the world for decades, and the foundation has been the most generous organization of its kind, specializing above all in health aid, education and child nutrition, with a large presence in Africa and India among other regions of what was formerly known as the Third World. Tim Schwab, a contributor to the weekly left-wing newspaper The Nation, undertook a detailed investigation to denounce something that in truth was already known: that American foundations are largely a way for billionaires to avoid taxes.

To prove this, he thoroughly looked into the accounts and procedures of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the failures and occasional successes of its philanthropic policies, and came to the conclusion that behind this facade of help to the needy hides an operation of power. He is ruthless in his criticism, although accurate in his analysis of the growing inequality in the world. Absorbed by the revolutionary rhetoric, he laments that the Gates Foundation has remained “deadly silent” regarding movements such as Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter, which demand social change in the face of the “excess wealth and ‘white savior’ mentality that drives Bill Gates’ philanthropic work.” He does attribute some good intentions, but his criticism is merciless, sometimes even coarse, while the absence of solutions for the problems he denounces — other than the calls for do-goodism — is frustrating.

His abilities as an investigative journalist are thus overshadowed by a somewhat naive militancy against the creative capitalism that Gates promotes and an evident intention to discredit not only his work but, above all, him. The demands he makes for transparency and the accusations of obscurity are dulled by the author himself in the pages he dedicates to Gates’ relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the famous corruptor of minors at the service of the international jet set. Gates has explained his meetings and interviews with him on countless occasions, and in no case has any type of relationship, other than their commercial relations or some confusing efforts to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, been proved. Still, Schwab raises, with no evidence whatsoever, the possibility that their relationship “could have had something to do with Epstein’s principal activities in life: sexual gratification and the exercise of power.” The book is full of this kind of opinions and speculations, to the detriment of a more serious analysis of Gates’ mistakes in the management of his foundation, the problems of shielding the intellectual property of vaccines in the hands of the pharmaceutical industries and, ultimately, the objective power that big technology companies have in global society.

He signed a collaboration agreement with the RAE to improve Microsoft’s grammar checker and was interested in the substantial unity of the Spanish language in all the countries where almost 600 million people speak it. That man was very far from the sexist, arrogant, miserable predator that Schwab portrays. Nor did we deduce — and this can be applied to the personal adventure of Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Zuckerberg, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos — that his life’s goal was world domination, as suggested by this book. If they have achieved it, or may achieve it, it is due to the dynamics of digital civilization and the objective difficulties in governing it. The deregulation of financial capitalism, which has increased inequality among humankind, is due to the incompetence of obsolete political institutions and to leaders who care more about their own fates than those of their people. The criticism against “lame and wasteful government bureaucracies” might be part of the propaganda promoted by the world’s wealthy, but lately we have also heard it from small-scale farmers across Europe.

In conclusion, we found the book to be more entertaining than interesting. It provides a lot of information — we’re not sure if it’s entirely verified — and plenty of cheap ideology. Above all, one can see the personal crusade of the author, determined to prove that Bill Gates is a problem for democracy and that millionaire philanthropists are a bunch of swindlers. The world needs their money; maybe managed by party bureaucracies, that much is not clear. Bill Gates’ money, that is, but not Bill Gates himself.


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Global Affairs

Brazil’s G20 Presidency Kicks Off In Rio With Foreign Ministers Meeting | International

Foreign ministers of the Group of 20 nations were gathering Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro to discuss poverty, climate change and heightened global tensions as Brazil takes on the annual presidency of the bloc.

The ministers and other representatives of the 20 leading rich and developing nations planned to spend two days setting a roadmap for work to accomplish ahead of a Nov. 18-19 summit in Rio.

One of Brazil’s key proposals, set by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is a reform of global governance institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and multilateral banks, where he wants to push for stronger representation of developing nations.

Brazil’s ambassador to the bloc, Mauricio Lyrio, said at a news conference Tuesday that structural reforms of international institutions are urgent because of a proliferation of conflicts around the world — not just in Ukraine and Gaza, but in a total of 183 locations, according to one study, he said.

“We have practically returned to the level of conflicts seen in the Cold War period. This shows that there is a lack of governance to deal with current challenges,” said Lyrio, who is the economic affairs secretary at Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“It is one thing to work for peace in each conflict; another thing is to have a global governance that prevents conflicts from occurring,” Lyrio said. “We’re basically putting out fires.”

After years of diplomatic isolation under former President Jair Bolsonaro, Lula has sought to reinsert Brazil on the center stage of global diplomacy since returning to power in January of 2023.

Lucas Pereira Rezende, a political scientist at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, said Lula was especially well-suited for the role, recalling that during his earlier terms as president from 2003 to 2010 he was once called “the most popular politician on Earth” by then-U.S. President Barack Obama.

The G20 “is a very important international stage, especially at a time when the world is facing two major wars, involving large states, and also at a time when multilateralism is in crisis,” Rezende told The Associated Press.

“But Lula is a very strong international actor and has a very strong multilateral role, especially when presenting himself as a leader of underdeveloped or developing countries.”

G20 finance ministers and central bank presidents are set to meet next week in Sao Paulo, and a second meeting of foreign ministers is scheduled for September.

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