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WAGs, Kids and World Cup Dreams - Chantelle's Story: Part 1

When you hear the label WAGs, most people usually think of a pretty negative stereotype. However, the girls are out to prove that there's more to them than fake tan and shopping sprees in a new five-part series. WAGs, Kids and World Cup Dreams follows some of the most privileged women in England as they travel to South Africa to work with children struggling to survive in a side of South Africa far removed from the gloss and glamour of the upcoming World Cup.

It's been such a life-changing journey for Chantelle Tagoe, fiancee of Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey, that I asked her to share her experiences. In the first of two blog posts, she explains what she witnessed during their first visit to Baphumelele Children's Home which features in the first episode:

Chantelle Tagoe at Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg. When I first heard about this programme I signed up pretty quick even though the producer told me it was going to be full on and upsetting.

I am not one to get nervous but I'd say the thing I was dreading most was meeting the other four girls going. I've never cashed in on the whole WAG madness. Believe it or not me and Emile are not showbiz types who spend all our time and money shopping and going to all the big parties. So I had no WAG friends at all. (By the way, I hate the word WAG, it's the one label I wish would go away.)

Emile was right behind me doing the programme, but he was worried I might come back with loads of kids, ha ha ha! We've got two boys together and he has three other children from a previous relationship, so he was worried I might do a Madonna or a Brangelina! :o)

I met the others at the airport and we just hit it off straight away. They were Elen Rivas (former partner of Chelsea star Frank Lampard), Ellie Darby (girlfriend of West Ham's Matthew Upson), Amii Grove (ex-girlfriend of Jermaine Pennant) and Imogen Thomas who had just split with Jermaine Defoe (bless her she was still quite upset about it). We are all very different but all of us were determined to work as hard as possible and try and help. Over the two weeks we became really close and never fell out once. We are all still in touch and hopefully we'll be mates forever.

We landed in Cape Town and it was a real eye opener. It is supposed to be one of the most gorgeous places in the world but not where we were going. We were going to work in a children's home called Baphumelele right in the middle of one of South Africa's biggest townships called Khayelitsha which is just a mass of shacks with people living in extreme poverty. I was so shocked.

Chantelle Tagoe (8th from left) Hillbrow, Johannesburg In Baphumelele I got the best job looking after ten children in a little house called a cluster home. They were gorgeous and I loved them - you had to be careful though as they copied everything you say. After three days one little boy called Snoyolo was sounding like a proper scouser! :o)

A lot of the kids there had HIV, something I have never come into contact with before and it was just so sad. As much as you try not to get too close I couldn't help it, and one of the girls told me about some terrible things that she had been through. You realise just how lucky you are, and just how messed up things are down there.

The toughest job at Baphumelele was the baby house. Imogen and Ellie worked in there and hardly got any sleep looking after 36 babies. It stank of poo, and there were always kids crying and shouting. I went in for five minutes and couldn't take it, so hats off to the girls who stuck it out.

The night before we went to the next place the crew put us in a nice hotel in the posh part of Cape Town. Don't get me wrong it was a lovely hotel, but it just felt wrong being there. I wanted to go back to my kids in the cluster house but all being well (hint Fabio...) I will get to go back because England are playing Algeria in Cape Town so I can go and visit them again. I want to see if Snoyolo can still speak Scouse! Ha ha ha!

To be continued.....


Next week you can read more about Chantelle's trip to South Africa, her fundraising and how it has changed her life.

Chantelle Tagoe is engaged to Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey and you can watch her in WAGs, Kids and World Cup Dreams this Sunday at 9pm on BBC Three.

To go with the series BBC Three, will also be showing The WAGs' Stories on Mondays at 8.30pm. The first one features Ellie Darby.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    No this programme is about trying to highlight the issues of poverty in south africa and the poor orphans. who cares who is still a 'real' wag and who isnt??!! at the end of the day they are giving their time to give a little help to those who need it!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    This has to be the most eye opening programme I have ever seen. I have lived in Cape Town for the first 21 years of my life, before moving to England for work reasons in 2005. I have always put down the poverty and crime, because I had never seen the side of Cape Town, I have now seen for the first time 10000 miles away from my home. To know that all the tijme I have lived there and on my numerous holidays home each year, I am too naive to realise what is happening around me and am almost sheltered in the other glamourous and extravagant side of Cape Town, I have come to know. I am not just going to comment and forget this, i am going to do something to help this situation. i encourage everyone who has seen the show to please instead of petty comments about the WAg;s status, do something positive and try like these wonderful women, regardless of who they are to help make a difference!

  • Comment number 4.

    Sasha 1

    Sasha,

    It doesn't matter who is with who. The point of the programme is to highlight the different standards of life between haves and have nots.

    If some of the girls end up making a difference to some of the kids then the programme has achieved something.

    Incidentally, the programme and the preceding script states that some of the relationships have broken, but so what, that's not of any importance.

  • Comment number 5.

    i totally agree with you craig.and like most of you have said,it doesnt matter who is with who and who isnt,these women have done a fantastic job.i have 6 chiildren between 1 and 20,and these children have touched my heart,i have to do something to help them....

  • Comment number 6.

    This is a fantastic program, the content may be hard hitting to some but we cannot shy away from the way these people are forced to live their lives.

    I am not an aid worker but as a regular visitor to friends in South Africa I know how easy it is to become involved and for us to help peoples situations...as an individual I know I cannot help everybody, but am able to help someone, it is a start.

    Whilst at an orphanage recently, I became involved with a family that had been forced to move from their home and now live on a hillside in a shack, the poorest of the poor, their story, like many, is heartbreaking. Something had to be done to help them, so with help from a local South African well being centre we are well progressed forming a chicken co-op for the family of 7, ( 2 of whom are HIV+) Their only income comes from the eldest child selling art figures at the roadside after school.

    With this venture they can sell eggs and chickens in the community, the money raised is re-invested into the venture and should be self sufficient within a short space of time. It is a leg up for the family who say they do not want to live on aid, they are a proud and hard working family, they simply need some help.

    It really isn't so hard to do.

  • Comment number 7.

    What a superb programme. And I'm sure anyone who actually cared to watch it will agree.
    The girls themselves all came across as lovely, caring, emotional, ordinary people like anybody else and we should pay tribute to them for wanting to go out to South Africa and do something positive to help those less fortunate than themselves. How many 'normal' members of the public would go out there and do what they've done? It was obvious how touched they were by what they saw and how hard it hit them.
    Well done to them, and the BBC for making this programme.

  • Comment number 8.

    With my upmost respect to all the woman taking part in this short documentary & insight into the plight of Khayelitsha i felt evry moment u all connected with the slow sole detroying struggle the people including the 2 girls have to exist in khayelitsha Ive lived in the camp for 3 years felt the suffering and plight Ive also been car jacked and seen friends been murdered aswell as been the victim of other corrupt charities making money out of poverty.Over the last 21 years I have worked across South America (CHile) South Africa (Khayelitsha)And Malawi I spent 5 year with raleigh International changing inner city kids lives for the better I believe that Khayelitsha has become part of chantelle and the groups lives and they will continue to make a difference this has inspired me to get back to Khayelitsha soon.The most important message thats needed to come from this type of journey is that these woman will come home and spread the word respect and regards youtube link (abadoodangwe) [Personal details removed by Moderator]
    hard to imagine we all live on the same planet but in different World's

  • Comment number 9.

    What a fantastic programme. When the programme finished I was left inspired by these loving, caring girls with such big hearts. I look forward to the next instalment but until then I hope that I and everyone else who watched this programme can find one small gesture that will make a huge difference to someones life.

    Oh, and this programme should be on bbc1 or 2

  • Comment number 10.

    With great respect too chantelle and all the woman taking part in giving the rst of the Uk and World an insight into Khayelitsha,and i felt every slow sole destroying moment that you all experienced, with the complete feeling of hopelessness within people in Khayelitsha and if HIv aids, car jacking, or poverty does'nt kill them isolation from the rest of the World will.I know i Lived in Khayelitsha for 3 years uniting community's and have been car jacked seen friends die and lost close friends too HIV n AIDS /But i have also seen charities who make money from poverty and been a victim of them.As a humanitarian I support community's in Chile Khayelitsha and Malawi.I hope that Khayelitsha has become a part of all the team who have taken part in the documenting of this programme and go on to spread the word about the plights of the hidden and forgotten City I call Khayelitsha abadodangwe zonke bonke

  • Comment number 11.

    i watched this programme and found myself crying, not for one minute did i think that i would like these women yet by the end of this programme i have nothing but the upmost respect for them especially the lovely girl who bought the motherless girls a substantial hut to live in, i understood completely how awful it must have been to go to the very posh hotel after spending time with these poor poor children and adults of that hell on earth. im a poor english woman yet im obviously not am i as soon as im able i will sponser a child i cant change the world but maybe i can help just one child

  • Comment number 12.

    after all the stuff she was saying about them not even having baby wipes, she gives just a few hundred quid to repair 1! shak... surley she could have become a sponsor for there clearly underfunded and new charity project
    surley thats why we call them wag
    'i just didnt realise things were this bad'
    no thats coz u live in luxury and asume anyone who doesnt is making things that way by choice
    i was apauled at how they basically spent enough money to make a difference on the airfare and wages of crew

  • Comment number 13.

    I was brought to be direct decent to king shaka zulus
    Im aware of the problems for south africa But studying
    My father came from south africa 40 years ago through he Came over through he was to sick .What makes me angry is the goverment for Africa How my people Are not look After in Africa And how Children Are brought into this World When men Are responsiable and shud be arrest for Infected people for Aids IM one of there victims of these people Whom been infected all the time But Im lucky as my test so Far are neogitive this year

  • Comment number 14.

    indeed there are so many poeple eresponsible for whats happening there. i did think however, especiaslly with those three girls, going in and crying at them and saying she spoke to her mum everyday... and then telling her to be strong was verging on cruel.
    i know the idea is to create awareness, but surley that can be done on film by the poeple allready there.
    and save the money of sending poeple there and give it to the projects

  • Comment number 15.

    yes poverty is an insight to see in these countrys, but actually having WAGS who obiusly are roughing it, to make the celbrity culture pound makes me even sicker :-(

  • Comment number 16.

    This proggrame broke my heart i cried all the way through it!
    I feel soo sorry for all the people living like this! all those poor children! the woman doing this on a day to day basis are soo special!!!
    xxxxxxxxxx

  • Comment number 17.

    I just watched the programme and found it very moving. However, I am offended that people like these wags who have so so much money think it is ok to say 'well I can help one child'. They could afford to do so much more without even noticing a blip in their bank balances. Ordinary working class people give to charity, volunteer and support projects everyday. How dare they talk about going home and doing some fundraising!! Give a little of what they have to spare and there would be more than enough!!

  • Comment number 18.

    I would like to know what happened to the little boy Moses that was left at the childcare centre, he was so lovely and I felt so terrible for him, I know Chantelle said she sponsored him financially but I'd like to know what else could be done for this boy. I know there are thousands like him but having seen him I cannot stop thinking about his life and how much he needs someone to really care for him.

  • Comment number 19.

    The so called 'WAGS' are actually real women who have families,friends and feelings.This Series will hopefully raise issues for many people who have too much and who are prepared to spend ridiculous amounts of money on corporate entertainment or the perfect handbag

  • Comment number 20.

    why why why was there no link at the end of the programme so people watching can donate? I think it's irresponsible to make a programme like this and not put a link to a website where people can donate.

  • Comment number 21.

    It's nice to see that some of the girls are really trying to make a difference. Well done Chantelle for your fundraisng event, and I hope you can do it annually. It will be hard work but it will be worth it.

  • Comment number 22.

    These problems are too big for one individual to fix. Good on Chantelle and Ellie for making an effort whereas as so many others don't, as demonstrated by Amy.

    Despite seeing the depravation first hand Amy refused to assist preferring to sit by the pool sunning herself, and on arriving back in the UK she was more concerned about the state of her finger nails. This illustrates the attitude that creates and prepetuates the problems.

  • Comment number 23.

    The girls themselves all came across as lovely, caring, emotional, ordinary people like anybody else and we should pay tribute to them for wanting to go out to South Africa and do something positive to help those less fortunate than themselves. How many 'normal' members of the public would go out there and do what they've done? It was obvious how touched they were by what they saw and how hard it hit them.
    Well done to them, and the BBC for making this programme.

 

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