South African to Be First Black African in Space

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News,World

Mandla Maseko is set fulfill his ambition to become the first black African to travel into space. He has been selected as one of the 23 civilians to be on a suborbital flight 62 miles above the earth in a commercial space plane. (Feb. 4)

SHOTLIST:

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Pretoria, South Africa - 4 February 2014

1. Wide of winner of competition to go into Space, Mandla Maseko, recreating his winning photo submission

2. Various shots of Maseko, dressed in an orange space suit, walking through township and chatting with a group of his friends

3. SOUNDBITE (English) Mandla Maseko, Competition winner and first black African to go into space (Transcript Below)

4. Mid of spaceman statue

5. Close of South Africa Space Camp badge patch on jacket

6. Close of feet walking inside house

7. Maseko sitting down on bed with glass of water

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Little Rock, Arkansas - 14 August 2013

8. Still of Buzz Aldrin

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Pretoria, South Africa - 4 February 2014

9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mandla Maseko, Competition winner and first black African to go into space (Transcript Below)

10. Close of Maseko's hands

11. Mid of Maseko sitting on the bed

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Johannesburg, South Africa - 2 June 2009

12. Still of Nelson Mandela

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Pretoria, South Africa - 4 February 2014

13. SOUNDBITE (English) Mandla Maseko, Competition winner and first black African to go into space (Transcript Below)

14. Maseko emerging from house and putting his sunglasses on

15. Close of space jumpsuit with Maseko's name on it

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

IT WAS ONE SMALL JUMP OFF A WALL IN A POOR SOUTH AFRICAN TOWNSHIP --

-- BUT ONE GIANT LEAP FOR THIS FORMER D-J WHO IS SLATED TO BECOME THE FIRST BLACK AFRICAN TO TRAVEL INTO SPACE.

WHEN MANDLA MASEKO PHOTOGRAPHED HIMSELF JUMPING FROM A WALL AND SENT IT TO A COMPETITION PROMOTING SPACE TRAVEL, THE 25-YEAR-OLD HAD NO IDEA THAT BY 2015 HE'D BE ORBITING EARTH.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mandla Maseko, competition winner:

"What I'm looking forward to the most about this trip is seeing myself at that moment whereby I get off of my seat and I start floating and then I look outside my window and I see this big, round ball that is blue and white called Earth."

HE BEAT OUT MORE THAN A MILLION APPLICANTS WORLDWIDE TO BE ONE OF 23 PEOPLE TO TAKE THE SUB-ORBITAL FLIGHT.

AFTER COMPETING IN NUMEROUS TESTS INCLUDING SKY DIVING, MASEKO TRAVELED TO FLORIDA FOR THE FINAL COMPETITION WHERE BUZZ ALDRIN...THE SECOND MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON...WAS A JUDGE.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mandla Maseko, competition winner:

"He was looking for three qualities, which is: bravery, enthusiasm and team work."

QUALITIES THAT MASEKO -- THE SON OF A TOOLMAKER --- SAYS HE EMBODIES.

THROUGHOUT THE COMPETITION, HE WAS INSPIRED BY SOUTH AFRICA'S ANTI-APARTHEID LEADER NELSON MANDELA.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mandla Maseko, competition winner:

"He broke new ground. Him being the first black president in South Africa at the time that our country was in, it was a massive thing. So for an ordinary person to do extraordinary things, that to me was an inspiration enough."

INSPIRATION HE ALSO HOPES WILL HELP HIM COMPLETE HIS STUDIES TO BE A CIVIL ENGINEER.

BUT FOR NOW, IT'S ONWARD AND UPWARD.

MAGGIE MAZZETTI, ASSOCIATED PRESS.

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