TEENAGE soccer aspirant Bongani Mokoena is as much at home on the football field as he is in the classroom.
Mokoena, 14, is delighted to have been chosen to attend the Dettol Shona Khona regional camp at the Bidvest Academy in Johannesburg in October.
His Zithathele Primary School in Orlando East, Soweto, collected the most Dettol soap wrappers and Shona Khona legends Sammy Thage and Glen Bennett visited the school. Y oung Bongani came out shining.
Zithathele Primary submitted their best 20 players - including four girls - to represent the school at the camp.
Bennett and Thage and other soccer greats will interact with 4000 children. Out of these, 12 of the most talented youngsters will be selected to go to the Sao Paulo Futebol Academy in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for a week of soccer and life-skills training by international coaches.
They will receive the same training that Tyroane Sandows, a Shona Khona recruit and the biggest success story of the programme, has been receiving over the past two years.
Sandows has been offered a three-year contract by the Sao Paulo Futebol Club and at the end of that time he could qualify for a place at the Sao Paulo FC academy's senior section.
Another bright Dettol Shona Khona recruit, Sifiso Mnguni, who was discovered at the very first Shona Khona training camp, has since signed a three-year professional playing contract with the Platinum Stars development team.
Five other determined young boys are currently enrolled at the Safa Transnet Sports of Excellence through Shona Khona.
They are: Bongani Mocksin, Kwanele Nkosi, Tumisho Morerwa, Jerry Nkwane and Godfrey Molemela.
The project has since December 2005 taken 30 youngsters to two international soccer academies. In the first two years, 24 children went to Brazil for a week of soccer training.
Six boys also travelled to the famous Manchester United Soccer School in 2008.
lSowetan has made Dettol Shona Khona a part of the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation's youth development programmes.
l For more information, call the Dettol Shona Khona hotline by dialling 071-692-4263 or visiting www.shonakhona.co.za