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Mom uses netball to keep young girls out of trouble

Mrwebi fights substance abuse and teen pregnancy

Phateka Mrwebi established a netball club to take girls off the streets of Khayelitsha.
Phateka Mrwebi established a netball club to take girls off the streets of Khayelitsha.
Image: Supplied

A determined mother is harnessing the power of netball to combat social ills and empower young girls in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Phateka Mrwebi, 45, is resolute in her mission to prevent young girls from falling victim to substance abuse and teenage pregnancy.

To achieve this noble goal, she uses a portion of her income earned as a cleaner to fund a local netball team, which serves as a constructive outlet for the vulnerable girls in her community.

Mrwebi’s concerns about the bleak future facing many young girls in Khayelitsha intensified when she realised her two teenage daughters were in danger ofbeing lured into bad habits.

“After being away for work on Saturdays, I [came back home to find] the girls smelling of marijuana [one day],” she said. She then decided to establish Silver Girls Netball Club.

“I introduced netball so they could be busy on weekends and have little room to do the problematic things.”

In the beginning, the girls did not like the idea, but Mrwebi was patient with them and they eventually liked it. Mrwebi coaches, manages and funds the team.

“Some of the girls have been with my team since they were nine years old and I am proud of them because they have since passed their matric without falling pregnant.

”Silver Girls plays in the Southern Zone League and has won trophies, including an under-11 and senior division titles in the 2018/19 season. Shego Selome, 20, has been with the team since its formation.

“I have friends that I grew up with. Most of them smoke and others are pregnant. The team helped me to stay away from those crowds in the streets,” said Selome, who hopes to one day play for the national netball team.

■ This article was first published in the GCIS’s Vuk’uzenzele

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