Laying a solid foundation

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Sowetan's nation-building partnerships are continuing to lay fertile ground for youth and community development.

One of these synergies is with Reckitt Benckiser and Metcash on the ambitious education-through-sport initiative, Shona Khona, which is helping to nurture future soccer stars through soccer coaching and life skills development camps in South Africa and abroad.

Good news from the latest Shona Khona camp at the Safa-Transnet Soccer School of Excellence - which hosted 90 aspirants from all of South Africa's nine provinces last month - is that two of the six lads who are due to visit Brazil in July have been accepted at the academy in Elandsfontein, Ekurhuleni.

Fifteen-year-old Jerry Nkwana and Bongani Mocksin, 13, who were selected through Shona Khona to go to Brazil in July for further training, were also offered admission to the school of excellence.

Mocksin and Nkwana started their classes early this month.

"I can't explain how I feel. To me this is an opportunity to improve my skills and excel in soccer and also further my studies," Nkwana said this week.

"I might even look at studying sports management one day."

Mocksin, of Uitenhage, and Nkwana, of Mamelodi, were spotted by the academy's coaches, and head coach Mandla Mazibuko said this week: "We were very impressed with their skills from the first day of the camp.

"We were able to tell quite quickly that both would fit in well with the environment and style of play at the school."

The four other soccer hopefuls selected during last month's camp to go to Brazil in July are: 13-year-old Dominic Mfusi, of Krugersdorp, 16-year-old Moalusi Mathe, of ThabaNchu, 13-year-old Mzwandile Magqwaka, of Gugulethu, and 14-year-old Lwando Bhebhetha, of Uitenhage.

Shona Khona started more than a year ago with the objective of providing 180 children in two groups of 90 with a life-changing experience. Another six Brazil-bound aspirants are due to be selected at the second Shona Khona camp at the academy in May.

For more information call the Shona Khona hotline on 0861-100-980.