Teen jets to Brazil for soccer training

KICK START: Thabo Mbokazi in action. © Sowetan.
KICK START: Thabo Mbokazi in action. © Sowetan.

Sthembiso Zikalala

Sthembiso Zikalala

Soccer whizz kid Thabo Mbokazi will fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to realise his dream of becoming a soccer star.

Mbokazi, 14, from KwaNongoma in KwaZulu-Natal, was selected with five other talented youngsters for an exciting and challenging week of soccer training in Brazil.

He was given the opportunity by the popular education- through-sport initiative, Shona Khona, which is the brainchild of Metcash and Reckitt Benckiser, and partnered by media sponsors Sowetan and the SABC.

"I am grateful to Shona Khona for this opportunity and I will work hard to set an example for my younger brother and all his peers," a shy Mbokazi said this week.

"My grandmother bought Cobra polish and sent an SMS with the details to a hotline number and then I was chosen in a random process to come to the School of Excellence."

Mbokazi said he is excited and is looking forward to the training trip.

The grade 9 pupil from Baziphethe Sizanani Secondary School said he cannot wait to fly to Brazil because he has never been in an airplane before.

"I am training hard with my home team Khenani FC and I plan on making a huge impression in Brazil," Mbokazi said.

The youngster attended the Shona Khona weekend camp in Gauteng at the beginning of the month together with Teboho Pholosi, 15, from Welkom, Clifford Maserumule, 15, from Limpopo, John Tsoari, 14, from Gauteng, Dane Van Schalkwyk, 12, from Gauteng and Mpho Baloyi, 15, from North West.

They will travel together with the following boys, who were chosen at the December camp: Mzwandile Magqwaka, 14, from Western Cape, Bongani Mocksin, 13, from Western Cape, Jerry Nkwana, 13, from Gauteng, Moalusi Mathe, 16, from Thaba Nchu, Lwandolwethu Bhebhetha, 14, from Uitenhage, and Dominic Mfusi, 13, from Gauteng.

Shona Khona aims to expose children between the ages of 10 and 16 from poor backgrounds to greater sporting opportunities and empowering them to become role models in their communities.

l For more information, you can call the Shona Khona hotline on 0861-100-980.