From Informal Settlements to Barcelona

Rebonwe Primary School girls from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal’s Muzuvukile Primary School boys will be travelling to Spain to participate in the Danone Nations Cup world finals.

South Africa will make history later this year by sending an under-12 girls soccer team to compete in the Danone Nations Cup world finals, where they will be competing against seven other nations. The team that will represent the country will be a group of players from informal settlements in Ivory Park, Gauteng. They earned this opportunity by winning the Danone Nations Cup girls tournament that took place at Reiger Park, Boksburg this past weekend.

They will be accompanied by the boys from Muzuvukile Primary School of Enseleni, a rural area near Richards Bay, who won the boys national finals at the same venue.

The girls tournament was introduced for the first time this year but because most schools do not have girls-only teams, it was a pilot tournament in Gauteng only, with 40 schools participating.

Reiger Park , Boksburg : GV during the Danone Nations Cup 2019 Nations Finals on June 15, 2019 at the WJ Clements stadium, Reiger Park in Boksburg. (Photo by

There were regional finals and 8 schools went through to provincial playoffs. The teams that reached the semifinals were then invited to compete at the national finals.

Rebonwe Primary School met Michael Mkhwanazi Primary in the final. They had played each other earlier in the day and Michael Mkhwanazi won the closely contested match 2-1.

In the final encounter which saw these two sides locking horns once again, Rebonwe knew that they were in for a tough game in the final and gave it everything from the beginning. This time they were better prepared and created many scoring opportunities. They were first to score, but Michael Mkhwanazi equalised within minutes.

Reiger Park , Boksburg Action during the Danone Nations Cup 2019 Finals between Phathekile Primary (white) and Muzuvukile (light Blue) on June 15, 2019 at the WJ Clements stadium, Reiger Park in Boksburg. (Photo by Thabang Lepule)

Rebonwe had the better of the exchanges from then on and came close to scoring right at the end of the game. It ended in a draw, and went to a penalty shootout which Rebonwe won, to add the national title to their provincial title.

At the same time, the nine boys provincial champions competed in the playoffs for their national title. The teams were divided into 2 groups with the teams that topped the log meeting in the final.

Muzuvukile was always going to be the team to beat based on their exceptional performance in the provincial finals. They are a very strong team and three of their players have been invited to attend trials at Mamelodi Sundowns. They won all their league games to finish top of their pool and met Group B winners Patekile from the Eastern Cape in the final match.

Muzuvukile were the only team that won all their matches leading up to the final and the final was very much like the group stages.

They created plenty of chances to score but the Patekile goalkeeper, Alethu Mathumbu, was outstanding, saving one shot after another. Patekile tried to take advantage of the odd counter-attack but they never really threatened the Muzuvukile goal.

With only a couple of minutes left in the match, just as the spectators started to think that we would have another penalty shootout, Siyanda Masinga from Muzuvukile managed to get the ball past Alethu and give Muzuvukile the lead. They had a few more chances to add to their lead but it wasn’t to be – Final score, 1-0 to Muzuvukile.

It’s now back to school for both the boys and girls winners to put together a plan in preparation of the world finals scheduled for Barcelona starting on 10th October.

On the final day of the world finals – 12th October – all the games will take place at the RCDE Stadium, home ground La Liga club, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona.

Rebonwe Primary School celebrates lifting the trophy during the 2019 Danone Nations Cup Finals at the Reiger Park, Boksburg on the 14 June 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

In attendance at the national finals was Amanda Dlamini, former captain of Banyana Banyana, who was there to encourage the girls.
“I was 22 when I first travelled overseas for Banyana Banyana and I remember that experience well. It was daunting and a bit frightening, but it opened my eyes to the limitless opportunities that exist in the world. I matured fast and I believe these young 12 year-olds will feel the same.”

Muzuvukile Primary School celebrates lifting the trophy during the 2019 Danone Nations Cup Finals at the Reiger Park, Boksburg on the 14 June 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The 2018 and 2019 world finals will be held as a double header. “Barcelona is symbolic as it was in this city in 1919 that Isaac Carasso created the first Danone yogurt with the aim of improving one’s health,” said Marlinie Kotiah, General Secretary Danone Southern Africa. “We are combining Danone’s centenary and the 20th edition of the world final in a bumper edition this year. It also coincides with our new brand positioning and purpose, One Planet One Health, which reflects our belief that the health of humankind and that of the planet are interlinked and both need to be protected and nurtured.

“Through the Danone Nations Cup, we are contributing to bringing this vision to life by promoting the importance of exercise. Further, we are encouraging our young athletes to ‘Play Football, Change the Game’, which is a rallying message to unite children, irrespective of their backgrounds and cultures, and to encourage them to become catalysts for positive change,” concluded Kotiah.

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“Football Academies Should Add Financial Education To Their Curriculums”

On Friday the 17th of May I attended the informative Nedbank Finance Football Forum in Durban at ViewsAt25 ahead of the Nedbank Cup Final where TS Galaxy beat Kaizer Chiefs, becoming the first lower division team to win The Nedbank Cup. The panel at this groundbreaking event included football legends Doctor Khumalo, Jerry Sikhosane, Siboniso Gaxa, Siyabonga Nomvethe, Nedbank KeYona graduate and flag-bearer Aubrey Modiba, Bongani Sam as well as Financial Expert, Peter Kgapane and Tobie Badenhorst, Head: Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing.

We have seen a lot of footballers going broke after retirement with nothing to fall back on.
Financial expert, Peter Kgapabe figures it’s because in football retirement comes earlier than in any other profession.

“When the playing days are over, even if the player had savings. They end up being forced to tap in to the their savings accounts to make ends meet,” Kgapane said.

He says the player will use that money until it runs out and then by the time they reach 65 which is the normal retirement age, they no longer have any money left on their accounts.

“Football hasn’t always been a business. Most retired players from the older generation never earned a lot of money and they never even got a chance to play overseas, at least the newer generation has more chances of playing abroad,” he added.

“Wealth can be generational and unfortunately for most South African footballers, they’re the first in their families to accumulate wealth. They haven’t had financial education from a very young age so when the money comes they seek validation by buying expensive cars, clothes or even live in expensive apartments,” Kgapane added.

According to the expert, people who come from wealth lead better lives because they were taught from a very young age how to make and save money. They usually have mentors who teach them about life skills and give them financial education.

“Football academies across the country should add financial education to their curriculums where they teach young football players how to save money. You do not have accidental encounter with money training, someone needs to teach you how to handle your finances from a very young age,” he added.

Kgapane believes it is harder to give financial training to a player who’s already earning a decent salary.

“We stand a better chance at training the younger ones instead of trying to teach someone who’s already making a lot of money. This becomes difficult because they never got used to saving money when they were young and saving may include downgrading their lifestyle,” he concluded.

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Catching Up With The Legendary Lucky Lekgwathi

The past few months have been the busiest for me in a very long time. I have not really had time to sit and chat with any of my friends or anyone for that matter, which is why I could not let the opportunity to chat with the legendary Lucky Lekgwathi I took with both hands as he humbly unpacked his views on the issue of football development in our country.

The former Orlando Pirates Captain reflected on our glory days.
“Development used to be amazing in South Africa, if you remember we managed to beat Brazil in the U/23 with the likes of Benni McCarthy,” he said.

He also emphasized that development is crucial in every country, he says when you look at the current Bafana Bafana squad, it is made up mostly of players who have never played for the U/20 or U/23 which sometimes makes it difficult for them to perform as they start having a professional coaching late in their careers.

Lucky Lekgwathi during the Orlando Pirates Jersey Launch on the 17 July 2017 at Adidas Base © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

“Orlando Pirates used to promote players from the development side, if you look at the likes of Gift Leremi, Lebogang Mokoena, and Tlou Segolela just to name a few” said Lekgwathi who led Pirates during their unprecedented double treble triumphs.
He encourages coaches and club owners to look into developing players before promoting them to the senior team. He also says he feels coaches like Pitso Mosimane, Micho and Rhulani Mokoena should go to places like the township to develop young coaches.

“I feel like when you come from a township it’s very difficult for you to make it into big teams, especially if you are a coach. Coaches who are already in the PSL should call these coaches to shadow them during training,” Lekgwathi added.

He says he respects Orlando Pirates for hosting development tournaments like the Pirates Cup.

“I personally saw a lot of good players and I think it’s also amazing that other team scouts were here,” he explained.

Lucky Lekgwathi, former player during the 2018 MTN8 launch at Johannesburg Park Station, Johannesburg on 30 July 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

He says his aim is to give back to the community with his foundation which is called The Lucky Lekgwathi Foundation.

“I always go to old age homes to buy them groceries and food for winter. I am also hosting a tournament in July and some of the scouts will be there like my former coach Augustos Paulacious,” he said.

Bafana Bafana will be representing South Africa at this year’s African Cup of Nations and Lekgwathi feels the side has a better chance of making us proud.

“Bafana has got a good coach, he coached me, we went to USA and we managed to beat a team like Mexico, so I really believe players will do well under the guidance of Stuart Baxter.” He concluded.

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How I Take Care Of My 4c Hair

Taking care of your natural hair may be seen as tough but finding the right products and understanding your hair may be the best thing for you.

My story with my 4c hair goes a long way back. My mother never wanted me to relax my hair. I did once but the relaxer burnt my scalp and that’s when she decided that she wasn’t going to put me under that “torture” again.

I have started using As I Am Africa products which are very good to my hair because they make it easy for me to maintain it.

The most important thing is to cleanse your hair. I understand that I have very dry hair and washing it all the time causes it to lose its natural moisture, that’s why I cleanse it at least once after two weeks, using As I Am Naturally Cleansing Pudding.

Deep conditioning is very important so I section my hair to 4 while it’s still wet and apply the Hydration Elation, put on a shower cap and wait for 30 minutes before rinsing it off and detangling using a wide tooth comb.

I then apply the Leave-in Conditioner from root to tip..After applying the Leave-in Conditioner I apply the Twist Defining Cream. Then proceed to style. Taking care of 4c hair is not very easy but you have to use the right products and be consistent. In winter you can do protective hairstyles like braids but don’t forget to moisturize your hair even when you are braided. As I Am Naturally has an amazing Moisture Milk. All these products are available at select Clicks Stores.

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New Technology For A Better Life

I attended The Microsoft media event at their head offices on Friday the 24th of April, where I had my first hand experience on their latest devices and innovations.

Recent technology advances are aiming to improve customer’s health, lifestyle and experiences at both work and play.

Microsoft sees the need for increased productivity, accessibility and security innovation in the digital era that is constantly evolving, with the aim to provide more people than ever access to new tools.

Every day advances in technology are helping to improve people’s health, lifestyle, and experiences.

Microsoft has developed an array of hardware and software solutions, that seek to dramatically improve the lives of their customers.

One of my favorite innovations is the Maths Assist programme which helps students solve for X using their computer and for Xbox lovers, Microsoft has launched new controllers for people who are differently abled and enjoy gaming but find more traditional controllers prohibitive.

“We wanted to create more awareness of the advances we have made in computing, gaming and in ergonomic design as well as how they make our customers lives easier. We firmly believe that empowering every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more is more than just a mission statement; it defines how we design our products and how we approach innovation,” says Vithesh Reddy, Consumer and Device Sales Director at Microsoft South Africa.

We were given a first-hand experience of Microsoft’s latest devices and features, while also being exposed to advances in ergonomics for wellbeing in computing, and new computing capabilities designed to increase productivity and accessability for both work and play.

“Our productivity tools across Office and Windows allow for improved collaboration through file sharing, smarter research, task management, and synchronisation as well as increased comfort thanks to ergonomic design. We have upgraded safety through increased encryption and better levels of security on email and internet browsing. Finally, our inclusive design approach has helped us ensure that our products are more accessible, making gaming, Office and Windows functionality more accessible to many more people around the world,” says Vithesh Reddy.

Improved productivity for Office and Windows:

Some of the key advances in productivity include:
• QuickStarter: A research tool which helps you build PowerPoint presentations in minutes.
• Math Assist: A OneNote feature that allows you to solve complex mathematics equations quickly, and shows you step-by-step instructions that help you learn how – perfect for parents helping their kids with homework.
• Researcher: Helps you find and cite reliable sources for your research paper from within Word in just a few steps.
• Real-Time Co-Authoring: Allows you to collaborate online and in real time on Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, leading to increased productivity in the workplace.
• OneDrive Sharing: A productivity tool that allows you to store files, share them, give permission to view or edit them and work together on files at the same time.
• Timeline for Windows: Shows a history of activities you’ve performed over the last few weeks and synchronises your activities across your PCs allowing you to easily pick up a task where you left off.

Microsoft has also used the latest in ergonomics to develop the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop keyboard and mouse to eliminate strain on hands for those working long hours.

Vithesh Reddy highlighted the importance of using the correct hardware to optimise performance.

“Many PCs still use Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage which hinders performance. Customers who want to optimise the performance of their devices should consider Solid State Drive (SSD) storage, which speeds up performance, boot-ups, battery life, and also has higher longevity.”

Addressing data safety:

The safety of applications and devices is a key focus for Microsoft. OneDrive security has improved functions such as two-factor authentication and advanced virus protection which, when used in conjunction with Office 365 which gives its users 1TB of included storage, means improved security of your data on the cloud.

Improved email safety includes the new do not forward email and protected email encryption functionality. Family protection for Windows limits account access to certain websites and content helping families protect their children from viewing sensitive material and content online and Windows Defender protects users from malware and viruses.

Xbox has also implemented Family Safety which allows parents to filter-out age restricted games and content.

Accessibility for all:

Microsoft’s approach to design centres around being as inclusive as possible with the aim of providing everyone with access to technology.

Solutions such as Narrator, colour filters, Mono Audio options, speech interaction with Windows, and eye tracking make using Windows easier for people faced with various disabilities.

Xbox has also been made more accessible thanks to co-pilot, a solution which allows two controllers to act as one, meaning any two people can control the same character on-screen, as well as the adaptive controller, designed to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility.

In Office, dictation, which allows you type using your voice on Word, Touch input which allows for touchscreen inputting of information and ReadAloud, a speech to text app, are also helping to create accessibility.

Says Vithesh Reddy: “Microsoft will continue to look for new ways to improve our customer’s lives through innovation. We are determined to continuously develop inclusive technology that protects our customers’ sensitive information and empowers as many people as possible.”

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Shield Sibonis’ iDiski Takes Centre Stage

Shield Sibonis’ iDiski continues this weekend with trials in Soweto White City Jabavu (76 B Sikhakhane Street), KwaZulu-Natal, Escourt as well as in Northern Cape, Kimberley.

Shield is looking to give three aspiring footballers a chance to train with Chelsea and overall winner will secure a contract with Orlando Pirates Multichoice Diski Challenge team.

Shield Sibonis’ iDiski Head Coach Dumisani Thusi said they’re looking for hard working and dedicated players.
“We are looking for players with technique, someone who can master basics of football, someone who understands formation and has tactical understanding of the game”.

He also added that they are looking for people who have a positive attitude and are well disciplined. “We also want someone who is mentally strong, a player who can perform well under pressure, on and off the field.” Thusi concluded.

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Shield Sibonis’ iDiski 2017 runner up, Alanzo Kuhn says for a player to enter this competition they need to be committed, have the right mindset, have a vision and believe in themselves.
“Players need to go full hearted on this competition and be willing to learn from the coaches and other players,” Kuhn said.

The Mitchels Plain born player says players coming to this competition need to be team players and show leadership skills. He said his principles helped him get far in the competition.
” I have a very strong character, my parents taught me how to be responsible and disciplined on and off the field,” Kuhn added.

He says he hopes to inspire young football players to dream big and work hard in achieving their goals.
“I hope everyone who dreams of being a successful football player will be given a chance to live their dream. I’m currently training with Polokwane City and still in partnership with Shield. I hope to grow not only as a player but also as a person,” concluded Kuhn.

If you think you have what it takes to be part of this great initiative, come through to the trials near you and show the Shield coaches iDiski!

For more information follow @shieldza on Twitter or go straight to Shield SA’s website:

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Nedbank Aids Flood-hit Durban

Nedbank is challenging KwaZulu-Natal football supporters to #Team4KZN ahead of the sold out Nedbank Cup final between Kaizer Chiefs and TS Galaxy set to take place at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

KZN was hit by floods over the Easter weekend and they left devastating scenes all around the province, destroying homes and various infrastructures. As part of solidifying football’s status as ‘The Beautiful Game’, Nedbank has urged football lovers to show their support by retweeting Nedbank’s #Team4KZN post on Twitter with the bank pledging to contribute R5 towards relief efforts for every retweet of the post. Fans who show their support via retweet also have the added incentive of being entered into a draw for a chance to win tickets and VIP experience at the Nedbank Cup final.

“The 2019 Nedbank Cup final is one of the most anticipated events on the footballing calendar and is set to showcase a true David versus Goliath spectacle of football. Following the weather events in KZN, this match has however become about more than football. We will utilise the Nedbank Cup final to leave a lasting legacy by not only raising awareness for relief efforts ourselves, but also by enabling and galvanizing supporters to lend a hand in the province’s clean-up efforts,” said Head of Group Sponsorship and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, Tobie Badenhorst.

Nedbank and the Nedbank Green Affinity, in partnership with the Wild Trust, have started embarking on cleanup efforts at five beaches in and around the City of Durban. This initiative started on Saturday, 11 May and Sunday 12 May at Mangroves Beach and Durban Harbour respectively, the cleanups continue at the following venues:
• Wednesday, 15 May 2019 (08:00-12:00)
Beach cleanup: Umbogintwini beach (Meet at Amanzimtoti Golf Club)
• Friday, 17 May 2019 (15:00 – 18:00)
Beach cleanup: Durban Main Beachfront (Meet at Marine Lifesaving Club, Addington Beach)
• Saturday, 18 May 2019 (08:00-12:00)
Beach cleanup: Blue Lagoon (Meet at South side of the pier)

Supporters are encouraged to join the cleanups to lend a hand with the first 400 volunteers at each event receiving complimentary tickets to the final, a Nedbank T-shirt and a goodie bag, as a token of appreciation for their participation.

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“Been At My Lowest But I Still Show Up”

Have you ever reached a point in your life where everything was happening at the same time, both the good and the bad but mostly the bad but you can’t afford to break down because you still have to show up for work, school or to your business? Well, at this very moment I am in that state.

A few days ago, I was telling one of my friends that I can’t believe that we’ve reached a stage in our lives where no matter what we are going through we have to ‘show up’. A lot of things happened in the past couple of months that have deeply hurt me and also changed the way I look at life. My brother’s sudden death being the worst of it all.

I always talk about the importance of taking care of ones mental health. It helps you deal with challenges that you face in life a bit better.

I took part in The Shield Roundtable event a few days after my brother’s passing, a lot of people wondered why I went because even the team at Shield would have understood if I didn’t show up. The one thing I learnt from being depressed as a teenager is that you have to be mentally strong as a person and not let grief consume or discourage you from the things you have to do.

You have to train your mind to focus. Grieving is hard because you have to deal with denial, anger, confusion and loss. I felt all these things at once but I knew Sanele would have wanted me to go there and represent a brand that does something that I have always done which is giving back to the community through Sports.

I have also learnt how to control my emotions. I breakdown if I have to but still get back up and finish whatever task I’m busy with. I have days where I don’t even leave the house let alone do anything for the whole day. There are also days where I feel like there’s a sharp pain in my heart but guess what? I still show up as the best version of myself and that on its own has kept me going.

If there is one thing that I can advice people to always do, is to ‘Get up, dress up and show up’ everything else will fall into place.

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Shield Aiming To Develop Football Coaches Across The Country

It is rare to see cooperate companies investing in football development. However, Shield has changed the game with their Shield Sibonis’ iDiski campaign. On Wednesday the 17th of April I attended a Shield Roundtable discussion at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto where we tackled issues around football development in the country.

My biggest concern has always been around coaches in the townships and rural areas. They dedicate their lives to mentoring children, not only to be one of the best football players but to be influential citizens in our country. However, it gets hard for them since they do not get paid for what they do, so they end up looking for a full time job thus neglecting their calling of moulding young talent.

I have seen this in my own family, my big brother has been coaching kids in our village for more than 10 years. The kids he has trained have turned out to be well disciplined and respectful adults. He struggled with maintaining his life and ended up looking for a full time job. He still trains them after work but he always complains about being tired and that when you are training children you need to be fully present in the moment. I have raised my concerns about development coaches both on Social Media and at Roundtable.

I’m delighted to share with you that Shield has launched an initiative for development coaches called Coaching The Coach. This aims to groom and train the coaches with the necessary skills they need to develop players. Shield is not just changing young footballers lives but they are aiming to have an impact in football development as a whole.

This year they have 10 regions for trials in which players need to bring their ID’s in order to be scouted. 3 players stand a chance to win a lifetime opportunity to train with Chelsea for a week.

If more big companies would follow suits on what Shield is doing, I am sure that a lot of young people will be interested in turning their passion into a career.

Follow @shield_za for more information on their trials or go their website:

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HI-TEC LEO Celebrating Extraordinary Women With Their New Collection

Being a woman on the go could mean a lot of things.

I know life gets busy for most women, whether you’re working a 9 – 5, running your own business or you’re a stay at home mom.

I wake up in the morning, have to go to work, have meetings in between and also run errands.

My normal day includes writing articles in the morning, checking my emails, making sure that all my client deadlines are met and running in the evenings.

This is why I usually rock active wear, it makes it easy for me to move around and sneakers are very comfortable. I can simply go from running errands at the mall to working at the nearest coffee shop.

HI-TEC is celebrating extraordinary women with their latest Hi-TEC LEO Collection. They acknowledge that most women live lives that include juggling multiple roles at once.

This Chameleon-like Lifestyle requires comfy, effortlessly cool active-wear and that’s where the LEO Collection comes in.

“There is no doubt, that brands globally are capitalizing on the women’s market with specific attention being paid to self-ability and self-empowerment”, says Jo Esterhuizen, HI-TEC Marketing Director.

HI-TEC appreciate all these uplifting campaigns, and it is wonderful to see such a global movement.

“The LEO campaigns are not about capturing the hero moments, but the everyday moments. The HI-TEC LEO lady is self-empowered, she is self-confident, but we want her to celebrate the entire package that she is”, says Esterhuizen.

The LEO lady is what HI-TEC call a “Jade of all trades”.

The collection is proudly designed in South Africa and explores how true leisure, street and fitness wear can come together in one piece of clothing.

The soft material embraces the skin below and the bright print sparks the celebration of the strong female spirit. The purple shades are topped off with detailed feminine designs and include several layering items that will have you prepared for any type of weather. HI-TEC believes that every single woman is extraordinary. Whether you’re on your way to school, work, picking up the kids or looking for some exercise, LEO has got your back.

To celebrate YOU, I’m giving away a pair of LEO tights valued at R549.00! To enter, please tell me what makes you an extraordinary woman on the comments below, you have to be following me and HI-TEC both on Twitter and Instagram 🙂

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