Leading women and men in women’s sport speak fondly about serving their respective communities as South Africa celebrated Mandela Day on Sunday, 18 July 2021.

National para-cycling champion, Palesa “Deejay” Manaleng, believes in taking care and giving back no matter how much one has to spare.

“I was raised to share by my mother!

“When I was growing up, my mother used to teach in a public school and I remember the clothes we didn’t wear and were still in good condition or those that we outgrew, we would put them into bags and give them to other kids at school.

“For me, it’s what little you have you share with someone else who doesn’t have as much as you do.”

Founder of the Simphiwe Dludlu Foundation, Simphiwe Dludlu, shares how circumstances around her encourages her to play her bit for the community.

“Circumstances around me, where I grew up, what I see every day in different townships, in different communities, how we still struggle as people with lack of resources is few of the reasons give back.

“I’m where I am today with a little bit of success with some of the things I was able to achieve because somebody gave back, either their time, their experience, their sporting equipment.

“We live in a society that is underprivileged, we live in a society that is unfair. Instead on complaining, I want to be part of the solution, that’s why I give back.” – Founder of the Simphiwe Dludlu Foundation and football analyst, Simphiwe Dludlu

“Somebody donated soccer boots to me one day because I couldn’t afford a pair, I made it to the top through football. Somebody praised me every day to make it out there, I’m inspired by that, to give back.

“We live in a society that is underprivileged, we live in a society that is unfair. Instead on complaining, I want to be part of the solution, that’s why I give back. For me it’s not even a donation, it’s a handover because that person deserves even more, even better.

“I’d like to inspire others that think it’s a waste of time to give back your time, your expertise, your presence to others, you’ll be changing someone’s life. Keeping inspiring others before you expire, that’s why I’m always inspired to give back.”

Wimbledon singles and doubles finalist, Kgothatso Montjane, points out what inspires her to give back.

“What inspires me to give back, is that it strengthens the community,” revealed Montjane.

Passionate school teacher and cricket coach, Sandile Lukhele shares how he prioritises girls cricket.

“To me every day is a Mandela Day, we do not stop doing the right thing, we keep on. I am a girls cricket coach and a father to two girls, so I am very sensitive when it comes to raising a girl-child.

“I believe as much as one has to do their bit, showing uBuntu and giving whenever you can truly depict what Tata stood for.” – School teacher and cricket coach, Sandile Lukhele

“On Mandela Day we usually focus on the girls that are part of us, who need more support in terms of sanitary towels and clothing. My wife collects clothes from donors and helps me distribute to needy cricket girls.

“We constantly ask donors for school shoes, cricket items like sport bra’s and spikes, hence I say every day is a Mandela Day.

“I believe as much as one has to do their bit, showing uBuntu and giving whenever you can truly depict what Tata stood for.”

2020 Momentum gsport Awards Woman of the Year winner, Virginia Mabaso, notes the vision behind Long Walk To Freedom and how we can change the world of women’s sport.

“My message of Mandela Day takes me back to a note in his Long Walk to Freedom book that if you speak to a person in their language, it goes to the heart. My interpretation to that, given the current state in South Africa, is when we meet people at their level of need, you can win them over for a better South Africa.

“We continuously need to be kind and we need to lend a helping hand to those that are in need to change our South Africa today.

“And also that applies to sport, so that we continuously change the norm to make the table more comfortable for women in sport.”

#gsport15 Woman in Radio Finalist and Radio 2000 Sports Caster, Nthabiseng Mamabolo speaks about the uncomfort of watching people with no basic needs and knowing that you can make a difference to change that.

“The reason I give back is because I know what it’s like to be in need of something and being privileged now allows me to tap in the giving mood and assist those that I can and where I can.

“Not only with money or materials, sometimes all it takes is your time or a particular skill you have. It’s very uncomfortable watching people have no access to basic needs and knowing that I can make a difference to change that really goes a long way.”

“I am proudly South African and for obvious reasons, I know and believe that United, we shall stand.” – Spar Proteas captain, Bongiwe Msomi

Spar Proteas captain, Bongiwe Msomi reveals how her project allows her to impact lives.

“Throughout my life and netball journey from a young girl to being an adult, I have always experienced an amazing sense of support from those who are close to me and from all over the world.

“The support I have received and I’m still receiving has created the Bongi I am today and with all my flaws, I am still very proud of the woman I have become.

“I will always want to sow this support to the next generation and those in need as I know it would have an impact on someone’s life and hopefully, even in their future.

“It might not be of use for all but even if it impacts one or two for the better, I get excited. Like that, you can only hope that they would want to pass it on as well and we would then have citizens who support one another for the better.

“I am proudly South African and for obvious reasons, I know and believe that United, we shall stand.

“My project, Bongi Msomi Legacy Project, allows me that chance to give, impact lives, support and educate whenever possible and I am forever grateful for that,” she concluded.

 

Photo 1 Caption: SPAR Proteas captain, Bongi Msomi, leading the youth through her Bongi Msomi Legacy Project. Photo: Bongi Msomi Legacy Project (Twitter)