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Grooming Talents

Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv 99.5Fm Ghana/Twenty Ten

Location: Sedibeng, South Africa

Soccer legends invest in the youth.

CUE IN: They’ve left their names in the sands of time as South Africa’s soccer legends. In days gone by, they played for the love of the game and made their teams and nation proud. Most of these professional footballers did not make much money as today’s players do on the pitch. Compared to the average £50 000 a week earned by the likes of Cristaino Ronaldo, Michael Essien, David Beckham and Didier Drogba, the legends earned peanuts.

However, these legends are determined to give back to society. Their interest is in the youth from deprived communities. They want to keep them from the streets and offer them alternatives for a better life.

Twenty Ten reporter, Kofi Adu Domfeh visited the legends in the Sedibeng District Municipality of the Gauteng Province and filed this report…

Report:

Sfx:…kids training on a pitch (play and faded out under voice)

Link: Thabo Moloi is employed at the Sedibeng Municipality and he is in charge of football development at the school level. He acknowledges lack of facilities has been a bane in unearthing talents in the deprived community and expects the government to turn attention to such areas.

Fix: “If you start a settlement...this is the cream from our area”.

Link: Peter ‘Killer’ Makintane, who played for the Moroka Swallows, is involved in coaching the team. He is unhappy the State has not given South African sports legends the opportunity to contribute to nation building. But he expresses the group’s commitment to ensure the youth at Sedibeng rise to the highest of their careers.

Fix: “Some of us are not working... kept busy by the legends”.

Link: Simon ‘the Bull’ Lehoko played for South African Black 11 in the 1970s and was a force to reckon with in the Kaizer Chief and Vaal Professional football teams. The Bull knows exactly how to spot talent on the field of play.

Fix: “I already started developing talent... that’s the only disturbing factor”.

Link: One of the talents is 15-year-old Makloung Thomas. He is enthusiastic about his role on the pitch as a defender. He has been in the team for the past two years and knows exactly where he wants to go and how to get there.

Fix: “I want to go forward to play for the Bafana Bafana... guards, jerseys”.

Link: The Sedibeng Soccer Legends are committed to supporting the youth in this community to build on their career and achieve their aim in life. Recently, they produced eight players from the district to represent Gauteng in an inter-provincial football tournament.

Sfx… coach giving instructions

Link: The soccer legends are focused on creating equal opportunities for the youth to earn a living. Some 43 young kids are currently being groomed by the Soccer Legends to become professional footballers. They are mainly school children and the unemployed youth.

Chairperson of the Sedibeng Soccer Legends, Richard ‘Bricks’ Mokolo, emphasizes that the development of natural talents and provision of life skills are as important as pursuing excellent academic qualifications for the kids.

Fix: “Most of the children we work with...teams who are better developed”.

Link: The Legends share a bigger vision for the community and Bricks says the ultimate objective would be achieved if the group’s human resource base was supported financially.

Fix: “The main aim of the soccer legends... create more jobs”.

Link: The legends will continue to be role models to the youth in local communities. The majority of these stars of yesteryears would be concerned only about their immediate family and friends, but it takes a lot of commitment for the few to attempt making an impact in society.

The Sedibeng Soccer Legends could be an example for other legends in deprived African communities, if they succeed in establishing the Legendary Soccer Academy they have been working on for so long.

Sfx…kids playing on field.

Sign out… Kofi Adu Domfeh reporting from Sedibeng, South Africa, for the Twenty Ten Project.



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