We’ve all opened Facebook to see this before. So, and so from this impoverished community need your help to get to Germany or Spain or some other part of the world. Most times, we ignore it thinking that our contribution will not help. Sometimes we help out where we can but somehow never manage to see the product, i.e. the young boy or girl pictured with their boarding pass or at the airport.
What happens to these young people? Does their talent fade? Do they raise the funds? We never seem to find out. One thing is for certain, there is an abundance of young talent in communities that have no money and therein lays the problem. They are trying to raise money from people who are in the same financial situation as them or worse. Where are the banks? Where is their government? Why does it seem like no one cares about the talent coming out of our townships? Most of them give up their dreams to get jobs. Now just imagine Siya Kolisi gave up? Do you see what I’m saying?
White youngsters have the world at their feet and have something virtually no young black kid has options! White kids get to choose if they want to chase their dreams for a few years or study or get a job. Their privilege allows for this.
So, what can we do about this? Well, the answer is clear to me. We need to invest in our townships. Schools, clubs, gyms and facilities need to be setup. We need to find coaches and instructors in the townships and give them the tools they need to guide these young stars to the top. Not to become good and leave but rather to stay and uplift that community. I truly believe through keeping our talent in the townships they will inspire and uplift each other, and you will see so many more talented youngsters coming through. So, you might be thinking how does this help those who want to go overseas to tournaments and so on? Well by the talent coming through the townships and building up facilities, the sponsorships will roll in. Talented young black people will finally have options. They will be able to choose the direction for their life. The Facebook posts will slowly but surely disappear. The facilities, clubs and gyms will thrive, and townships will be a hotbed of talent.
It will take a lot of money but the way I see it, in about 50 years SA could be a force in almost any sport. Moreover, the money would be well worth world dominance in anything. Townships would slowly turn into suburbs. Changing the mindset of those in it. A positive future will be the norm and not just a pipe dream for a few. Finally levelling the playing field, allowing young black people opportunities.
As with any movement, it will require sacrifice. Those that start this movement will never make it in their sport or won’t go as far as they will have if they leave their community. This is, unfortunately, the most difficult part of the plan. Finding people unselfish enough not to think about themselves but to think of future generations. This would have to be people from all races, not just black and brown people. It will benefit the future generation so much if they can have the same facilities as the more fortunate. The sacrifice will be worth it, but can we find those initial people to start this movement? Eventually, I hope that we can. I hope that we can find a solution for these talented young people. That they don’t have to leave home as it were to be successful. Eventually, they won’t want to leave because they would have the same opportunities regardless of where they are from.
Talent is nurtured. It does not simply happen.