HOW WINNING THE NEDBANK CUP WAS A VICTORY FOR SOSHANGUVE SECONDARY SCHOOLAuthor: Dumisani KoyanaPhotos: Sundowns MediaAs Masandawana clinched the 2021/22 Nedbank Cup, the club was given the opportunity to handover a multipurpose sports court to a selected school. As winners of last season’s edition (2020/21), the team previously chose a school in Mamelodi to build the sports complex and decided, this time, to bless the Soshanguve South Secondary School with a brand-new court. As sponsors of the cup, Nedbank funded the project with the assistance of the Sports Trust who erected the court.

A facility of this magnitude will not only impact the school but the surrounding community. Important personalities in the sporting fraternity were in attendance to indicate the critical desire to establish such facilities in Soshanguve. With the Chairman of Mamelodi Sundowns, Tlhopie Motsepe, the Nedbank Group Executive for marketing and communications, Khensani Nobanda and Nathi Mthethwa, the Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture, all indicated the importance of collaborating on these types of projects during the opening ceremony.

The school that was chosen as this year’s recipient was excited to have a former scholar and Mamelodi Sundowns Academy player, Ofentse Mashiane, who made his first team debut in the 2021/22 DSTV Premiership season, in attendance.
The Soshanguve-born midfielder described what the handover meant for him, “It is such a privilege to be part of this initiative at my former school. I believe the students will be inspired by this gesture and I hope that the multipurpose sports centre will be instrumental in developing young sportsmen and women.”
Sundowns club ambassador Tiyani Mabunda with a studentMothiba commented on how the home came about, “We started the centre in 2009 which, at the time, was a thriving tavern. During that period there was a stigma associated with certain illnesses which was having an impact on those infected in the community. I decided I wanted to make a difference and convert the tavern into a shelter to cater for the kids affected by diseases.”

She went on further to express the impact the visit from Masandawana had on her home, “It is such a privilege to be paid a visit by this great football club. We truly cherish this moment, and it will never be forgotten. The donation received will go a long way in assisting our cause.”

An amount of R98,000 was received by the centre to provide shelter, food, clothes, and school materials for kids. Siyabonga Sibanyoni who is a resident at the home expressed gratitude to the reigning DSTV Premiership Champions, “This donation made by the club will have a huge impact on our lives, we are extremely grateful.”
Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture in attendanceNedbank Executive Head of Marketing, Nthabiseng Matshekga, who was also in attendance shared her views on the event, “You could see the smiles on the faces of the learners, members of the communities, and the school officials. The cherry on top was seeing a former learner who is now in the books of Mamelodi Sundowns who are the current Nedbank Champions. I am sure his school and community are super proud of his achievements at the club.”

She went on to discuss how proud Nedbank was of being part of this program of unearthing new talents, “As you know the Ke Yona Cup always allows amateur teams to play against professional sides. Over the years, we have witnessed how this competition has changed the lives of several young players.”

“The multipurpose sports courts we opened today caters for football, netball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, and much more. The facility also makes provisions for people with disabilities. We hope that this community will be able to produce future stars in different sporting codes.”
Through the club’s integral participation in the Nedbank Cup, Mamelodi Sundowns has further underlined its mission to excel on the pitch opening up these opportunities to give back and uplift young people in sports development across disadvantaged communities, which is a critical pillar of the Mamelodi Sundown’s Foundation.