Sports, arts, culture
The future looks bright for twin Thubelihle and Sphumelele Shamase (14) from Waterloo KwaZulu-Natal. This after the pair were chosen to be part of the Under 15 girl soccer team that will represent eThekwini Municipality and Africa in the One Nation Cup tournament in Germany end of May.
The twins Thubelihle and Sphumelele lost their mother when they were only a month old and they are currently living with their grandmother in an RDP house. Although their upbringing may have been difficult, there is hope for them in sport.
The One Nations Cup is a football festival that takes place every two years. This year’s tournament is scheduled to take place on 30 May to 04 June 2016. The eThekwini Municipality Sports Development and Recreation Department Manager Lona Benya told Vukuzenzele that the tournament forms part of the Sister Cities programme.
“The twins are the engines of the team that is why they were selected to part of the team. They have displayed the love of soccer from a very tender age. Before they joined the municipality team in 2013 they were part of the boys’ team in the area. We have no doubt that they will make us proud there.”
They will play with teams from Germany, Spain, Japan, China, Brazil and different European Countries.
Thubelihle said they are very grateful to be part of the team of the municipality team.
“It means a lot to us. Our dream to play soccer in a professional level and we thank municipality for opening doors for us. In few years to come we will be playing with Amanda Dlamini in Banyana Banyana team. Just watch the space,” Thubelihle said excitedly.
The twins’ grandmother, Hloniphile Mbatha said she was surprised to hear that the girls had been selected to be part of the team that will represent the municipality because she wasn’t aware of their talent.
“This came as a shock to me. I usually hear the neighbours say my grandchildren play football very well. I have never seen them play, but when I received a phone call from the municipality informing me that they were selected to be part of the team going to Germany. I asked myself could this be the beginning of their football career. I asked myself if this could be the Lord Almighty’s plan to get us out of poverty,” said Mbatha.
The City’s Acting Deputy Head of Sports Development and Recreation Department Sandra Khathi said the team is ready and prepared to leave for Germany on May 28.
“We appeal to citizens of eThekwini to support our kids as they will be representing not only themselves there but all of us,” she said.