The hugely popular KwaMahlobo Festive Games face an uncertain future, and are urgently looking for sponsorship. Great talent is unearthed at the township tournaments.
FOR the past 14 years, many a Sowetan has looked forward to the KwaMahlobo Festive Games, the soccer tournament played over the December holidays.
There is plenty of talent at the Kwa Mahlobo GamesThere is plenty of talent at the KwaMahlobo GamesThere are also the KwaMahlobo Easter Games, which take place over the Easter holidays. Over the years, the soccer tournaments have produced a number of high quality premier soccer league players, and have become something of an institution in the township.
Taking place at the KwaMahlobo Grounds in Zone 10, Meadowlands, they offer free and exciting entertainment, as well as an unbeatable way to build community spirit. Played over three-week periods, the games are exhilarating for spectators and players alike.
During the tournament, Meadowlands becomes the central point for soccer lovers across the social spectrum. Township professionals vie for space with the unemployed to get a peek at the action.
Many bring along colourful umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching sun, and camp chairs as there are no formal sitting arrangements. Spectators cram themselves around the pitch. Some climb on to the rooftops of nearby buildings or any elevated structure to get an aboveground view of the games. Marshalls struggle to keep enthusiastic fans off the pitch as they excitedly cheer for their teams.
Participating teams come from as far afield as Rustenburg, Vaal, Mpumalanga, Soweto and Sophiatown. But all this excitement and buzzing is at death’s door, desperately in need of some good Samaritans to step up to the plate and support the event.
“I am appealing to people out there to save these games because our main aim is to identify and unearth talent within the sporting community,” says the games’ public relations officer, Patrick Mtenjwa.
He is also urging the South African Football Association to come on board and help sustain the township games because it is from these competitions of humble nature that great soccer talent is discovered.
Some of the big names that were discovered at KwaMahlobo include Reneilwe “Yeye” Letsolonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Arthur Zwane, Benedict “Tso” Vilakazi, Excellent Walaza and Godfrey Sapula.
In years past, the games have been supported by a variety of sponsors, including Cell C and Altech Autopage, the mobile communications companies, which were involved in the tournament in years leading to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. But they have since pulled out.
For more information about how to support the event contact Patrick Mtenjwa on 083 595 3924.
Soccer will keep youth busy
KwaMahlobo plays at Easter
Market Theatre seeks funders
Brit wins Tour
Cup boosts school soccer
Promoting a healthy lifestyle
EMS supports Proteas