The Western Cape is a province that is full of talent when it comes to sport. From the city centre to the townships you’ll find young people playing sport, doesn’t matter which kind of sport or place but for them it’s their way of having fun. All the big names in sport that come from this province all started from nothing. Live visited Samora Machel, a Cape Town township situated just a few kilometers from the city centre. On the dusty fields of Samora Machel, we met 28-year-old Lusindiso Malilwana who is making a difference in many young people’s lives through cricket. He co-formed a cricket development called Samora Machel Cricket Club together with his high school class mates in 2006. Since then, they never looked back, “We had a vision and we decided to form a club then we played two years later.” The team consists of many age divisions from youngsters to adults. “Through the programme, players graduate each team and from there it goes like a chain to the top division,” he said.
Lusindiso fell in love with cricket when he was young and the idea of forming a cricket club for young people came from pure love and passion for the sport. “Love and passion are the things that led me to form and be part of this. We have a number of different divisions and many young people joined us in the past years,” he said.
While there, the Live team we managed to catch up with some of the young future stars from the Samora Machel Cricket Club. Eighteen-year-old Siphelele Nontanda had this to say: “I started playing cricket in 2006 in primary school and coach (Lusindiso) approached me to join the club. It’s fun and exciting to play there and I dream of playing for Cobras one day.”
They also have a girl’s team. “We welcome anyone who wants to join and play with us,” he said. Samora Machel has been long known for its violence but that didn’t stop the youth from playing cricket. “We want to produce many talents here – the next Protea players such as Makhaya Ntini who hails from a black community. In Cape Town, it’s not usual to see cricket superstars coming from the townships.” There are always challenges that are facing the youth in sport in the townships, if it’s not violence, it’s drugs.
“I started in 2006 in the under-11 [level] and now I’m in the A-team. The coach is good to us inside and outside the club. I’m happy here and I love cricket. In five years I hope I’ll be at amateur cricket or Western Province,” siad Litha Aphi (17).
“We have challenges, these boys coming from home to training, they have to leave early before it gets dark and we also need sponsors because we don’t have any financial assistance. We are using our own funds to travel and to buy equipment,” Malilwana concluded.