PORT EDWARD, KwaZulu-Natal – The reality of South Africa’s past keeps catching up with so many of the country’s disadvantaged communities, which is why Vodacom Business have made it their purpose to keep working to uplift these needy areas of society according to the Executive Head of Marketing, Dr Ntombi Mhangwani.
At every Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-Am Series event there is a development clinic held where Sunshine Tour professionals help youngsters from the various chapters of the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) with their games.
With the third leg of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-Am Series being held at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club this week, 25 young boys and girls were teeing it up on the driving range on Thursday under the watchful eye of not just the professionals but Mhangwani herself.
“The reality of our past keeps catching up with our communities. Everyone knows about cellphones and networks and that Vodacom is the leading provider, but we need to evolve and be purpose-led. Our communities support us, they are why we do well, so we must support our communities when we are at the golf and provide exposure to the game,” Mhangwani said.
“It’s not good enough that they just buy our product, it’s our duty as Vodacom Business to create that exposure to the game of golf for those people who previously knew nothing about it. It can give them a purpose, learning about the game and the disciplines required. But without access to golf, how will they be able to do that?
“We need to grow our communities and try and build people in golf for a long time. We’ve got to take the long journey so they understand the work ethic and discipline required to sustain a career in golf,” Mhangwani said.
Thanks to Vodacom’s intervention, many children’s lives have been saved from the backwash of our socio-economic problems and Rodney Moloko, the Executive Head for Vodacom Business in KwaZulu-Natal, spoke of the joy of seeing lives changed.
“A couple of months ago, I was handing out blankets and food parcels to little kids at one of our ECD centres and one of our account managers told me that they had been at the same centre 20 years ago. So he had come through our systems, because of our help, he had come full circle. It just shows you what’s possible when you invest in kids,” Moloko said.
Joseph Kunene is another who is investing in South Africa’s youth as he heads up the SAGDB’s KZN efforts, with over 100 kids enrolled in the South Coast programme that encompasses Umgababa, Umkomaas, Port Shepstone and Margate. Aged from seven to 16, when they are ready, they tackle various courses in the area once a week.
Allowing children to be part of the great game of golf is most certainly a deeper purpose for both Vodacom and the SAGDB.