Zinzile Mhesele is a ‘super hero and not only in his village’
Keiskammahoek born Zinzile Mhesele, 38, is a sport fanatic who has dedicated his life to making sure young people are not victims of societal ills by starting a soccer club and establishing a charity organisation, Take a Girl Child to School, for less privileged girls.
Mhesele said: “Being raised by a single mother, surrounded by women and being a father to a girl, has made me push to make a difference to those who cannot afford to take care of themselves.
With GBV cases rising every day, I found it important that we educate men about taking care of women and doing right by them
“With GBV cases rising every day, I found it important that we educate men about taking care of women and doing right by them.”
It was during the global surge of Covid-19 that Mhesele decided to donate food parcels to those in need.
“I realised that a lot of people were struggling and I needed to do more. I decided to make this an ongoing project where I would donate sanitary towels and toiletries, because our sisters especially in rural areas cannot afford these things.
“I always target the girls who are in deep rural areas of Amathole.”
Though the organisation is not yet a year old, Mhesele has managed to donate sanitary towels to nine schools in Keiskammahoek Rabula Village, Middledrift, Peddie, Ngqumeya village and Adelaide.
As the founder of AbaThembu Warriors Football Club, Mhesele’s mission is to keep youth away from the streets. The club is now in the SAB league, and there is also a women’s team within the club.
Giving back to the community is one of his life's goals. He truly lives by Umntu ngumntu ngabantu
“Education is the key to success and a child in sport is a child out of jail. Sport presents opportunities for those who are talented, and my motive is to prevent youth from substance abuse and criminal activities.
“I started my own club so that I can help these children. When I was young I was not presented with these opportunities of having mentors to guide me in taking the right path,” Mhesele said.
Nominator, Sikelelwa Ntswahlana, said: “I believe Mhesele deserves to be well known all over the Eastern Cape because of his marvellous work.
“Indeed, he is a super hero, not only in his village but in the Eastern Cape as a whole, especially in Amathole district.
“He has a heart of gold, as his work did not just end up in opening a football club. He also started this important charity.
“Giving back to the community is one of his life's goals. He truly lives by Umntu ngumntu ngabantu”, she said.
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