Chippa boss on the ball

Chippa boss on the ball

Chippa United players during their visit to Nkalweni Village in Ngqamakhwe. The village is where the club owner Siviwe Mpengesi was born. Soccer and netball kits were donated to 10 schools.
Chippa United players during their visit to Nkalweni Village in Ngqamakhwe. The village is where the club owner Siviwe Mpengesi was born. Soccer and netball kits were donated to 10 schools.
Image: SUPPLIED

There were plenty of happy smiles for youngsters of Nkalweni Village in Ngqamakhwe on Saturday as for the first time they were able to meet their heroes – players of Chippa United, who visited the area.

During the visit, club owner Siviwe Mpengesi also donated much-needed soccer and netball kit and balls to 10 local schools, a move that will see the development of school and rural sport, according to sports, recreation, arts and culture MEC Fezeka Bayeni.

Chief Nosakhe Sonjica of the area applauded Mpengesi for ploughing back into his community, saying the donation would encourage the youth of the area to love sport.

“When they are busy with sport, they will not have time for other things, such as being involved in crime or drugs,” she said.

One of the young soccer players, Sihle Xhishe, 11, of Mcumngco Primary School in Magwala Village said he was excited to receive the kit. “We do did not have kit, we are happy that Tat’u Chippa [Mpengesi] made the donation.”

Xhishe said his dream was to be a well-known soccer player one day.

“I want to play for Bafana Bafana and score many goals,” he said.

Xhishe said he was also happy to meet the players of the only Eastern Cape team in the PSL – Chippa United.

“I always see them on TV, but they are here today. I am very excited,” he said.

Addressing the packed tent just outside his home, Mpengesi encouraged the youth of the area to dream big and work towards achieving their goals.

“When I played soccer while I was growing up here, my dream was to play for Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs, but that did not happen.

“I never gave up on my dream, and instead of playing for those teams, I ended up owning a soccer team. It all started with a dream,” he said.

He also promised to fix the soccer field of Lower Ndakana Primary School, which was his former school.

“You young people must dream, and dream big,” he said.

Mpengesi said, one day he would like to have a player coming from his village.

Bayeni said the contribution Mpengesi made to his former village would help develop rural sport.

“We thank him for this great idea and we hope young people of this area will get motivated and achieve greater things in life,” she said.

Bayeni encouraged youngsters to focus on school and sport. “When you have a talent, you need to back it up with education. When you cannot play anymore, your education kicks in,” she said.

Bayeni said in the next season, she would like to see at least two players in the team who are from the Eastern Cape, “even if it is in the development” section. Mpengesi also donated blankets to more than 200 elderly people during the event.

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