Dreams in Clear View at Tjakastad
One of the benefits of hosting the 2010 World Cup is that children now have new role models, new heroes – and new nicknames for themselves. So when Dreamfields went to the Mpumalanga village of Tjakastad, we found that in addition to the usual Ronaldos and Drogbas, there was now a crop of Forlans and Villas and Asamoah Gyans.
That was new, but what was unchanged was Dreamfields’ belief that partnerships take projects to new levels. OurTjakastad DreamEvent reflected some amazing work by a range of players.
Dreamfields became involved in this village through a TV show called Kwanda, created by the Soul City Institute and broadcast on SABC 1. For 13 weeks, five communities were challenged to come up with projects that tackle the developmental and social issues in their communities.
They were given assistance by development “coaches” and some seed capital to achieve their goals. At Tjakastad, a dedicated team of Kwanda volunteers came up with programmes to tackle crime, put on a play to raise HIV/Aids awareness and established a play park for children.
There were prizes at the end and the Tjakastad team was rewarded with a DreamField, jointly funded by Old Mutual and the Multi-Agency Grant Initiative – who had contributed to our DreamField in Gopane in 2008.
The DreamEvent was held to celebrate the amazing work of the Kwanda team, and 13 teams – nine primaries and four high schools – proudly stepped forward to collect their DreamBags of new kit. The highlight of the day was seeing the joy in the faces of players as they put on their new kit for the first time and the sense of belief and pride as they sang the national anthem before the start of the event.
The standard of soccer was great as the teams battled it out to be crowned champions of Tjakastad. Among the primary schools, the favourites Makhosonke were beaten in the semi-finals by the eventual winners Mbali Primary. Khuzulwandle Secondary emerged champions of the high schools in a close competition, which bodes well for the launch of the schools DreamLeague next year.
Throughout the day, yet another partner provided the youth of Tjakastad with another opportunity. The Bona Bola Project is an initiative of the South African Optometric Association which gives young footballers an opportunity to have their eyes tested so that they can play and watch the game they love in perfect health. More than 250 children had their eyes tested and those who needed glasses were provided with eyewear.
Construction of the DreamField will begin in October and the field will be ready to host the primary and secondary school DreamLeagues in the area which will ensure that soccer dreams continue to grow in Tjakastad, week in and week out.