Vodacom, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates ensured that the learners of Bathabile Primary School in Olivenhoutbosch near Centurion start their school year on a winning note with a Back to School drive that saw the players hand out 1 700 stationery packs to the learners.
“We can’t play without soccer boots, and stationery is an important tool for these learners to help them get a better education,” said Orlando Pirates midfielder Linda Mntambo.
The players, many of whom have their own kids at school, took the initiative to heart, with the captains of both teams – Bernard Parker and Happy Jele – joining Vodacom to personally go and select and buy the stationery.
Each learner received a Back to School pack stationery pack including a pencil case, ruler, pencils, pencil crayons, wax crayons, pens, rulersharpener and dictionaries. The teams then gathered at Vodacom World and joined Vodacom staff in helping to pack the individual stationery packs.
“It’s exciting to be able to partner with Vodacom and our rivals Orlando Pirates in giving back to the future leaders of our country,” said Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Keagan Dolly.
“Education is vital, and it’s a privilege for us as the role models for these learners to inspire them and to show them that we support them to keep working hard at school.”
Legends from both clubs then joined Vodacom in personally delivering the stationery to the delighted learners at Bathabile Primary School.
“What a privilege for us to be able to help equip these kids with the tools that will help them to create their future. I grew up in a disadvantaged community, and what one of these learners said to me really touched my heart. I asked him how the stationery will help him, and he said he’ll now be able to do his homework because he always had to wait to try and borrow stationery from a friend and sometimes, because he has to wait, he couldn’t finish his homework in time,” said former Orlando Pirates striker Phumudzo Manenzhe.
“I know this day made a difference to these learners in helping them to focus on their education and stay true to what they want to achieve,” added former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
Ramashite Kutu, the principal at Bathabile Primary School, was overwhelmed by the support for his learners.
“We feel so honoured. These stationery packs will make a very big impact to our curriculum. Our learners now won’t have to worry about not having pencils and other stationery, and Vodacom, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs have really relieved a tremendous burden from our learners’ parents. This was really a case of a company working hand-in-hand with us to prepare a child for a future.”
Sibongile Mthimunye, Vodacom’s Senior Soccer Specialist, was delighted to be able to bring together the two giants of African football around the common cause of building better communities through better education.
“We are hoping the stationery goes a long way towards helping these learners conquer 2022. I was asking the learners what they want to become, and they have bold dreams of being doctors and so forth. Supporting education and upskilling the youth is important to Vodacom. If we can provide a learner with the pencil today that will help him or her write her future for tomorrow, then that’s is proof that we can go further together.”