Young Stars

  • November 22, 2011

In the very heart of Cape Town you will find a spectacular space to meet and have fun – this is the African Brothers Football Academy (ABFA).

Not only is this a soccer zone mentoring and coaching the “youngstars” of the present and future, but it is also a project that promotes the ideal of Unity Through Community. Our motto, Umntu ngumntu ngabantu (which means “a person is a person because of other people”) forms the core belief-system of all those involved in this project.

We call our kids “youngstars”, not youngsters, because every one of them has a unique talent and vast potential. Empowering them to explore these inner capacities is imperative to their growth. Through their love of the game we offer them a chance to cultivate a passion for learning, development and life. Renowned Nigerian writer Ben Okri expresses it aptly:

“You can’t remake the world without remaking yourself. Each new era begins within. It is an inward event, with unsuspected possibilities for inner liberation.”

Where the flagship academy now stands, only a few years ago there was a neglected, rundown, vandalised area that attracted drug addicts and criminals. Through sheer determination, the vision of creating a place that could benefit the community and uplift children from different cultural backgrounds has become a reality. Our campaign “Buy a Brick – Build a Dream” is a meaningful way for individuals and businesses to become involved in contributing towards the growth and nurturing of our youth. This campaign’s objective is to raise the necessary funding to build a centre for learning and excellence, where our “youngstars” can have life skills workshops, do their homework, have access to a library, and so much more.

Creating a sense of belonging, courage and hope is crucial for our youth. Our mentorship is towards humanistic education. Here our “youngstars” are enabled to understand the reality of interconnectedness and how teamwork can achieve more in society. They feel integrated and share in the fulfilment of cultivating a “community spirit”. The Cambridge International Dictionary defines the latter as “friendliness and understanding between local people”. This, we feel, is vital to all communities in South Africa and across the globe right now – Unity Through Community. The “youngstar” is within each of us … so come sit under the trees, have a picnic, braai, watch the abundant birdlife, read a book, relax or just kick a ball. Or, as we say at African Brothers: “Ndlala nathi!” Come play with us!