Sports and recreational activities continue to play a major role in keeping the youth off the streets, by giving them something productive to focus on, especially in a world ridden with drugs and crime.
Linking the universal passion for football with youth empowerment is young social entrepreneur and founder of Passion Ignited, Mangi Phatlane (22) who is currently working on a campaign to assist a small football organisation in Soshanguve, Gauteng.
Phatlane founded Passion Ignited in January last year with the primary aim of changing the lives of South African girls, hence the organisation’s original name, Thegabanyana which means ‘supporting girls’.
After the growth and success of Thegabanyana, Phatlane recognised the impact that the economy and society had on young boys as well. She realised that they, too, are affected by the circumstances that young women are confronted with, which is why she decided to rename the organisation ‘Passion Ignited’. The current name is inspired by the fact that her passion lies in helping people and how that passion is ignited through the initiatives that she proudly takes part in.
“With this campaign, I know I can at least make one of these boys’ dreams come true. I’ll also be doing this for my brother because I know the passion that he has for it.”
Targeting both historically disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas, this Non-Profit Organisation effectively uplifts the youth by giving them necessary tools and resources to reach their full potential. The organisation’s scope of work includes: assisting the community with registering or applying for bursaries and scholarships, contraceptive and sanitary care, introducing social workers to those in need of therapy, and many other services that are beneficial to the community.
Speaking about her current campaign, which is the Diski Drive, Phatlane explains that their goal is to collect soccer kits, boots and balls for a team of young aspiring football players who are between the ages of 13 and 19. She further highlights that their main aim is to have these young boys recognised by potential sponsors who can provide the necessary equipment and to eventually get the municipality involved in building better football grounds for them.
Bursting with excitement about her campaign, Phatlane says that this is the very first time she gets to work with boys and is inspired by how talented and hardworking the players are. “I know they too are deserving of a loving community that supports their dreams,” she says.
Asked why she chose to focus on sports development when it came to her initiative for boys, she explains that sports is close to her heart. More so, having grown up with a brother who was very passionate about soccer and having parents who were very supportive in fulfilling his football career. However, due to personal circumstances, her brother chose a different career path.
For Phatlane, working with a team full of hopefuls who are really good at the game is a big motivation factor. She says that the boys are fit and full of life and promises that we will surely see some of them proudly wearing the Bafana Bafana jersey one day.
Any kind of donation to help the soccer team is greatly appreciated. To assist, contact Mangi Phatlane at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @passionignited1 and on Instagram @passion.ignited.
You can also get in touch with Phatlane on her personal Instagram and Twitter accounts, @mangiphatlane and @phatlanemangi, respectively.
~ Thabile Shange