I love football.
Mrs Goalmouthmelee often complains that I like to watch any type of football. I don’t discriminate between English Premier League, Premier Soccer League, Championship (English Division One), La Liga, the many cup competitions that are on TV etc etc. I don’t mind watching a game from ten years ago that I have seen many times over and already know who is going to score and when.
The other thing I like to do besides watch football, is to see the development of the next generation of footballers. From an African football perspective, there has always been a clamour to find the next big superstar footballer to follow in the footsteps of Samuel Eto’o, George Weah, Yaya Toure, Kalusha Bwalya, Benni McCarthy Peter Ndlovu and so on.
There are a lot of football academies out there that have the aim of churning out future African footballers of the year. However, there is an élite football development programme that not only aims to develop football talent, but also prioritises education and leadership skills for young and upcoming footballers.
Ubuntu Football Academy
Ubuntu Football Academy was established in 2010 by Michael Jenkins and Casey Prince to mentor and educate boys to to become great men and leaders, as well as offering a world-class development context to some exceptionally talented young players in the local communities.
The Ubuntu Football Academy, based in Cape Town has the objective of nuturing the next generation of African footballers and leaders. The key difference between Ubuntu and other football programmes is that this group has a goal to not only become the “most effective football development programme on the African continent, but to prioritise the transformation of communities”
The team at Ubuntu have coined the phrase “exponential transformation” which is simply put is the belief that by investing deeply, strategically and long-term in young boys, this will result in them becoming not only successful footballers but conscientious members and leaders of society.
With this in mind, all the players at Ubuntu Academy have been enrolled in a local school – the players are at school all day from 0745 to 1630, and then train from Monday to Thursday between 1700 and 1900.
How you can help
Ubuntu has managed to find sponsors to cover the costs of the coaches’ salaries, but they do need some help with covering the education costs of the young men.
You can become part of the Ubuntu Teammate programme, where you can commit to contributing what you can afford to the education costs of the young men. It could be as little as US$10 per month or as much as you can spare.
In return, if you sign up as a teammate you will be partnered with a specific player and you will be sent a player card with photos and information about the boy being sponsored. You will get monthly feedback from Ubuntu and from the individual player.
In this way, you can see the progress of your “investment” and you can actively see where your money is going.
To make a difference in this great project please go to http://www.ubuntuteammates.com to sign up as a Teammate.
If you have more questions and need information please check out http://www.ubuntufootball.com or follow the team on Twitter: @Ubuntu_Football
Let’s help to develop the next generation of Africa’s footballers and leaders.