The University of the Western Cape (UWC) prides itself on molding students who plough back into the community and maintain strong links with their alma mater. Global football star Thembi Kgatlana lives that UWC ethos.
Last week, the Banyana Banyana star returned to campus to donate a pair of brand-new soccer boots to each and every member of the UWC Women’s Football team. It is a much-needed leg up ahead of their 2022 HollywoodBets Super League campaign.
The donation was sponsored by the Thembi Kgatlana Foundation, an organisation that Kgatlana established in her community of Mohlakeng in Johannesburg. Initially, the foundation was aimed at supporting and developing women’s football in that community, but has grown to assist women throughout the country.
“Thembi is doing exactly what UWC prepares its students for after they leave the University,” Mandla Gagayi, Director of UWC Sport, said of the donation. “In line with our University’s motto, ‘Respice Prospice’ (meaning examine the past and the future), Thembi is one professional athlete that never forgets where she comes from.
“She has always taken interest in the team that made her who she is today and has always extended a helping hand whenever help has been required. I am truly proud of what she has achieved at a very young age. She has set a high standard for all UWC alumni to match.”
Kgatlana, who is currently on the books of Atletico Madrid in Spain, said her first-hand experience in struggling to get boots motivated her generous donation.
“I, for one, know how expensive it is to buy a pair of quality soccer boots,” said Kgatlana, who received the CAF Women’s Player of the Year and Goal of the Year awards in 2018.
“So, I wanted to be the role model that I didn’t have, and there is no better way of doing that than blessing other people. UWC Women’s Football is one of the best teams in the country currently. And I believe they have the capability to produce many more stars.”
UWC finished the 2021 Super League season in third position, and are hoping to go all the way to bring the trophy home this season.