Mbabane -The launch of the Scara Thindwa Foundation Sponsorship was announced by the company CEO Nigel England at Mountain Inn Hotel. The launch happens around a special time as it is also KFC’s 40th anniversary in the country; the first restaurant was opened in Manzini in 1983, February and now KFC have 11 branches around the country, which shows that the company have grown.
The launch was graced by many prominent people including the Education and Training Ministry’s Principal Secretary (PS) Bhekithemba Gama in reaction to the E825 000 KFC Eswatini’s sponsorship as he made his brief remarks on behalf of Minister Lady Mabuza.
When speaking during the launch KFC CEO Nigel said “I must say that most of the investors here are pensioners, so the money is coming from the people to the children. We had a similar launch in 2019, but we couldn’t go ahead with the programme until this launch today,” as he emphasised that their 12-secret ingredient was behind their success.
Continuing, he said the money was a year sponsorship and it will cover Under-15 Boys Top Eight Soccer and Under-17 Girls Top Four Soccer Tournaments, as well as their new partners, drum majorettes who were also represented in the two-hour launch.
The main highlight during the launch was the breakdown of the package, as it gave the girls more priority than the boys. It will be E69 100 for the boys’ tournament and E86 400 for the girls. “We will also finance the winners a trip to South Africa,” England explained the sponsorship. He added that they were proud to collaborate with Scara Thindwa Foundation as their gesture would go a long way in helping the children improve mentally, while also as KFC, they were happy that like the rest of the world, they were also going to be contributing towards the betterment of the girl child.
The Scara Thindwa Foundation, founded by national team Sihlangu and South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs legendary forward Absalom ‘Scara’ Thindwa, has over five years working with schools sports in development soccer. However, COVID-19 struck after the 2019 launch and the tournaments had to be halted.
The foundation also partnered with Limkokwing University of Creative Technology who, through their Senior Manager Mcebi Msibi pledged to develop a website, which will be up and running by July 1, this year. Thindwa is a former Bulembu Young Aces striker who was recruited by Orlando Pirates but ended up playing for Kaizer Chiefs. He formed the foundation to give back to the community by affording the young ones a chance to discover their talents in soccer.
He partnered with then Swaziland Schools Sports Association (SSSA) and was first sponsored by the Eswatini Royal Insurance Company (ESRC) in the schools tournaments which afforded the exceptional stars an opportunity to visit or be attached with top South African teams like SuperSport and Kaizer Chiefs.
Royal Leopard’s Lungelo Tembe is a product of the foundation and is waiting to complete a move to SuperSport next season. The founder of the foundation said “At age eight, I started playing football using a plastics but I always had this soccer dream with my elder brother already playing ahead of me. I looked up to him as I always wanted to emulate him.We would listen to football on radio and heard about Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates which is when I said, let’s start training now and one day I’ll play too.
“It was in 1983 or 1984 that two people came to Bulembu and they were from Orlando Pirates. I went there but there were issues I had to come back before Chiefs took me. So, it’s basically about dreaming, training hard by yourself even before you train with a team. That’s how I did it and this is how our future stars can do it too,” Thindwa said.
Some of the youngsters meant to play in the games were there and heard the words of courage that self-discipline and individual training was essential to achieve big.
“You can be a doctor and a soccer star, but I’m telling you now, football is a sport that opens too many doors. So, go to school and also play football with commitment. I know President Cyril Ramaphosa because of football. He saw me play for Chiefs, proof that soccer does wonders for us. KFC has come forward once again to re-launch with us so we can open doors for the youngsters.
“We thank KFC for the sponsorship, they may not realise its impact today, but tomorrow they will. Let’s support KFC, the children and their lives through this initiative,” Thindwa said. Also present on the day was Eswatini Football Association (EFA), Eswatini Sport and Recreation Council (ESRC), Eswatini Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (EOCGA) and Eswatini Schools Sports Association (ESSA).
The latter’s President Anthony Mdluli welcomed the sponsorship and encouraged government through the Education and Training Ministry to also embrace the initiative by allowing teachers to go out and develop the children through sport.
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