Caddy to freedom hero teaches kids to play golf
For many years, anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni, worked as a caddy to some of Johannesburg’s elite businessmen who played golf in the hey days of apartheid while blacks were prevented from participating professionally in the elitist sport.
Now it’s a different story for 91-year-old Mlangeni, one of the Rivonia trialists who served with the erstwhile Nelson Mandela. In Johannesburg Mlangeni participated in a golfing coaching clinic for young boys and girls at the Huddle Park Golf Course earlier today.
This golf coaching clinic initiative held by the Department of Sport and Recreation in South Africa whereby kids are mentored, and taught how to play the game of golf. About 100 kids took part in the coaching clinic today and were given certificates of participation.
At the age of 12 Mlangeni worked as a caddy at the Johannesburg Golf Course to assist his mother in maintaining their large family.
Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Sport and Recreation, told Africa Daily: “The Golf Day is important because it promotes involvement by civil society and the private sector to come together and contribute in the development of sport through raising funds.”.
The coaching clinic was also attended by sport personalities, among those were two former Kaizer Chiefs players, Jimmy Tau and Pollen Ndlanya.
Also part of the coaching program is the Andrew Mlangeni Green Jacket Project where recipients including deceased Durban golfer Papwa Sewsunker Sewgolum, sports administrator Sam Ramsamy, Durban boxer Nkosana Mgxaji, Cecil Blows, acclaimed athlete, and educator Dennis Brutus who campaigned for South Africa’s exclusion in apartheid sport were honored.
“The aim of the awards is honor and celebrate sport heroes from the apartheid era who were never recognized in the past because of the unjust practices of apartheid,” Mbalula said.