Cavin Muodzi, a 24-year-old Zimbabwean, has started a soccer academy in Capricorn because he wants to get kids off the streets and help them develop into professional soccer players.
The Harvest Soccer Academy was established in 2016 when Muodzi had a dream of coaching children who love soccer but do not have the opportunity.
“Their parents are forcing them to major in academics when they are talented football players, who may end up playing for professional teams. One of the children is already nominated to represent the Good Hope League,” Muodzi told Ground Up.
Muodzi plays for a club in Milnerton. He funds the academy with his wages, which is mostly tips from a waitering job at a restaurant in Kalk Bay. The church that he is part of, the Harvest Church, also came alongside this vision of his. The church helped register the project as a non-profit organisation. Some schools have also been of major assistance – the Academy uses the sports field and equipment of the Capricorn Primary School.
The academy has 43 youngsters in three age groups: Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16. They play a league in Hout Bay every Saturday. During holidays, they train between 10 am to 1 pm. On school days they are unable to use the sports field as the school uses it.
“When we started we had nothing and we were about eight children. There are also many children who still want to join but there is no space. We trained at an abandoned, dangerous field, terrorised by gangsters in Seawinds,” said 15-year-old Aluta Sidinana, who was one of the first to join the Academy.
Aluta says, “I didn’t know the purpose of my life until I came to this academy. It helped me know that this is the thing I would like to achieve in life. My goal is to become a best football player in the world. My dream team is Real Madrid.”
15-year-old Yibanathi Joji says, “My parents are happy that I am off the streets and being a good example to my young brother. I now come home early, do my homework on time, don’t smoke and am obedient to my parents.”
The Academy is doing well but is still short of basic equipment, including a limited amount of soccer balls and uniforms.
“We also want to work with other communities in the Western Cape and at national level mentoring, coaching and scouting for children. We also want to visit disadvantaged children and orphans who never had an opportunity to play soccer,” Muodzi said.
Cavin Muodzi says his mother did not support his football dreams. She wanted him to pursue an academic career. But that didn’t stop him from dreaming. Now he would like to live his dream by helping children in a similar situation.
More power to you, Cavin!