from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – AMID the rising scourge of illegal drugs destroying the country’s youth, some citizens have taken it upon themselves to save more youngsters from falling into this trap.
One of these responsible members of the community is Brightson Dladla (43), who has adopted cycling as a novel way to keep youth off the streets of the KwaMashu township north of Durban, KwaZulu Natal.
Whoonga, also infamously known as nyaope, is wrecking the future of youth in this township.
The young father started a programme to training kids to ride bicycles in 2016.
He initially started with 25 youngsters. Today, 79 kids are part of the programme.
“I have also distributed 21 forms which I hope will be signed anytime soon. The number keeps growing,” Dladla said in an interview with Durban Today.
He is a former player but recurrent injuries saw him lose an interest in the “Beautiful Game.”
Hence the switch to cycling.
“I came up with a sport that has minimal contact,” Dladla explained.
The GO!Durban project last year bought into his idea by providing Dladla and his youthful crew a bigger site to practice.
“The old site was small and it was going to be developed as it was a soccer ground,” said Dladla.
The project welcomes boys and girls aged between six and 20 years.
They are provided with bicycles and helmets.
“We then train them how to ride a bicycle and to fix it,” Dladla said.
“We only take kids that are at school. Proof of school report and copy of a parent’s identity are a prerequisite to join,” he disclosed.
The kids have entered many competitions in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Located close to a river, the project suffered a hiccup during the floods that ravaged the region in April.
“The river got full and a lot of river sand fell into our yard, which makes it hard to ride a bicycle,” said Dladla.
Dladla said there was a lot of interest in the project, even outside the province, as people travel to watch the kids cycling on Saturdays.
– CAJ News