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Entrepreneur: Bongani Tshabalala
|"Game changers in the
development of South
|Meet the maker:
When it comes to sniffing out new business ideas
in rural South Africa, 28 year old Bongani Tshabalala
and Mokoni Paile are ahead of the game.
They’ve identified an opportunity to kick-start
a nationwide five-a-side soccer league for both
male and female players. To make this happen,
the former football coach and management
accountant are bringing together their passion
for the beautiful game to create a network of
world-class five-a-side sports facilities. They will
also nurture a series of youth programmes that
not only give children (and adults) the chance to
develop their ball skills, but also improve their
fitness and learn crucial life skills. Result!
|The golden opportunity:
The 2010 World Cup, hosted by South Africa,
highlighted the fact that the country needs to
invest more in the development and training of
young players. The appetite to develop youth
football is there, but the facilities and the
infrastructure are not.
Step forward Bongani and Mokoni. They come
from Nelspruit, a city of 200,000 people in South
Africa’s rural Mpumalanga province, where
there’s a significant lack of adequate facilities for
They’ve identified the fact that many professional
players start out with five-a-side soccer to build
fundamental skills. What’s more, five-a-side soccer
requires less space, so setting up facilities is
ultimately more affordable.
|The business in a nutshell:
B&M Football5’s goal is to set up a nationwide fivea-
side football league, build and provide worldclass
five-a-side football facilities and set up youth
development programmes in conjunction with the
government and the private sector.
It all starts here. Their plan is to build their first fivea-
side soccer facility in Nelspruit. After that, they
plan to build a second facility in Pretoria, which is
one of South Africa’s three capital cities. Following
that, they hope to take the concept nationwide.
||I’m a big dreamer, always
wanting to achieve more than what
is expected. Passion is what drives
me and I believe that nothing is
impossible because impossible is
||- Bongani Tshabalala
How it’s helping the community:
Not every child will grow up to be a Ronaldo, but
all will benefit from the chance to lead a healthy
happy life, develop their fitness, learn to thrive as
part of a team and have positive role models to
inspire and shape them.
Describing their Eureka moment to create the
business, Bongani and Mokoni said, as they drove
along the streets of their country, they often saw
the youth either playing in public parks with no
appropriate infrastructure or sitting on corners
drinking or smoking. They believe this is one way
to get young people off the streets.
More than that, their programme aims to reach
out to people of all cultures, ages and both
genders. Different leagues will be established
where both male and female, young and old can
Beyond youth development programmes, there’s
also a chance for adults to get involved. Free
training workshops will be offered to local
coaches as well as up-and-coming referees.
Proving this is a truly holistic communityenhancing
|How can you help:
Bongani and Mokoni would appreciate advice on a
number of topics:
- Accessing the capital required to set up the
- Attracting enough members to achieve their
- Recruiting and employing staff
- Maintenance of the premises
- Keeping their fixed costs as low as possible
- Have some tips? Then emai them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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