“I don’t know how, but I know I will make it.” — Mandla Mbotho.

Mandla Mbotho



Organisation / Company

Sport Is Life Movement (NPC)


Mandla Mbotho, 27, has put his belief that the youth must become involved in their communities for meaningful change to occur into concrete action. Through his work with the nonprofit Sport Is Life Movement, Mandla is motivating the youth through hockey at a number of primary schools in townships and rural areas, where he nurtures talent to “level the playing field in South African sports”. As his hero Nelson Mandela pointed out, sport is a great unifier, and for the learners it’s a chance for them to access opportunities they did not have before. He relates how Sport is Life Movement managed to develop a provincial hockey player from Keagile Primary School in Potchefstroom within just three months of starting their programme there. This demonstrated to him that much can be achieved with limited resources. Mandla is studying law at Unisa and was recently elected to the student representative council. He is also the hockey manager for the boys U13 provincial hockey team in North West. He believes that patience is key to overcoming the lack of resources that inhibits many young South Africans from furthering their education.


Unisa law student


Within the first three months of the Sport Is Life Movement hockey project initiation at Keagile Primary School, we managed to develop the first provincial hockey player from the school. The lesson I learned was that one has to start small and that a project does not have to be big in order for it to be effective and have an impact in the community. I was also recently elected to the Unisa SRC.


Nelson Mandela’s story of the long walk to freedom, whereby he managed to unite an unequal, tormented nation into peace and prosperity. This story is not finished: it continues with my own life journey.