While football remains the order of the day in the month-long KwaMahlobo Games, township economic growth is another key component of the success of the popular competition.
Celebrating 23 years of township festive football, the KwaMahlobo Games have not only produced quality footballers like this year’s ambassador, Reneilwe Letsholonyane but have and continue to play an immense role in job creation and township economic growth.
During the tournament, a number of vendors are afforded an opportunity of generating an income through selling of various foods and beverages.
Samkelisiwe Mdletshe, who grew up in Meadowlands says her family always looks forward to the excitement that comes with the games but most importantly, the opportunity it gives them to generate an income.
Mdletshe, who makes a living off selling food and beverages says the support she gets from the local community through the games allows her to generate enough income to pay for her child’s school uniform and stationary every year.
“The games come at the perfect time when most parents in the township stress about school fees and uniform. Fortunately for myself and most vendors, the KwaMahlobo Games provide us with the opportunity to generate a decent income and be able to purchase important essential things such as school uniform, stationary and pay for school fees ” says Mdletshe.
Co-founder of the competition, Patrick Ntenjwa said part of the vision of the tournament was not only to produce footballers but also provide a platform for local entrepreneurs to make a living without having to travel long distances.
“We take pride in the fact that we have produced a number of professional footballers but another important aspect of the growth and success of this competition is the economic boost that it brings.
“Throughout the competition, local vendors are able to make a living and improve their lives. As part of the competition, we also make use of local suppliers to ensure that the tournament not only provides football entertainment but improves the lives of the community,” said Ntenjwa.
The LaLiga-sponsored tournament concludes on Sunday, January 5 when plenty of entertainment will be on offer for the thousands of expected fans.