Budding star remembers his roots

2018-12-12 06:00
Simphiwe Paballo Mnqwazana, a former learner of the Kruitberg Primary School, handed over his framed and signed Tuks football jersey to the school. At the handing over are from the left Ntswaki Mnqwazana (his mother), Thomas Pietersen (Kruitberg Primary’s head coach), Mnqwazana and Itumeleng Moholo (deputy principal of the school). Photo: Supplied

Simphiwe Paballo Mnqwazana, a former learner of the Kruitberg Primary School, handed over his framed and signed Tuks football jersey to the school. At the handing over are from the left Ntswaki Mnqwazana (his mother), Thomas Pietersen (Kruitberg Primary’s head coach), Mnqwazana and Itumeleng Moholo (deputy principal of the school). Photo: Supplied

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Former Kruitberg Primary School learner, the budding football star Simphiwe Paballo Mnqwazana, has made a wonderful gesture towards the school during a special home­coming.

The stardom-destined player has presented his framed signed jersey to his former school in Bloemfontein.

The jersey is for the school’s management to keep as memorabilia.

Mnqwazana (18) made a special trip to the school to hand over the jersey on 28 November.

He was wearing the jersey during two international tours undertaken to France and Sweden.

The two tours abroad were during July this year with his current team, the University of Pretoria, FC which campaigns in the National First Division League (NFDL). He was part of the u.19 youth team.

“The jersey is special to me because I worn it during the two international tours at the France World Games and the Sweden Gothia Cup. It was my first international tours.

“Donating the jersey to the school that discovered my talent feels like I have given a part of me and it is great fulfilment,” said the youngster.

Affectionately known as Pablo, he said the jersey shows appreciation after his former school invited him as guest of honour to the annual awards ceremony held on 1 November. He was unable to attend the event because he was busy with his Gr. 12 examination at his present school, the Tuks Sports High School in Pretoria.

“We chose Mnqwazana because he is one of the learners we are proud of due to his achievement and good morals. We invited him to purposely inspire the current crop of athletes at the school to show them it is possible,” said Itumeleng Moholo, deputy principal of Kruitberg. Moholo also serves as head of sport at the school.

Mnqwazana began his enterprising football career at Kruitberg and represented the school at several competitions.

He was co-captain of the boys’ team. His highlights include being named the 2013 Kruitberg footballer of the year.

The youngster’s gesture coincides with the school’s good legacy. He hopes his return to his roots at his former Kruitberg school to donate his signed jersey would inspire the next generation.

Mnqwazana said he was grateful to his former school’s coach Thomas Pietersen, whom he credits for nurturing his talent.

In Bloemfontein he had a stint with amateur Ocean X1 in Heidedal and HTS Louis Botha before he was snatched up by Pretoria-based Tuks.

He is enlisted with the Pretoria-based u.19 team that competes in the Super League.

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