Prison great for putting

2016-10-18 09:54
Boy Daka from Westlake is teaching local children golf for free after working as a caddy for almost 40 years.

Boy Daka from Westlake is teaching local children golf for free after working as a caddy for almost 40 years. (Tiyese Jeranji)

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After being a caddy for 38 years a Westlake man is now dedicating his time to teaching children the basics of golf for free.

Boy Daka (54) says his love for golf developed in lonely times – when he was hiding in bushes in his village because he was being bullied.

“I was born in Diep River but I moved to the Eastern Cape. When I got there it was difficult to fit in because of my Afrikaans so as a result I was bullied. To run away from all that I would go to the bushes and play using a whip and a maize cob. I did this for some time until two of my neighbours noticed what I was doing,” he says.

He says these neighbours took him to the Mthatha golf course and showed him that he had unknowingly been playing golf already.

“That’s how I was introduced to golf. I trained as a caddy and I started to work as a caddy at this golf club before I moved back to Cape Town in 1977. I enjoyed every moment and I gained so much experience,” he says.

He worked at Steenberg Golf Club for a number of years until he stopped to teach children golf. He started Bhizza Rainbow Golf Academy in Khayelitsha in 2004.

“The sport was gaining momentum, though some parents were sceptical that I’m teaching kids for free. I noticed that golf had been taken as a sport for adults only and I wanted to change that. I started taking kids for lessons until our range was vandalised, so we stopped until we found our new home in Pollsmoor prison.

“My vision is to see more kids play golf. I want to see them compete like they do in other sports.

“Whilst I was a caddy there was a man who came to me and said I must teach him golf because he wanted to be taught by a caddy. That was his dream, so he took me to England, Scotland as I taught him golf. He became perfect in playing.

“Part of my dream is to see the kids whom I teach follow my dream. All the places I went whilst teaching golf: they must also go so that they understand what I do and why I do it. I believe in communities working together and I believe in children who are the future; that’s why I invest in them,” he says.

Equipped with clubs and golf balls they are taught the basics of the game. The children are aged between 12 and 18 and practise every day after school.

“For now I’m just teaching them simple things like how to hold the stick, how you should move and hit the ball.

“Anyone can play golf. This is a sport for everyone. This is not the sport for the rich; it’s for everyone. No matter how much you have – if you can’t follow the rules, you won’t be able to play.

If you’re committed, you can learn golf easily. It’s all in the mind,” says the father of two.

Lewies Davids, spokesperson of Pollsmoor prison, says the aim of the golf academy is for the community to work together.

“We are also trying to help by getting officials’ children involved and get the community to send their kids. We want parents to know about this and send their kids here. We are working on helping him to get the whole thing structured so that we know who is on our facilities and what time.

“This is to develop the kids and we will give him all the support he needs. Let’s hope the community will see what he is trying to do and they hold him by his hand and walk with him. Equipment is expensive but he is doing it for free.”

He says their ultimate aim is to establish a playing league that includes areas like Grassy Park, Fish Hoek, Mitchell’s Plain, Delft and Khayelitsha.

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