FEEL GOOD | Horse riding community bands together to help beloved coach after accident wrecks car

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Bafana Ndhlovu
Bafana Ndhlovu
PHOTO: BackaBuddy
  • After Bafana Ndhlovu's car accident, the horse-riding community has banded together to raise money to buy him a new vehicle.
  • Ndhlovu is a beloved horse-riding coach, working with horses since the age of seven and representing South Africa.
  • Since his accident, the campaign has raised R14 700, with a target of R30 000.

Members of the horse-riding community have banded together to help beloved horse-riding coach Bafana Ndhlovu get back on his feet after a serious accident wrecked his car.

After just over a week since its launch, the campaign has raised R14 700.02, with a target of R30 000.

FEEL GOOD | Cape Town woman turns 111, and surprised with physically-distanced tea party in care home

Ndhlovu, 43, is a horse riding coach at Penbritte in Eikenhof, Gauteng.

He was lucky to escape the accident largely unharmed. However, his car, which he relies on to get to and from work, was wrecked.

Ndhlovu now has to walk about 20km to get to work on the days he cannot catch a lift.

Now, a crowdfunding campaign has been set up for him to purchase a new car.

Ndhlovu is known as the "child whisperer" because of his affinity for working with children.

Bafana Ndhlovu
Bafana Ndhlovu

Ndhlovu has been around horses since the age of seven when he started as a cleaner in stables with his 11-year-old brother, while his father worked with a racehorse trainer in Johannesburg.

He would later go on to work with his childhood friend Belinda Martin when she opened Penbritte Equestrian Centre in Alewynspoort Valley, across the road from where his father used to work.

"Bafana was always different from the other children. Even at 10 years old, he would rather be around animals, especially horses, than play with other children. He soon started riding my pony and eventually my horses, and we became close friends," Martin said.

During his early time at Penbritte, Ndhlovu worked as a casual worker and then acquired his equestrian teaching qualification, working his way up to becoming a manager at Penbritte, teaching horse riding to beginners.

"I know everything there is to know about horses and I can't survive without them. I am also blessed to be working with kids. I am very good at my job and it is something that I enjoy. Kids keep me busy, and I love all my kids, and they all love me," he said.

Ndhlovu represented South Africa as a showjumper at the Inter Africa Cup in Eswatini.

Bafana Ndhlovu's wrecked car
Bafana Ndhlovu's wrecked car.

His brother, who went on to become a jockey, died in 2002.

"I feel like I was born at the stables. This job is my life and the horses are my career," Ndhlovu said.

Freak accident

On 5 August, Ndhlovu was returning home from a long day of work when a waterbuck ran across the road and hit his car.

Ndhlovu was travelling slowly at the time and was lucky to walk away with minor injuries but the car, which he had for nine years, was destroyed.

Bafana Ndhlovu and Belinda Martin
Bafana Ndhlovu and Belinda Martin

Martin knew Ndhlovu would find it difficult to purchase a new car, being the sole provider for his mother and five sons, as well as his extended family.

She decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to get him back on his feet, reaching out to her community for help.

 "Knowing that Bafana has to walk so far to work every day is heartbreaking. He is such a hard worker and has achieved so much and never complains," Martin said.

ALSO READ | Alexandra-born equestrian on his dream for horse riding – 'I want to see more jockeys of colour'

"He always arrives with a smile, though out of breath, to care for the horses and coach and encourage the children who look up to him. So many people depend on him. I can't imagine how difficult it must be," she added.

"I am so thankful to everyone who has donated to my BackaBuddy campaign. My car was my life. It always got me to work, and that is the place I love to be. Having my own transport will let me get to work and to provide for my family," Ndhlovu said.

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Pyjamas or no pyjamas? Is sleeping in your day clothes:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
62% - 999 votes
Something I've seriously considered
11% - 183 votes
Normal in my household
26% - 426 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo