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Siphiwe Tshabalala launches 'Super Shabba' book to inspire African children

Siphiwe Tshabalala (Gallo Images)
Siphiwe Tshabalala (Gallo Images)

On the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, former Bafana Bafana star Siphiwe Tshabalala has launched his very own children's book called 'Super Shabba'.

WATCH | Tshabalala's famous goal at 2010 World Cup

Shabba, as he is affectionately known, netted the opening goal for South Africa against Mexico at Soccer City in front of an 84 000-strong crowd.

In celebrating that memory, the now 35-year-old is hoping to give back and inspire African children with his latest book.

"This is a story of a boy who grew up in Phiri, Soweto and always loved football," said Tshabalala in a statement released by the South African Football Association (SAFA).

"He had dreams and wanted to be on the big stage, and then he heard on radio that there were trials. He made the grade but was bullied because of his size and height.

"However, he didn't allow anyone to pull him down and he worked hard to be a superhero.

"If you look at it, this is a story about my journey and the FIFA World Cup. The story is meant to inspire the African child.

"It is about a superhero they can relate to – an authentic story of someone they can bump into at the street corner or at the spaza shop.

"He is the same skin colour as them, comes from the same background as them. It is a story that says even if you had a poor upbringing it doesn't mean you can't make it in life – in fact that should inspire you more to change your circumstances."

MUST READ | 2010: South Africa's longest, best-ever party

Shabba says that the children who read this book will get to learn South Africa's history from a person who grew up in an impoverished township and went on to conquer the world stage.

"I believe it is important that when we are growing up we tend to want to adopt the Western way, the faraway idols, when in fact we have heroes amongst us – and sometimes we end up losing our identity," Tshabalala continued.

"This book is one way of saying we are story tellers, we should tell our own stories and we should allow anyone to tell our story in our own way, so that those that read it can understand it better, as they may be coming from the same circumstances.

"I believe every child get this book and that is why we need government support to ensure our history is preserved."

The book is available from Grades 3-5 and will be in four languages - English, Sesotho, IsiZulu and Setswana.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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