#AfterSchoolYouthLeaders – Dumisani Ntsodo: Ikasi Soccer School

Dumisani Ntsodo is the Founder and Director of Ikasi Soccer School. He was inspired to create opportunities of access for young girls in Khayelitsha to prosper and succeed’. Dumisani gathered his peers to visit different schools introducing a programme that develops and empowers young girls to reach their full potential. Upon completing his CAF license, Dumisani saw an opportunity to use soccer to drive his concept whilst introducing the importance of sports in lower-quintile schools. His main role in the organisation includes fostering strategic partnerships and seeking local funding opportunities.

Established in Khayelitsha (2018), Ikasi Soccer School’s mission is to assist educators, parents and learners by providing a safe after-school program that enables young girls to be independent and become better citizens through soccer, academic support and life-skills. The programme is implemented by volunteer coaches through training sessions that take place three times a week and once on weekends. Currently, Ikasi Soccer School impacts 85 girls from 4 partner schools.

What inspires you the most and motivates you to thrive in your role?

    What inspires me the most is my passion for community development, educating the youth on the importance of establishing long-lasting legacies/relationships and empowering youth holistically. I want young people to never stop dreaming, imagining great new possibilities and positive outcomes through goal settings.

    My motivation is to successfully implement my vision for all youth to prosper, positively change their lives and directly influence their thinking. I am motivated by this journey; it’s the university of life and even though sometimes I feel like giving up, I also realize that there are young people who look up to me and thank me every day for implementing a girl-child program in Khayelitsha.

As a youth leader, what do you hope to achieve through the work that you do?

    I intend to foster a culture of young independent citizens in our communities. I want my community to not be threatened or have negative thoughts towards women and girls’ achievements but be better responsible citizens and support them on all aspects. I want my community to be the first to focus on the girl-child developmental programme and sustainability, and eventually branch out nationwide.

In your opinion, what is the significance of celebrating youth month, especially in relation to children and education?

    We owe the fallen warriors that fought for our youth rights and we need to ensure we continue to thrive in our different journeys. We need to start educating children at an early age on the values of youth month and its significance; by sharing the emotional history and to stimulate them to think of their own journey. We also need to make them aware of the high number of children and youth drop-outs at schools; whilst teaching them about the history of how the youth fought for education.

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