Growing up with a passion and a love for sports, particularly soccer, around a community filled with many distractions as a young township boy, it was very easy for Eastern Cape born Ayanda Cuba, currently based in Khayelitsha, to fall for many township traps before him.
“It was evident from an early stage that pursuing my sporting passions would prove difficult considering my township origins. Raised within a church-based family, with a priest mother and father, I received a lot of support and encouragement from my parents who later inspired me to help other young people with the same passions and similar difficulties.”
His business partner Buntu Mathole is a Gauteng-born inspiration also currently based in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. They share a love for sports and also a passion for entrepeneurship, for which they have both taken courses. They are both experienced and qualified in the field, and what better way to implement their skills than to give back to the communities which shaped them.
Ayanda and Buntu co-founded their company ‘About Brands Communities Designs Concepts’ (ABCD) with an aim to boost township sports through a variety of projects.
“Growing up, different people have different characteristics, which is why it is important to understand each person’s point of view and distinctiveness,” says Ayanda. While speaking enthusiastically about their ongoing township based programme, Sporting Code, aimed at promoting township based sports, he expresses that he always had a passion and desire to witness peers succeed despite difficult circumstances.
Sporting Code was initiated in 2015 as ABCD concept’s first initiative. “Through educational trips, coaching clinics, tournaments and leagues, this sports development project looks to use sport to nurture our future leaders, connect and unite communities, reduce social ills and create a healthier, happier society.”
Their company lifted off last year. “It has not been an easy journey,” Ayanda says. Their projects, collectively known as the “kasi experience” have proven fun to be a part of, but, like most non-governmental operations, funding has proven to be a constant challenge for them as they’ve had to pick from their own pockets most of the time. From hosting one tournament after every two months, tournaments have now become a monthly activity for them – mostly netball tournaments.
They have been striving to create a “suitable and distinguishable business model which will assist their business leaps,” Ayanda says. This year they will be looking for interested companies to see if they can collaborate and potentially sponsor Sporting Code’s amazing initiatives.
They have also recognised that coaching at schools is a much-needed activity where external experts are needed rather than the teachers at schools. They realised that external coaches make sport more pleasurable than if it’s just another part of the school curriculum. They have been working hard with people around the communities who willingly volunteer to be part of their fantastic cause.
Their company is however also not only centred around sports. It covers a number of other creative avenues which aim at giving back to township communities. ADCD aims to recognise “how people live, how communities interact, and how business and brands interact with communities.”
It aims to create “practical and innovative solutions for people to have better access to resources, live healthy lifestyles and be active, and also to create a platform for businesses and brands to better market themselves in our communities.”
Ayanda says he would love to see more young people doing positive things to help change their communities for the better. He says it is important that they plan to fail because failing is almost inevitable, it is always best to be prepared for when it does happen so that they can rise from the ashes.
Ayanda shares popular inspirational words of wisdom from Marianne Williamson as a message to fellow young people, saying…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.”
“We believe that investing in our children’s from the earliest of ages is the single most important contribution we can make,” Ayanda concludes.