Here on the Morning Cruise, we often talk with artists, musicians, organisations, and entrepreneurs, and today we spoke with an athlete. Bonga Ngqobane is a cyclist who grew up in Khayelitsha and has now created a cycling academy back in Khayelitsha. The academy also offers tutoring and classes in leadership and entrepreneurship.
Bonga was first introduced to cycling when he saw a group of bikers go past his primary school in Khayelitsha when he was young. He said he was drawn to the sport at first simply because he loved the idea of having a bike. Now Bonga is bringing biking back to his own community. The academy currently has between 30 and 40 kids. Some see biking as a future career, while others use cycling as just a hobby. In both cases, Bonga’s academy provides a “healthy environment where active minds can grow”.
Because cycling equipment is quite an expensive sport, the academy relies on donors and sponsors to help provide bikes. They currently have 26 bikes, which means that the kids who do not yet have bikes dive into the tutoring and leadership programs. The idea is to foster those active and growing minds and encourage commitment.
In the future, Bonga is looking to build a bike park in Khayelisha so that kids could have a safe place to ride. And for any new riders, Bonga’s advice is to be unafraid to fall… this seems intimidating, but the best way to learn is to be willing to push through the fear of imperfection.
For more information check out Bonga’s website and social media:
Facebook: Bonga Ngqobane
Presenter: Mkhuseli Khusi Veto
Producer: Sophie Breck