What an exceptional experience to meet a real life hero... Street Racket inventor Marcel Straub travelled into the hart of Kayelitsha township together with one of the newly trained South African instructors, Grant Isaacs. Kayelitsha is home to more than 1 million people on the outskirts of Cape Town, making it the biggest township in the Western Cape province. Our team was in touch with the Baphumelele organization for a while (http://baphumelele.org.za/), founded and lead by famous Mama Rosie, and agreed to do this introduction session for staff and kids in mid March.
Mama Rosie war named one of the top 10 heroes in the world by CNN in 2017 - read all about it HERE. Rosie describes her job, caring for AIDS/HIV orphans, as a “calling”, not a job. She says “God has called me to do this,” … and her reward is the “smile of these children when they’re saying Mama to me, and thank you”.
‘These children’ include over 5,000 who have been taken care of by Rosie Mashale (Mama Rosie) and her group, Baphumelele. At the end of last year CNN have recognised her incredible spirit and selected Mama Rosie as one of the very special people in the world to be included in their list of Top 10 CNN Heroes. She was honoured with a CNN Heroes Award in New York City.
Street Racket gives these kids a way of being active and healthy, feel good about themselves, progress and prosper in their actions and have fun together. Even the very small and narrow spaces the homes of these kids can offer are sufficient to play some of the many game forms every day.
As soon as the simple courts were set up with a bit of chalk and the easy to understand rules were explained by the instructors, everyone was busy playing and having a good time. Marcel got the honour to open the session with Mama Rosie who proved to be very skilled with that racket - much to the joy, clapping and shouting of her kids.
These kids have suffered more than any kid ever should and Rosie gave them a perspective, love, care and attention. We are very happy to contribute as well and we are sure Street Racket will have a sustainable and positive effect for the Baphumelele kids and staff from now on. As always, we left some sets of equipment behind so the playing can continue without us.
Mama Rosie playing Street Racket for the first time - and doing just great!
Mama Rosie with Marcel Straub during his "Mission South Africa"