Success Stories

#changinglives is more than just a motto at Young Bafana.
It's the result of hard work, discipline and faith in your abilities.

Asanda DyaniAsanda Dyani
Asanda “Zuka” Dyani

The Miracle Boy who entered Pro Soccer

Since August 2018 he is the first Young Bafana graduate who is equipped with a professional contract in South Africa. He is not the biggest. He is not the strongest. His talent, on the other hand, is a gift he excels with.

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Keino DavidsKeino Davids
Keino Davids

Keino changes to the US

Keino Davids joined Young Bafana in January 2016 as a 16 year old boy with the aspirations of becoming a professional soccer player. However, he did not expect the path to the top to be so strenuous and tough.

Fortunately at Young Bafana all children are made aware of the fact that soccer alone is not a long term solution, education is the more reliable way to create a successful future.

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Jojo, Ndondo, LennardJojo, Ndondo, Lennard
Jojo & Ndondo

Two stars in international kindergarten

Jojo and Dondo were the first two "Raising Stars" beneficiaries of Young Bafana. Dondo was adopted by his uncle in 2015 when after losing his father in a gun related firearm argument.

Their home language being Isi-Xhosa rarely exposed them to the English language which is absolutely crucial for every South African child’s future, the earlier they start the better.

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Asanda “Zuka” Dyani

The Miracle Boy who entered Pro Soccer

Since August 2018 he is the first Young Bafana graduate who is equipped with a professional contract in South Africa. He is not the biggest. He is not the strongest. His talent, on the other hand, is a gift he excels with.

After Young Bafana decided in January 2014 to found the first of three performance teams, trial training sessions were organized promptly to screen talented players from the Lwandle Township.

Becoming a part of Young Bafana is a rare opportunity for many children and adolescents to cross the boundaries of the township in order to be promoted as an athlete and to be able to participate in games and tournaments in Cape Town. In addition, Young Bafana represents the boys u.a. all equipment, food packages after each unit, as well as complementary school lessons available.

Among the applicants, a small, rather slender boy, but other players claim he is one of the most talented players from Lwandle.

The boy goes by the name of "Zuka" (short form of the weapon Bazuka). He immediately convinces the coaches. His strengths are clearly recognizable by his technical skills, his speed and distinctive game intelligence.
 

Together with his teammates of the newly founded U15 Performance Team, he will tackle the 10km (return) to training up to five times a week on foot. The team coached by Young Bafana founder Bernd Steinhage in the first year completely without shoes.

It takes three years for this squad to get promoted three seasons in a row - to Cape Town's highest youth league. In addition, Zuka and his team reach the final of the Coke Cup 2017, South Africa's biggest amateur tournament.

Zuka is from the beginning not a player who speaks much or puts himself in the foreground. He often seems absorbed in his own thoughts, often isolated but never unpopular in the team. While other players are focused on their free time right after training, Zuka is still focused on football and thoughtful about his performance.

On the pitch, he stands out as one of the most alert and communicative players. He is always exemplary in his time with Young Bafana and is extremely respectful to the coaches.
In order to keep fit, in addition to the football training, he goes jogging about three hours a week at 5 o'clock, in front of the school, for two hours.

Zuka loves the offensive game, one of his most popular and at the same time most effective moves is dribbling with ball, cut inside and at the edge of the box, finish off with a finessed goal.
Similar to the favorite move of FC Bayern player Arjen Robben, just on the other side of the pitch.

Another special characteristic for which he is known for in the Township, is his goal celebration. As a rule, he performs a summersault, followed by some artistic footwork.

Compared to his fellow players who live with their families in Lwandle Township, Zuka is one of the children who find it particularly difficult. With his single mother and five other family members, the family lives in a small corrugated iron hut, just a few yards from the busy main street. The mother takes care of the family 24/7, the father lives far away in another part of South Africa.

The worst experience yet in Zuka's life takes place on December 16, 2015, when he is attacked by three criminals in the street after he raised money for his family. One of the gangsters is armed with a broken glass bottle, with which he stabs Zuka in the middle of his face. The wound must be sewn with 24 stitches. The bottle misses his left eye by only a few inches. The scar will remain a part of him for the rest of his life.

This incident has scarred Zuka ever since and will always have a long term effect on him, but Zuka's top priority has always been to return to the pitch as fast as possible.

One of the main reasons for this is not only the enjoyment he derives from playing football but for many young players, football is the only change from the township routine - it is much more about his big dream of one day becoming a professional footballer, and thus being able to provide for his family.

In the 16/17 season, the 1.65cm winger scores a total of 35 goals for Young Bafana in the highest youth league in Cape Town and receives the Golden Boot Award at the end of the season.


When asked what he would want to achieve next, Zuka confidently exclaims: "I want to play for the Kaizer Chiefs *, Coach."

* The Kaizer Chiefs (16 million members) in South Africa are the equivalent to Bayern Munich in Germany.

After Young Bafana founder Bernd Steinhage waits for the right time and contacts the management of Kaizer Chiefs to arrange a trial session, he sets off for Johannesburg with Zuka. It was preceded by a successful fundraiser to raise money for their travel expenses.

The head coach of the Kaizer Chiefs U-23 team was immediately impressed and expressed his interest after the first trial. The promise of a place in the team is not long in coming.

However, Zuka will be put to the test at the beginning of his time with the Kaizer Chiefs. This is mainly due to the move from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Zuka is given a place in the boarding school, but can only move in after the first two months, because until then, all rooms are occupied. As a temporary solution Zuka lives with a cousin, who in turn lives well over 40km away from the training ground of the Kaizer Chiefs. With a lot of effort and a extra financial grant from Young Bafana, he takes to the road every morning and evening. At the time, Zuka is only18 years old and travels alone through of the world’s most dangerous cities.

Then, finally, after two months, he moves into his room at the boarding school, where he continues to pursue his dream since October 2017.

Even with the Kaizer Chiefs, he proves his talent right from the start despite the significantly greater competition on the pitch. Shortly before the end of the first round (as of February 2018) Zuka leads the top goal scorer ranking with 6 goals…

Zuka plays for the "Diski" team of the Kaizer Chiefs, meaning the reserve team, which provides or “feeds” the first team with fresh talent. In the Diski League, the other reserve teams of the Premier Soccer League are also represented. The public interest in the Diski League has grown so much in South Africa that the prime time games get screened on national television.

A TV commentator on Zuka:

English: "He is always there; he is always in the mix that’s why he can finish that ball because he sniffs the opportunity.”

In August 2018 the table turns and together with his mentor Bernd Steinhage he decides to accept a 2 year offer by South African second division club Ubuntu Cape Town FC where Zuka is currently playing with the number 13 on his back. Besides more minutes on the pitch and an improvement as a striker he appreciates living closer to his family again. 

Although Zuka is not officially a Young Bafana player anymore, he will always be a part of Young Bafana, and he will continue to be advised and regularly visited by his mentor Bernd Steinhage.

The fact that the player with the number 13 on his back, as a boy from the township, is already a remarkable achievement, and was only possible through his hard work and irrepressible beliefs. It’s a journey that Young Bafana as a training club and the residents of the Lwandle Township are very proud of.

He says that his greatest impulse is to have the certainty that God is by his side.

His journey is far from over. His big dream: PSG.

Bonne Chance, Zuka!

Asanda Dyani, Kaizer Chiefs
Asanda „Zuka“ Dyani
Asanda Dyani, Spieler bei Young Bafana
Keino Davids

Keino changes to the US

Keino Davids joined Young Bafana in January 2016 as a 16 year old boy with the aspirations of becoming a professional soccer player. However, he did not expect the path to the top to be so strenuous and tough.

Fortunately at Young Bafana all children are made aware of the fact that soccer alone is not a long term solution, and that education is the more reliable way to create a successful future. Hence the willingness and hard work both staff and players put into the educational programmes offered at the academy.

After successfully winning the league and cup double in 2016, Keino became even more intrigued by the idea of turning his childhood dream to profession. His coaches continued to preach the importance of education to him and so did his mother. At this stage Keino did not know just how important his schooling would be for his future. Having successfully passed Grade 11 and improving his marks even further in Gr 12 he was turning into a holistic scholar who excels both on the field of play and at school.

It was in 2017 that the idea of combining soccer with education would be seriously considered as the next step for Keino. Together with Athletes USA Young Bafana created an online portfolio and video for USA scholarship opportunities. Two months later is seems to be only a formality before he commits to a college for a duel educational and soccer scholarship.

Keino is part of the first group of graduates to come through the Young Bafana development system, imagine what we can achieve in future!

Keino
Jojo & Ndondo

Two stars in international kindergarten

Jojo and Dondo were the first two "Raising Stars" beneficiaries of Young Bafana. Dondo was adopted by his uncle in 2015 when after losing his father in a gun related firearm argument.

Their home language being Isi-Xhosa rarely exposed them to the English language which is absolutely crucial for every South African child’s future, the earlier they start the better.

Their journey started when they were enrolled at Storksnest Kindergarten in Somerset West on full scholarships in January 2016.
Before January 2016 the boys barely spoke a word of English and were hanging around the Lwandle township every day.

Two years down the line they are well spoken and comfortable with the English language. Moreover, they conduct themselves in a positive manner and are extremely happy with the new friends they have made at Storksnest.

The school reports confirm the above mentioned facts and Young Bafana will continue to closely monitor the development of the boys.