Growing up in the community of Khayelitsha was tough for Youth in Business entrepreneur Khanya Mgoqi.
He had to watch his peers make bad choices that would affect their future.
“My friends were all over the streets smoking drugs, and some ended up in prison,” explains Khanya.
But as much as he was pressured to follow the crowd, he resisted the temptation.
Instead, he enjoyed playing football and used it to escape the harsh realities facing his peers.
He also decided that one day, he would use sport to fight crime and the abuse of drugs in his community.
And in April 2019, that dream became a reality.
The passionate entrepreneur teamed up with Thandokazi Silo, Thandiwe Ndevu and Doreen Mabongo, fellow peers who “shared the same vision and values with me”, and they founded the Khanya Mgoqi organisation, a non-profit organisation based in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
“The organisation’s main objectives is to fight against abuse of drugs and criminality in our communities using sport and recreation and the exploration of special interests such as art, music, dance, computers and technology,” says the 32-year-old.
“The children take part in our sports activities such as soccer, netball, indigenous games, and so on. I also make sure that I tell them the dangers of committing crime and the importance of education.
“Our vision is to turn our youth from zero to hero, we make sure that they stay away from drugs and get more involved in productive activities.”
“Everybody around Khayelitsha is very excited! The youth come in numbers, and as a result, the level of criminality in Litha park where all it started has drastically decreased through these activities.”
The organisation has faced some challenges, with the main being funding, sponsorship, and equipment.
“COVID-19 also has been a challenge as it’s affected the whole nation. We decided to save our youth by obeying the rules of the president.”