An Interview with Wandile Sicholo


This month, we are sharing Wandile's story with our Ubuntu Teammates. Wandile joined Ubuntu Football in 2011, and now he is one of our young professionals playing for Ubuntu Cape Town FC. On top of his football success, we are just as excited about the growth we have seen in Wandile as a leader, a student, and a society changer. He is studying and working towards a degree in Sports Management from ETA college in Cape Town, as well as playing professional football. 

I would call my mom sometimes, asking to come home, but she would always say, ‘No you need to stay there to learn, adapt, try new things. You can’t stay here forever.’ She was very persistent and supportive, and as time went on, I got more comfortable.
— What was it like when you first joined Ubuntu?
The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome was living without my dad for a long time… he came to Cape Town when we moved from the Eastern Cape, but he never lived with us in the house. It was tough sometimes when I needed transport to games or training, and no one could take me. Sometimes he was there, and sometimes he wasn’t. That’s the biggest challenge I’ve overcome, growing up learning a lot of stuff on my own.
— What's the biggest challenge you have overcome?
Completing matric was a tough year. Lots of challenges because that’s also the time you really want to focus on your football. You want to show people you really want to play, but you also have to really focus on school because it’s your final year, and there’s a lot of work, and there’s pressure to do well. Accomplishing matric was big because I also finished with a B… I really put work in my school and in my football.
— What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
I still want to stay in the field. I would like to be a coach or an agent, to help and motivate someone else, help them in the same kind of thing – guide them and protect them from other agents and coaches that only care about their talent. Don’t chase money over passion.
— After professional football, what is your dream job?
At Ubuntu they teach you it’s more about character. There is more than just the football, and it teaches you a lot about the person you’re becoming. It changes your mindset and how you think about things.
— What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
Right now is probably the hardest challenge of my football career. I’m not getting much playing time, but I’m training a lot and really working hard, but I can’t see the progress because I’m not playing as much.
— What has been the biggest challenge of your football career?
Be willing to learn… throughout the years with Ubuntu you will have to show you want to be there. Ubuntu has lost some great players because they didn’t want to learn. If you’re not going to learn, there is no point in being here. You have to be willing to learn.
— What advice would you give to a boy who just joined Ubuntu?
Before last year I didn’t really want to further my studies. After I finished Matric I just wanted to play football, but then I realized because of Ubuntu that this could happen, tomorrow I could break my leg and then what?
— What made you decide to pursue a degree in Sports Management?

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Ubuntu Cape Town FC Drawing Lots of Exposure to Academy

Casey Prince, co-founder of Ubuntu Football Academy and Ubuntu Cape Town FC coach

It was an exciting weekend for the Ubuntu Family. This past Friday, Ubuntu Cape Town FC continued their journey in the Nedbank Cup with a 3-2 victory over PSL opponent AmaZulu. The Nedbank Cup is South Africa's premier knockout tournament, but it has always been based on the idea of giving lower league and amateur teams a chance to compete with clubs from the top league for the cup. Enter Ubuntu. Last year, Ubuntu Football Academy purchased Ubuntu Cape Town FC as a pathway and platform for the best young Academy players to pursue football at the professional level. Not only has the tournament been an excellent test against some top PSL opponents, but the team has awakened exposure for the Academy like never before with articles in the Cape Times, Cape Argus, and more. 

UBUNTU Cape Town is more than just a football club — it has, at its roots, a mission to transform, through football, the lives of kids in need of guidance and direction.
— Rodney Reiners, the Cape Times

The professional team has created a partnership between the Academy that is irreplaceable. The young Academy boys have the NFD players to look to as positive role models, which is a beautiful representation of the vision of Ubuntu, "I am because we are." Some of these players grew up in the very communities where our boys are growing up, and to see their success is life changing for our boys. 

On Friday, the boys who live in the Ubuntu house were surprised with a  TV for the dorm side of the residence, making for a watch party they will never forget. 




Click the buttons below to read the articles that were written this week! Thanks for going on this journey with us; we couldn't do it without you. 

Ubuntu Teams Up With Under Armour and Eric Reid

Thank you so much to our friends at Under Armour for giving these boots to our boys through Eric Reid! These boots will go a long way in helping our boys achieve their goals and dreams. Our partner Eric is here for the month of February, and he brought along 47 pairs of boots and 24 pairs of goalie gloves with him to South Africa. At Ubuntu, we have a badge system in place, and every boy who moved up a level last term and earned a new badge was able to select a pair of boots. Each term, every boy in the Academy receives a grade based on the five Ubuntu values, and if they receive an exceptional score three terms in a row, they receive the next badge: bronze, silver, then gold. This was an amazing reward for their growth, handwork, and excellence. Cheers to you, Under Armour! 


A message from Andy Cunagin, Ubuntu Football Academy Advisory Board Chairman

Dear friends of Ubuntu,

It’s my pleasure to reach out to you as the new head of the Advisory Board for the Ubuntu Football Academy of Cape Town, South Africa.  60% of South African children are growing up without a father in the household.  Ubuntu is tackling this statistic one young man at a time through its unique, holistic approach to mentorship.Please check out for an introductory video.

My relationship with Ubuntu began in a very personal way.  My son Jack, then 10, began a soccer training program with one of the Ubuntu coaches in 2013 while we were living in Cape Town.  Soon after, my wife Betsy and I noticed peculiar changes in Jack.  First, the Bible that had been sitting idly on his bookshelf made a mysterious migration to his bedside table.  Next, yellow sticky notes began appearing between the pages, and highlights appeared on the text.  His maturity and schoolwork improved, and his skill on the soccer field began to grow by leaps and bounds.  When Jack was invited to Ubuntu Academy trials, we came to learn that our son wasn’t the only boy in South Africa to experience this powerful transformation through mentorship.

There are three excitingdevelopments at Ubuntu I’d like to share with you. 

First, Ubuntu continues to establish itself as a powerhouse among elite development academies in Africa.  Its teams rank ator near the top of Super League competition across all age groups, and its players are being promoted up the ranks of national and regional select teams, while gaining the attention of professional clubs across Africa, Europe, and U.S.A.With the backing of some strategic partners, the Ubuntu Football Trust has recently acquired a National First Division franchise and are competing at the professional level this season as Ubuntu Cape Town FC. 

Second, the Ubuntu Football Academy School opened its doors in January.  The school is currently serving 34boys and is off to an amazing start.  But there’s so much hard work ahead.  The goal is to build onthe educational offeringas a platform forentry into top NCAA recruiting networks.

Third, we are honored to welcome NFL superstarand San Francisco 49er Eric Reid to the Ubuntu Advisory Board. You can read about Ubuntu’s “NFL connection” on News section of the website.  We are so grateful for Eric’s support and leadership.

Ubuntu’s mustard seed-like qualities became clear to me when it came time for us to pay Jack’s Ubuntu Academy fees.  The annual cost came to around R350 South African Rand—the equivalent of around US $27. [For reference, comparable USA soccer academies cost thousands of dollars!]  It was heartbreaking to see that many of the boys couldn’t afford even this small amount.  The need for mentorship in South Africa is overwhelming.  And with the help of partners like Eric, Ubuntu is tackling this need with the fierceness of a Pro-Bowl safety!

Ubuntu has come so far.  But as our footprint has grown, so too have the financial realities.  They are stark. Ubuntu needs funding partners to honor its mission to mentor the next generation of great African leaders.  Please consider partnering with us bydonating on our website at Your donation will go towards making sure that the boys have the education, mentorship, soccer training and loving environment that they need to fulfill their full potential.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you’d like to learn more about this amazing outreach.



Andy Cunagin


Ubuntu Football Academy Advisory Board


Phone: USA +1 828 855 6192

Skype:  andy.cunagin

Meet Enrique Jacobs!

Enrique is in grade 8 at the Ubuntu Academy School, and he has been a part of Ubuntu Football Academy for three years now. His favourite subject is maths, and his favourite part of the Ubuntu School is interacting with the teachers. “I learned that the teachers care more, and they want to help us succeed,” he said of the new Ubuntu Academy school, which opened in January this year.

Enrique plays striker for the under 14 team, and his favourite football club is Manchester United. In 10 years, he hopes to be on the professional field in Europe, but his dream job is to become an entrepreneur in the business world. "I want to be a businessman," he boasted. "One day I want to own my own company." Ubuntu's goal is for each of their boys to utilize his platform, no matter what shape that takes as they grow and develop as leaders.

As far now, Enrique wants to pass all of his subjects with high marks and continue developing as a student and a footballer. Within the Ubuntu School, there is a badge system based on football, academics and character and leadership. Earlier this year, Enrique earned marks in all categories that moved him from bronze to silver, awarding him new boots. "That's my best memory from this year so far," Enrique says of his well deserved reward.

Through longterm investment and mentorship in boys like Enrique, Ubuntu is developing the next generation of great leaders in South Africa.


The Ripple Effect

ho·lis·tic- characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable, only by reference to the WHOLE. At Ubuntu, we are striving for just this. Through long term investment, we want to pour into our boys at an early age to raise up the next generation of great South African leaders. From there, our hope is that our boys will pour back into the communities where they came from, breaking the cycle of a lack of role models and father figures. It's a ripple effect from there, communities to cities to the country of South Africa as a whole. 

Share this post to continue our ripple effect! #MeettheSolution

Meet the Solution

TODAY IS THE DAY! We are launching our awareness campaign, and we're pretty excited. In South Africa, 60% of children are growing up without a father in their home. We believe our boys are growing up to be the leaders and role models that will change this statistic. Follow us to learn more about how you can be a part of the revolutionary change in South Africa #MeettheSolution