On June 4th, 2019 Ubuntu Football launched it’s new logo, along with new t-shirts and logos (click here to purchase). The symbolism in our logo is really important to us. The interlocking hands symbolize the spirit of Ubuntu, connectedness, and the community that makes what we do possible. The five stripes behind the hands are our pillars that form the foundation of our program- our five Ubuntu values. Duwayne’s story below showcases how our boys are taking these on in their own lives. Hope you enjoy!
Honour, family, positivity, growth, excellence. These are our values, and they make us who we are here at Ubuntu. Meet Duwayne Davids, a right-wing defender on our U18 team and a young man who embodies all five values brilliantly. He’s been with us at Ubuntu since he was fourteen years old and is one of our students matriculating this year. Though a self-described introvert who doesn’t talk much, his quiet confidence, hard work, and accomplishments have a lot to say.
Duwayne grew up in Steenberg in a rural area that experiences a lot of poverty and gang violence. Since the age of two, he has lived with his grandmother who schooled, clothed and fed him. While he admits that he didn’t have a good childhood, he is grateful that someone was there who cared about and supported him.
“That’s why I’m coming to school, dedicated and determined to get my Grade 12 certificate and become an economist when I’m done with my school,” he states.
“When I was younger I was very naughty, absolutely naughty,” he says, shaking his head with a smile. “But as I grew up I realized that it wasn’t something that I would love for my children to do one day, so that’s when I turned my back and looked at the bigger picture.”
Not only did Duwayne experience growth through a shift of mindset towards his attitude and education, but along the way, he discovered in himself a phenomenal athlete with the motivation, determination, and skill to take himself to the next level. He plays soccer for Ubuntu, but he is also a member of an athletics league club specializing in decathletes.
Duwayne’s journey to becoming an elite decathlete began in Grade 8 when he won the gold medal at the national championship in the U18 division in the 100M dash.
“That’s where I got self-motivation and confidence, knowing that I could make something of my running, and that’s where I started.”
As of Grade 10, Duwayne has been participating in decathlons. “It wasn’t so nice when I first started because doing ten events over two days, it’s not nice,” he laughs ruefully. “I didn’t like it at first, but then as I got used to doing decathlons, I actually discovered that I could be an Olympic champion.”
To date, he has competed in four national championships and two world championships. With quiet pride, he relates how two years ago he won the gold medal at the national championship, then proceeded to win the same at the world championship. Last year, he won silver at the national championship and this year, he took home the bronze. Rather than seeming despondent about his latest results, Duwayne’s determination and positivity break through: “I’m still on the podium, and the hard work doesn’t stop. You have to be excellent every day when you do decathlons!”
As if balancing elite sports programs in both soccer and running wasn’t enough, Duwayne excels academically as well. When asked, the soft-spoken matric students confesses his love for anything economics related. “There’s nothing you can give me that I don’t have an answer for in economics,” he asserts with pride. “I love getting involved with government, analyzing supplies and allocations of government resources, and also getting an inside view of the political side of things.” Wise beyond his years, Duwayne also states, “but first I need to sort out my education and then I can focus on becoming whatever I want to become.”
Honour is an Ubuntu value that Duwayne names as incredibly valuable to him. He describes the importance of treating others with respect as well as the essential nature of being a team at Ubuntu. “You’re a part of Ubuntu,” he explains patiently. “If you do something dishonouring in the street, people won’t say “so and so did this,” they will say “the Ubuntu boys did this.” We are a group and a team.”
Additionally, he relates the greatest lesson that his grandmother, one of his role models, has taught him: “The things that money can’t buy are the core values that should stick with you.” He continues, “Honour your mother and father no matter how much you are struggling in poverty. Honouring your mother and father makes you rich in heart, it makes you rich in person.”
In the future, Duwayne says with confidence that he will be a millionaire economist working in either Norway or the United States after he studies abroad in one or the other. “I work hard every day so that I can take my whole family out of this poverty and this poverty mindset…I’m going to show them “if I can do it, why can’t you do it too?” ”
Duwayne declares that the real reason he came to Ubuntu was to change not only his life for the better but his family’s and his community’s as well. Duwayne wants his younger sister to grow up differently than he did, to know that her brother saved money to send her to university, to know that she will never have to worry about provision. He grins and says, “she will know that her brother is a millionaire by that time and will be providing for her. Once she gets her degree, she must give back, just like I will when I become an economist.”
Though Duwayne wants to set an example for his sister and the younger boys at Ubuntu, he also has his sights on the community at large. He concludes with this assertion: “I will show the people in poverty that they have a choice. You can change if you want to change.”
We hope you enjoyed this story! If you would like to support the work that we do to empower the next generations of leaders like Duwayne, please click the button below to purchase one of our new t-shirts or hoodies. You can also make a donation by clicking the donate button below. We appreciate your investment in each of these boys’ lives!