Ubuntu is an African expression of togetherness, describing that what I am is intrinsically linked to what we are.
Our Story Started in 2009
When Ubuntu Founders Casey Prince and Michael Jenkins met for the first time in 2009, they very soon discovered that they shared two passions, some might even say obsessions. Both of these men were football fanatics with a deep concern about the generation of boys growing up in some of South Africa’s toughest communities without fathers, mentors, or role models. They both believed that football has a unique power to inspire and motivate young people not only to demand more for themselves, but from themselves in other areas such as character, leadership, and education.
These passions became a dream, and in 2011 the dream became a reality, with 16 boys between the ages of 12 and 13-years-old becoming the very first Ubuntu Football Academy class. With no sponsors, resources, or even a bank account, Ubuntu’s first intake of boys was all drawn from communities within driving distance for Casey and Michael, who would fetch boys for training every afternoon and drive them home afterwards. They felt that the only way to pursue this dream was to start doing what they could with what they had. If all they could do was invest in those 16 boys through to their adulthood, that’s exactly what they were going to do.
By the end of 2011, they raised sponsorship to put those first 16 boys into an excellent local school, and the Ubuntu Football Academy became a full-time football and education program. This meant opening bank accounts, registering a trust, and applying for non-profit status, so the Ubuntu Football Trust became a proper organisation. By 2013, Ubuntu’s support base had grown sufficiently and allowed an intake of a new group of 12-year-olds. Since then the Academy has added an age group each year, growing to 90 boys between 12 and 18-years-old, with a residential facility for those coming from further afield, and a number of community-based satellite Football Forward programs operating in various communities around Cape Town.
In 2016, the Ubuntu Football Academy registered as an independent school, starting with Grades 6 through 8 in January 2017. The vision is to offer a creative, effective and individual-focused education to every boy in the Academy. Now, Ubuntu is a fully functioning professional soccer academy with a residence and registered school. It's been an amazing nine years, but we aren't done yet.
Mike and Casey Meet
Ubuntu Sports Outreach Founded
Casey Joins Mike in Cape Town
Start Working in Schools in the Southern Peninsula
First One Valley Festival
Launched the Ubuntu Football Academy With Under 13s
Partnership With Fish Hoek Association Football Club
Start of Football Forward program
Partnership with Sun Valley Group of Schools for Boys' Education
First Boys Make the Board Team
Launch of Ubuntu Teammates Sponsorship Program
Started Adding One Age Group Per Year in the Academy
First Academy Group of Under 12s
Won First Super League Championship
Academy Residence Opens for 15 Boys
First group of Boys Matriculate
Merger of Ubuntu Football and ASD
6 Boys Sent To America for College ID Camps
Luke Fleurs becomes first Ubuntu Player to join U-17 National Team
Ubuntu Football Academy School Grand Opening
Expansion of Residence for 31 Boys
Academy graduate Jesse Donn signs with Ubuntu Cape Town FC
Luke Fleurs Becomes First Graduate to Make it to South Africa’s Top Flight, Signing with SuperSport FC in Pretoria
Wade Coetzee enters second year at Corban University, joined by Graduate Robin Terry
7 Boys Go to America for Prep School, College, and Football