Songo.info has humble beginnings: from founder and former mountain-biking world champion Christoph Sauser’s dream of providing a safe space for children to play on bikes, the programme has evolved into a sports and academic support programme equipping the children of Kayamandi, a township near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, with the skills to lead a successful life. Kayamandi is a community with poor housing, education and infrastructure, and as a result, limited economic opportunities.
Ninety One’s partnership with songo.info dates back to 2015 and has enabled its growth beyond just cycling into a structured and focussed programme that also encompasses education, life skills and vocational training. Songo’s objective is for every child that comes through the programme to go on to be a confident, well-rounded individual who is gainfully employed and a contributing member of the community.
Someleze ‘Star’ Nongwe joined Songo.info in 2014 at the age of 14. His curious nature and commitment were immediately obvious and four years later, in 2018, Star matriculated with seven distinctions. Through hard work and dedication, Star received a bursary to study a BCom in International Business at Stellenbosch University. At the same time he decided to give back to the Songo programme, offering up countless afternoons and weekends to share his gift for mathematics to help other Songo students.
Star’s contribution to the programme has been immense – as a maths facilitator, role model and mentor.
The Exercise Teachers Academy (ETA) has been a long-time champion of Songo.info’s matric graduates and last year supported Asabonga Nyangiwe in her Diploma in Sports Management. Asabonga juggled her studies with tutoring the younger kids at Songo in the afternoons.
Meanwhile, Asisipho Ncapha earned a bursary to take part in the Higher Certificate in Sport, Recreation and Fitness Management course at ETA, while Akhona Mntise completed her maths bridging course at Stellenbosch University with flying colours and has now started her law degree. Asabonga, Asisipho and Akhona are a powerful inspiration for the younger girls in the Songo programme who are encouraged to chase their dreams.
We’re excited to share that two songo graduates, Zola Ngxakeni and Ntlantla ‘Jersey’ Nonkasa, will be lining up to represent us as team Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne3 at the gruelling Cape Epic this year. They’ll be racing for the Exxaro Development jersey alongside the Specialized elite teams, all serious contenders for podium places. Also donning the Ninety One/songo/Specialized colours are: