This week, PPI Fellow Taylor Brown interviews PPI-SA’s newest staff members, Sifiso Cebisa and Bonge Dube, who are very excited about their new roles within the organization.
Taylor: What has been the impact of PPI-SA in your life so far? How long have you been a part of the program?
Sifiso: At the age of 12, my Father passed away. I had no one teaching me how to grow as a man and how to have a positive impact on my community. My friends and I went to LDP tryouts in Grade 10, and at that time I didn’t consider myself a “good kid”. When PPI came into my life, everything changed. I saw a place where I can have a say without people laughing at me. PPI’s “Family” slogan really appealed to me and offered me the opportunity to share my personal life with my PPI friends and coach. I participated in LDP for 2 years, and in 2008 I became a Primary School coach at Excelsior Primary School in Lamontville. I have been coaching in the Leadership Development Program and Primary School Program since, and now in 2012 I have become the Area Coordinator for Lamontville.
Bonge: I started as a participant in Grade 6 at Mzuzu Primary School in Umlazi and then I played for LDP in Umlazi. In 2008 I started coaching at the Primary School level at Mthethweni Primary School in Umlazi and then coached at iZwelesthembiso Primary School for three years from 2008 to 2011. Now, beginning in 2012 I’m the Area Coordinator for Umlazi.
I’ve learned so much from PPI; how to coach and how to facilitate with children. I still have to learn what Area Coordinators do, and I’ve already learned so much these first two weeks. I love working with children and how to educate them about HIV/AIDS, as this allows me to contribute positively to my community.
Taylor: Congratulations on earning the position of Area Coordinator with PPI-SA! What are some of your plans for Lamontville and Umlazi this year?
Sifiso: I’d like to get the Lamontville Primary School participants to take basketball very seriously and use it as a platform to be a part of the Lamontville Leadership Development Program team. I’d also like to encourage the parents to get involved in the Lamontville program and to host basketball tournaments that bring in teams from other areas in Durban.
Bonge: I want to participants to learn more about Life Skills, specifically around HIV/AIDS and peer pressure, and also for them to reach their goals and further their studies. I’d also like our participants to be more involved in basketball, since doing so helps them to avoid doing bad things.
Taylor: What’s your favorite thing about PeacePlayers?
Sifiso: My favorite thing is that “we are family”. I love that everyone comes from different backgrounds, but treats each other the same, regardless of race, religion or gender. There are so many people within the PPI organization that I look up to now as role models, that are also my friends.
Bonge: The tournaments. Having so many kids (nearly 1,000) together – playing, having fun, learning and growing together.
Taylor: If you could have a meal with one person in the world this Saturday night, who would it be?
Sifiso: Definitely LeBron James, because we have a lot in common – he also grew up without a Father and he worked hard to get where he is today. Also, he’s the best basketball player in the world, who also works hard to make a difference in the community.
Bonge: Sfiso Ncwane (a South African gospel singer) because his music inspires me!
Taylor: Thanks, guys, for your time and introducing yourselves to the readers of the PPI blog. Looking forward to a successful year and some new energy in the Lamontville and Umlazi communities! Best of luck with your new roles with PPI – SA!