Friends to Family

Featuring: Iviwe and Imitha

Every girl, regardless of location goes through so many changes between the ages of 10 and 15. Having a support system and a passion can make or break the lives for many of the young women all around the world. IKasi soccer school has created a program that incorporates physical activity and education, all while empowering young women in Khayelitsha to discover who they are. They aim to aid the girls in becoming the best version of themselves possible.

Iviwe and Imitha are two driven young women who are a part of the high school program offered by IKasi. The two have had a friendship that has only grown stronger throughout the last 3 years of the program. Both love soccer and have amazing skills that have allowed them to become phenomenal midfielders, who score winning goals for the team.

Females are not given an equal amount of opportunity in many parts of South Africa and sports is no different. After having one conversation with them, their obvious love and passion for the club was inspiring. When asked why she joined IKasi, Iviwe expressed how excited she was when one of her teachers started talking about introducing an all-girls program. She quickly decided this was the team she wanted to join because it was a program tailored for her, and people like her.

A majority of the 74 girls within IKasi had never been outside of Khayelitsha, nor did they interact with many other young children from different schools or settlements within the township. Imitha expressed how excited she had been to attend the national trials and even though none of the girls were picked, it gave them a drive to continue and make new opportunities happen for themselves. These tournaments have done so much more than give these girls hope.

“We are from so many different schools so now we are friends, we are family”

To dream is such an essential part of life, and this is something I feel many children lose while growing up, especially when they face as many hardships as these girls have in 14 short years. The conversation quickly turned from soccer to academics, neither Iviwe nor Imitha could hide the love of education they had and hoped to receive one day. Imitha loves history and dreams of becoming a lawyer, while Iviwe loves math and aspires to attend medical school to eventually be a doctor.