Sanelisiwe Kuzwayo’s role as manager of the KZN Cricket Township and Rural Development Programme has taken her into parts of the province few people have even heard of.
The programme gives 7 000 underprivileged children in townships and rural areas, like Umlazi, Inanda, KwaMashu, Mtubatuba, Umhlabuyalingana and Mkuze, an opportunity to play, and change their lives through cricket. It’s a mammoth task that involves hundreds of schools, dozens of coaches and various sponsors.
At the head of it all is Kuzwayo, who, until early last year, was assistant manager. That changed when Linda Zondi, her predecessor, was made convenor of selectors for the Proteas. Kuzwayo was summoned to head the programme, and hasn’t looked back since. It isn’t a financially lucrative position but, luckily, passion is her driving force.
“This job exposes me to the reality of circumstances within South Africa,” she says.
“I work a lot with underprivileged people and nothing brings me joy more than empowering and equipping them with opportunities.” A self-proclaimed tomboy, Kuzwayo, who is a mother to three children, also manages a provincial girls’ cricket team – another role she relishes. “I enjoy working and empowering young ladies to challenge the stereotypes that cricket is a man’s sport,” she says.