Speakers inspire club representatives, athletes to honour icon with efforts
THE launch of the 17th edition of the annual Steve Biko Memorial Games was a glittering event held at the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg last Saturday evening.
Athletes and club representatives were inspired by words of encouragement, as well as entertained by a live performances local band Abelusi.
Among the guests were former Leopards fullback Vido Mnqatu, former teacher and international rugby referee Mzwandile Gaga, former international boxing champion Welcome Ncita, Safa Buffalo City president Mxolisi Sibam, members of various federations and Buffalo City Metro Sports Federation president Xolani Bishoti, who delivered the keynote address.
The occasion was also graced by the presence of Biko’s widow, Ntsiki Biko.
Steve Biko Foundation official Andile Mabombo provided some background on the event and how it went from strength to strength over the years.
“The event started with games locally played in Ginsberg in partnership with the Ginsberg Sport Council, and later included programmes where schools and clubs benefited. This led to the interest from surrounding areas such as Zwelitsha, Stutterheim, Mdantsane and East London,” Mabombo said.
“We are hoping to make it a provincial tournament next year,” he continued.
Bishoti called on the audience to strive and inspire our youth with the ethos and values of ubuntu.
“This means that it is the duty of every adult member of our communities to contribute to the proper upbringing and socialisation of young people, teaching them important values such as integrity, solidarity with the poor, selflessness and preparedness to do voluntary work that benefits our communities,” Bishoti said.
“The youth and sports people of today should honour Steve Biko by defending the gains of our freedom, refusing to be part of those who disrespect our freedom by abusing other people – robbing, raping, killing and destroying public and private property.
“The youth of today should be at the forefront of public discussion concerning the resolution of the many challenges that face our society.
“They should also help our society to define itself, respect our history, and our diverse cultures and traditions,” said Bishoti, receiving a standing ovation as he left the podium.
Sibam said: “Sport gives us confidence irrespective if you are poor or rich, but always make sure to still pursue your education when playing sport”.
Mnqatu in his address touched more on the life of the slain activist and how he died for what he stood for.
“If you don’t have it in your head, you must have it in your muscles,” he said.
Gaga also encouraged the athletes to go to school.