Duncan Village-born golfer Lwazi Gqira has achieved his dream of turning professional, two years after he was ranked first place in the Border region and 54th in SA. place in South Africa.
Helping him in his journey is Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the Port of East London, who have come on board as partners.
“Lwazi has shown us all what can be achieved with a strong support system and we’re so thrilled to have been able to play a role in his ongoing development leading up to this latest milestone of turning professional.
“His transformation has been phenomenal. We’ve seen him grow from a shy young man living in extreme poverty in a shack in Duncan Village, to a well-respected young man in his community and among the golfing fraternity around the country,” said East London port manager Sharon Sijako said.
Michelle De Vries, Gqira’s coach, couldn’t be prouder.
“Lwazi certainly deserves all his accolades thanks to his maturity and solid work ethic, but TNPA’s investment in this young man over the past few years has given him the leg-up that he needed to truly reach his full potential,” De Vries said.
One of the highlights of Gqira’s career was his three-year stint as part of the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation that saw him participate in national tournaments with alongside other amateur golfers.
The foundation, founded was founded in 1999, and aims to identify and assist young talented individuals, mostly predominantly from families of limited resources, and provide educational assistance and playing opportunities.
“I would like to thank Transnet for the tremendous support they have given me from the outset,” the talented Gqira said.
“I am learning every day and with TNPA’s support I know I can become very successful.
“I would like to thank Michelle De Vries, my coach who introduced me to this game. Without her, I would not be where I am today.
“I also want to thank the South African Golf Development Board and the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation. for the role they played in my golfing career.
“Last, but not least, my family and friends who were there from day one. Without you, maybe I would have quit golf a long time ago,” Gqira said.