Bursary opens doors

Mdantsane star hitting his Wits studies for a six

RISING STAR: Mdantsane born,Bathandwa Isaac, gets Momentum 2 Excellence Bursary Programme where
his academic career is paid by Momentum,thanks to his cricket skills Picture : SUPPLIED

While Mdantsane is known for producing sterling boxers and rugby players, it is rare to have someone from the township playing cricket on a higher level. But Bathandwa Isaac is
looking to change that. Isaac’s love for the game has eventually led him to a Momentum 2 Excellence (M2E) bursary programme which is allowing him to study at Wits University while also pursuing his love of cricket.

“I grew up in Mdantsane at NU13. My father was an inspector at Inyibiba police station in NU14. My mother was unemployed, but she was involved in a few community projects and would sometimes get paid.

Unfortunately, my father passed away in 2014, so now it is only me, my mother and my
older brother.

“Growing up, my mother never allowed me to play in the streets with other children due
to all sorts of things that were happening, such as drugs, crime and reckless driving,” Isaac said.

Isaac’s home was located next to a stadium which helped develop
his love for cricket. “When I started playing, it was not that I wanted to be like
anyone. I played because I was tired of being locked inside, so it was an excuse for me to leave the house.

“My first cricket bat was a Gunn & Moore because I saw Herschelle Gibbs hit six sixes in
a row with one,” he said. Speaking to The GO!, Isaac said his biggest inspirations were Gibbs, his former high school cricket coach Dave Alers and Mdantsane cricket coach
Mfundo Geget.

“When I got selected for provincial teams, I realised I could actually make a name for
myself .

“It has opened so many doors for me and given me so many opportunities. I went through Hudson Park High School and am pursuing a geography and anthropology
degree at Wits University without having to pay any fees,” said Isaac.

“Not a lot of people in SA get opportunities like that.”

Isaac is currently recovering from an injury that left him unable to play for an entire year and, due to the severity of the injury, he did not know if he would ever get to play cricket
again.

“This is where I started to see the value of the M2E bursary. It has put a lot of emphasis on
finding a balance between the sport and academics.

“Wits has recently started a ladies cricket club and in 2020 I will be coaching the ladies’ team while completing my postgraduate studies,” he said

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