Botswana’s 400m sensation, Onkabetse Nkobolo, mesmerized residents of Moroka village at the launch of the FIFA Football Foundation for Africa (FFA) this past Saturday.
Born and bred in Moroka, Nkobolo has become an instant celebrity following his exploits with the national 4X400m relay team which has dominated the track across Africa and Europe in the last three years.
Speaking at the one of a kind event in his home village, and addressing residents of Moroka for the first time since his new found fame, the youngster seemed overawed by the attention he was getting from both the young and old from his native village.
“I’ve only seen him on television,” gushed one elderly woman as the sports star took to the podium.
His message to the over 300 youngsters who attended the launch was that sports is no longer an option or a pastime, but a meaningful source of employment.
“Today I can confidently say I’m a government employee. I get paid just like all other government employees,” he said with a giggle.
Nkobolo told his attentive audience that sports has enabled him to see the world and make money at the same time. “I had the opportunity to study in Spain and do what I like and enjoy and today I survive through sport,” he said.
He encouraged the youngsters to take their extra curricular activities seriously, and urged parents to support their children in their choices. “My advise to you is that you should stay away from alcohol and become instant breadwinners through sports,” said Nkobolo.
FFA is the brain-child of Kenyan Brian Wesaala and Angelinah Boniface.
The tournament was held under the theme: “Tackling Unemployment through Sport”, and it ran concurrently with a Career Fair supported by various public and private sector organisations.