Nkosi grateful for running community's support in his Cover-my-book campaign
Yesterday Bongani Nkosi celebrated his twelfth year anniversary as a member of the Nkangala Athletic Academy. The running club with a string development focus is based in the Middleburg township of Mhluzi and run by coach and mentor Emmanuel 'Shaper' Mabaso. Shaper because he has moulded many youngsters from Middleburg, Witbank and the surrounding areas into top runners and good citizens. Nkosi is one such example because at just 25 years old he is displaying a wisdom beyond his years by using running to make the world a better place.
"I saw the need to come up with this initiative because I have been to a township school before I went to a multiracial school. That's where I saw that we kids from the township struggle to cover our books and can even finish the first quarter without covering the books because parents are financially constrained. They are dependant on SASSA grant money and it can't cover most things, it's only enough for food," he told #TheTopRunner when asked why he decided to embark on a campaign to use his running to collect book covers for school going children in his area.
His solution was to galavanize the running community to lend a hand - or a leg. Nkosi who serves a the treasurer in the Nkangala Athletic Academy's Youth Board asked for one book cover to be donated for every 10km training run that he completed during the first three weeks of January 2023. With assistance from the Emalahleni City Marathon Crew, Real United Sports Organization, Touch your meal Restaurants, friends, family and the community at large he was able to collect over 300 book covers which went towards the learners of Maloma Primary School.
"The teachers in the township sometimes say they won't mark the kids books because they are not covered. So I saw the need to cover the books so we can encourage the kids to have a positive mindset. As a recent graduate in project management, I value education more than anything else and saw a need because I have seen this happening to me," shared the man who took fourth place at the 2018 Mpumalanga Cross Country Championships.
Nkosi's campaign culminated in a celebratory event on Saturday 21 January where those that backed his efforts joined him on a 16km run which was followed by a book cover handover ceremony to pupils from Grade RR to Grade 7. Following that ceremony Nkosi thanked all who had supported his Cover-my-book drive describing it as one of the biggest things he has achieved in his life.
" I can safely go to bed knowing that I have achieved one of the most important projects I had since 2017 when I failed and went back to rewrite my Matric. I Really don't have much to say but ngiyabonga. A well-presented and covered book makes the education more fascinating and effective," he said.