Bongani Innocent PhakathiAge: 35
Area of study: Sports administration
Tertiary institution: Boston Business College
Bongani’s story

I am a professional soccer player, residing in Phiri, Soweto. I enjoyed a career with Manning Rangers, FC Dynamos, FC AK and Supersport United juniors. I have also trained with FC Copenhagen in Denmark, one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Sadly, after showing much potential, my football career was dealt a blow by a recurring knee injury, that eventually brought an end to my career.

I am passionate about sport and community development and today I pursue my passion for football through the South African Soccer Initiative, which I founded together with other former professional football players in 2010, based on the realisation that we needed to come together to grow and develop the youth of Soweto.

The South African Soccer Initiative is a community driven organisation that uses football as a vehicle to encourage and promote social development. Our primary aim is the development of grassroots football and we constantly implement youth development initiatives aimed at engaging young children in schools and communities.

These include a mini World Cup Tournament held in 2014, HIV and Aids education through sport, the Sephima Schools Games, community outreach clinics and school holiday football programmes.

Thanks to a bursary from the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust, I recently obtained a formal qualification in sports administration. It is my fervent desire and ambition to one day be part of football administration in South Africa.