Mbuyiselo Xakana is my name, and I’m currently a cricket coach for Gary Kirsten Foundation in the Khayelitsha township schools. I am a level 2 coach who studied Sport Coaching Science at ETA College.
I grew-up in the dusty Gugulethu streets where everything was on offer. I could have my pick from gangsterism to drugs to dropping out of school early, but thanks to my parents and cricket as a sport, I had the love and distraction that I needed to keep away from all those wrong alternatives in my younger days.
I grew up as a very sporty person, playing different sports like rugby, soccer, hockey and cricket. I don’t know if I fell in love with cricket or if cricket fell in love with me. I started watching my big brothers playing cricket in the back yard and later started joining them and playing with friends in the streets with homemade bats and wickets. At the young age of 10 years old I went looking for a local club. I joined Gugulethu Cricket Club as a batsman and wicketkeeper. At 16 I fell in love with leg-spin bowling. When I played games, I’d alternate between wicket keeping and bowling.
I’m currently coaching at Sivile Primary School. I first started coaching by chance. I was captaining Gugulethu Cricket Club’s u15 team and our coach was not pitching up at our practices. I would have to take over because our team would not go back home without practicing. The love of coaching started there. I learnt that I was not only able to help make a difference in individual players, but I was able to contribute to our team as whole.
My dream coaching role is to coach one of the professional teams. I’d love to be head coach of the SA u19 team, or even just an assistant coach, and win a World Cup with the team. I would love to see more township players playing professional cricket and performing in the big leagues, especially black batsmen batting in the top order.