My name is Thembinkosi Ndinisa, and grew up on the fast paced streets of Khayelitsha. Growing up, I was a lively young boy who loved to play, just like any other kid. I attended a primary school called Khayelitsha No. 1, also known as K-1. Growing up was not a walk in the park. There were challenges and obstacles that I had to conquer every day. It wasn’t easy.
I was exposed to cricket at a very young age by Cyril Ntshidi, a coach and mentor who is now the head of the Khayelitsha Cricket Hub. He would come to our school and coach us mini cricket. That’s when cricket grew into me, and how I fell in with it. That was when I realised that my heart is in this sport. I realised that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
It was so difficult when I started playing, but patience and hard work kept me and my peers going because it was what we loved. I was so motivated by and fascinated with this sport. You have a chance to hit the ball as far as you can and you have to catch, run and bowl as fast as you want. This was so much fun, and I could never get enough.
During my youth, I played every sport there was at my school and I excelled in most of them. But cricket was my love. Not a single day would pass without me holding a bat and ball. As a player, I did almost everything; I would bowl and be a keeper, and could bat as well. The turning point was when I was hit by a ball and it broke my nose. I was keeping at the time. That was when I knew keeping was not my thing.
When you’re young, everything is an option, until you find your purpose. Through this accident, I learnt to concentrate more on bowling and batting, and as a result I excelled in those aspects because I didn’t give up after being hit in the face.
Today as a Gary Kirsten Foundation coach I’m motivated by the hard work and hunger that a player needs to show. I believe success is a powerful tool. I am also motivated by the talent that our boys and girls show. I couldn’t be more proud of the work we put in to make sure they succeed.
In my capacity as a role model, I I believe you have to act and look the part. Lead by example. My favourite thing about cricket is that it keeps you grounded and busy away from ill disciplines such as bad friends and activities.
I want my players to be proud to have a coach like me. The talent these kids have is phenomenal, and I would like to see them representing their province and country one day. Believe me, it will happen thanks to the Gary Kirsten Foundation. Everything is possible for our Khayelitsha players – as coaches, we have a wonderful opportunity to make sure they reach their full potential. It’s not going to be easy, but it will happen.
My own growth as a coach continues with the Gary Kirsten Foundation. I’m putting in the hard work because I want to be one of the most successful black township coaches there is. I believe it will happen, with patience and hard work.