Horseracing extravaganza in KwaMpande

MArking the end of youth month, Msunduzi Municipality had festivities in KwaMpande Sportsfield such as horse racing.

Msunduzi Rural Horse Racing which is partly organized by Msunduzi Municipality, is in its second year. Among other objectives, Msunduzi Municipality supports these events with the aim of fighting unemployment and assist with youth development. 

Msunduzi Rural Horse Racing commonly known as uMtelebhelo, it started five years ago. The aim of this event is to develop this sport to reach the same level of other sporting codes such as soccer.

Event Coordinator, Manqoba Gina, speaking to Msunduzi News said, “As there will be Dundee July and Durban July we trust that jockeys that will be identified will be able to go compete in such big events. Look at the winnings: first position will be awarded R50 000, second position will get R25 000 and lastly, position 3 will get R10 000.”

Thousands of spectators, and a lot of jockeys filled KwaMpannde Sportfield at KwaMpande on Sartuday 29 June 2019.The community was treated with traditional Zulu dance, fashion fair and local singers.

Zulu dancers providing entertainment

Lebohang Ramokoena, 22, from Gateway School of Fashion expressed gratitude for the opportunity to showcase their designs in support of the horseracing event. Speaking to Msunduzi News  she said, “This event will help us get clients, and also be able to educate the youth about fashion.”

High Fashion in KwaMpande

This year saw the introduction of women’s division in horse racing. It is believed that it was the first event in KwaZulu-Natal to have a women’s race. The youngest female jockey was 10-year-old. Rural horse owners and jockeys came from Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Lesotho.

Msunduzi Mayor Mr. Themba Njilo speaking to Msunduzi News said, “I will do everything in my power to try and grow this event, we currently have sponsors like the Themba Njilo Foundation and Stagelounge. We are still looking for interested parties to sponsor the event to come forward. Going forward we are hoping all provinces will be presented in this event.” 

The Mayor had a message for the youth. “This country and land belong to the youth. So, if you are still young don’t look down upon yourself. Wherever you are, you can change your life, look at where we are, it is a rural place, but the youth here have developed to be jockeys and will become professionals. Look at me:  I am not only a Mayor but also a businessman who started his business at the age of 18 years and today I’m 40 years in business. If you are young, never give up. I also want to emphasise that education is important.”

The race of the best horses was eagerly awaited and most fans were itching to see whether Nganono, the eventual winner, was going to repeat what he is known for. Siphelele Nzimande, 18, the winning jockey riding Nganono, also known as AK, said he already knew he was going to win.

(Right) Mayor Njilo with the winner Siphelele Nzimande

“I knew we were going to win, everyone that I race with knows I will win. I am so happy to be here because winning has become a norm to me.”

Results and positions
Siphelele Nzimande came first while riding Nganono and won R50 000, while Avela Jawuza rode Sihamba Nezigwili and won R25 000. Thembalani Dlamini won R10 000 riding Maria.