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Opportunity is not always something you can put a price on, especially in the world of sport where talent, hard work and then a good break often needs to all come together at the right time. For Soweto fencer Nomvula Mbatha, 2020 may just be that year when it does all come together.

 Mbatha went into the New Year staring at the prospect of not being able to realise her dreams and compete internationally in a bid to qualify for the Olympic Games because of a lack of funding. But through her own concerted efforts to highlight her cause, Vodacom has stepped in to support her goals.

 Vodacom announced that they would support Mbatha financially to travel to the Olympic qualifier in Cairo this April as well as the coaching sessions she needs to prepare her for this qualifier and the new kit she requires as standard international competition kit.

 'This is not a sponsorship,” said Michelle van Eyden, the Executive Head of Sponsorship at Vodacom. “This is empowerment. This is about providing opportunity and uplifting women in our communities.'

'When we heard about Nomvula’s story, we wanted to support her because of what her opportunity and journey means in a greater sense to the community of Soweto. We are aware Nomvula is also busy with her coaching course in fencing, so by empowering her in this way she has the potential to benefit her community through her sport in the long term. More than just our individual support of Nomvula, it’s a greater attitude and a culture that we are seeking to empower through what can come from her opportunity.'

According to Chris Mostert, the Chairman of Gauteng Fencing, the impact Mbatha’s journey can make in her community is immense.

'We host all of our competitions in Soweto at the sports hall across from the Orlando Stadium, so our fencing takes place physically in Soweto. Our fencers are well-known within the Soweto community. In the case of Nomvula, she’s already broken down one door in the sense that she is well known in her community. Now, with this opportunity from Vodacom, she has the opportunity to become a major inspiration, and that’s what we’re equally excited about. At Gauteng Fencing we have created a culture of empowerment, and we are deeply grateful to Vodacom for supporting this through their support of Nomvula.'

Vodacom Connecting for Good

For over 25 years the Vodacom Foundation has been connecting South Africans across the nation, using technology to bring about a positive social change. The Vodacom Foundation is driven to support projects focusing on the delivery of public benefit through the application of technology across the areas of health, education and disaster relief. Click here to find out more. 

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