BaBonise! Shaping Fatherly Role Models at the 2024 Selati Cup

BaBonise: Shaping Fatherly Role Models at the 2024 Selati Soccer Cup

07 May 2024


The buzz of this year’s Selati Cup Soccer Tournament in Nkomazi is about more than just goals and victories. The DO MORE FOUNDATION (founded by RCL FOODS) teams up with Selati, Heartlines, and Sikunye to launch the BaBonise (Show Them) Campaign, spotlighting the crucial role men play in shaping young children's lives.

After a successful debut last year, BaBonise is returning stronger to Nkomazi for the 2024 Selati Cup. The DO MORE FOUNDATION leverages this excitement to engage men 'at play,' highlighting their vital role in nurturing children's potential.

Jabu Mthembu-Dlamini, Community Programmes Lead: “The DO MORE FOUNDATION promotes the implementation of early childhood development as an ecosystem that requires every member of society to play their part. Our call is to all male figures in households and community to play their part by supporting their children, nieces and nephews, especially in the critical early years, from conception to age five.”

This year, the campaign expands its reach with new partners Heartlines and Sikunye, South African NGOs supporting parents, caregivers, and families. Heartlines' Fathers Matter project collaborates with church and workplace leaders to promote positive fatherhood, while Sikunye's Fatherhood in the First Thousand Days workshop empowers men in Nkomazi's churches to build strong foundations from day one.

Ruth Lundie, Church and First Thousand Days Programme Lead: “As Sikunye, we are excited to be joining hands with the Do More Foundation, Heartlines and the Selati cup on this fantastic campaign. Together, we can strengthen men's positive involvement in young children's lives. We are passionate about seeing young children getting a strong start to life. And men both fathers and social fathers have a crucial role to play from the beginning of a child's life."

Men in Nkomazi are invited to sign the BaBonise pledge, committing to be exemplary caregivers, role models, and playmates for young children. The pledge, prominently displayed at the tournament's stadiums, emphasizes the creation of safe, nurturing community environments where children can thrive. At these stadiums, spectators can also connect with their local BaBonise ambassador, easily identifiable in BaBonise gear, to learn more about available local and national support for social fathers.

Resources such as pamphlets at all games offer access to local fatherhood groups in Nkomazi, free online play resources and children's books, access to WhatsApp helplines, and resource broadcast groups, among others. This year, BaBonise goes beyond a mere pledge signing; it focuses on equipping men with the necessary resources to actively fulfill their pledge within their communities.

Warren Farrer, CEO of the DO MORE FOUNDATION: “Men have a vital role to play in the care of young children as well as supporting women caregivers. This makes them a key stakeholder in the DO MORE FOUNDATION’s ‘Everyone Gets to PLAY’ collective impact model which is implemented in Nkomazi. This model calls for all those involved in working for and with young children to collaborate in order to ensure that they thrive. By shining a light on men’s crucial role and empowering them, the BaBonise Campaign is challenging gender norms and at the same time supporting women caregivers, who are often affected by gender-based violence.”

Listeners tuning into Nkomazi FM at 16h05 every Wednesday in May can engage with Heartlines and Sikunye speakers on fatherhood, children, and families. Listeners can call in to ask questions during the weekly afternoon drive show, connecting with experts and fellow community members.

The 2024 Selati Cup marks more than a sporting event; it's a platform for positive change in Nkomazi. Join us in building strong foundations and shaping a brighter future for our children and community.