Tezihano Mnyatsa with ward councillor Francesca Walker.     Supplied
Tezihano Mnyatsa with ward councillor Francesca Walker. Supplied

13-year-old’s chance to play in championships in India hangs in the balance

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Jun 24, 2019

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Cape Town - A 13-year-old’s opportunity to play in the chess championships in India could be dashed after he was unable to raise enough money.

Tezihano Mnyatsa, from Leonsdale in Elsies River, was selected to take part in the under-14 Commonwealth Chess Championships.

The boy, who attends Elswood Primary School, was supposed to be leaving on Tuesday, but couldn’t raise R30 000 for the trip.

His mother Elaine Mnyatsa said the family were heartbroken. “We have been (trying) to raise money for a few months selling food parcels and hosting small fund-raising events, but it wasn’t enough. We also cut our food money to put a little away.”

Mnyatsa said her son’s interest in chess grew at a young age. “It’s very dangerous where his primary school is, and they are always shooting and I don’t like it when they wait outside after school. We always picked him up and took him to aftercare, and that’s where he learnt chess.”

Mnyatsa said Tezihano was despondent when she told him that he wouldn’t be able to participate.

“He is very understanding; he knows that sometimes we have and sometimes we don’t, but I can see that his heart is very sore.”

The family live in a small Wendy house.

“Every night they shoot and I am very scared for my children because when they shoot, you hear it over our Wendy house,” Mnyatsa said.

Ward councillor for the area, Francesca Walker, is assisting.

“While driving to work last week, I heard Heart 104.9 was in Riverton. I notified his school and picked him up and drove there. I wanted everyone to hear his story. With his qualifying trip, I approached the mayor’s office, which funded R5000,” she said.

To donate, contact Elaine Mnatsa on 071 863 9776.


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Cape Argus

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