Johannesburg — When it comes to pressing societal issues such as gender-based violence (GBV), Lungi Ngidi is determined to use his platform to educate the youth and play his part.
The first time Proteas fast bowler Ngidi took a stand on a pressing national or even a world-wide issue, things did not go too well.
When Ngidi spoke out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, well-known public figures took to social media and created a trend that led to Ngidi being questioned for his beliefs of what is right and what is wrong.
Despite being “cancelled” and ridiculed on social media three years ago, Ngidi stood in front of the Meadowlands Primary School learners on Monday morning in Soweto and discussed yet another major world-wide topic — GBV.
A partnership between Roc Nation Sports and Cricket South Africa called on Ngidi to head this campaign. The theme behind the campaign was — ‘Bowling out Gender-Based Violence’.
“Cancel culture is a social media thing, but I think the lives of our people in our country are more important than what people think about me on social media,” Ngidi told IOL Sport in an exclusive interview.
“To be honest I never even thought of that, the first thought was where can I help and how can I help.
“I’m happy that today we were able to get this off the ground and to give back to the community and the children of this country.” He added.
Despite the negativity that followed Ngidi’s public support of Michael Holding’s views on the Black Lives Matter movement, the 27-year-old has no intentions of holding back.
Ngidi told IOL Sport that he aims to get the job done himself and not leave it to the next person.
“If you’ve got the ability and the position to make change then you should be able to, or should at least try,” said Ngidi.
“If I were to leave it to the next person, then they’d leave it to the next person and then nothing will ever get done.” He added.
The focus was on primary school learners and Ngidi said there is a reason the event was specifically curated for a younger audience.
The aim was to educate the learners about GBV and to drill in the right mentality as early as possible.
“This event specifically speaking to the future of this country is the biggest idea of it. It’s a lot harder to get through to the older generation but if you can get to the youth of our country a lot earlier you can build the right sort of mindset within someone.
“Those morals and values you’re taught early in life you can then uphold them later on in life. If we can address the issue right at the beginning, it puts us in a good position for the future.” He added.
Ngidi’s focus off the field is refreshing just as much as his focus when he walks out to the park.
Having been dropped from the Test squad a few months ago, Ngidi told IOL Sport he has no ambitions of quitting Test cricket.
“I have no ambition of retiring from Test cricket. At the moment, my biggest focus is the World Cup and when Test cricket comes, I’ll focus on it again.” said Ngidi.