With over 30 years’ experience in Tennis, Emmanuel Ngema shares his story on how he got to a sport more often associated with the affluent. Ngema was first introduced to tennis by his former boss, Mr McMillan whom he worked for in the early 70s. He was reluctant at first but because of his spirituality, he realized that tennis was his God-given talent. After the epiphany, he decided to open his heart and share his gift.
According to Ngema, when he joined the ETA there were no kids from informal settlements disadvantaged thus, he decided to cultivate tennis in KZN Townships. He started with only 20 kids mainly from informal settlements but today he has over 150 players. “I changed that by channelling my focus on these kids and today they are number one in the entire KwaZulu-Natal province. I am optimistic that we will produce a major champion, who will win a grand slam” said Ngema.
Ngema is a rising star in the tennis coaching and sports field, where some of his star players have received bursaries to study at Durban Preparatory High School. “In May 2019 my development programme was visited by Tennis South Africa and we were awarded the best development in South Africa,” explains Ngema.
He highlighted that when he started training the kids, they knew nothing about tennis and how to hold a racket. “Today I am so proud of these kids. Some will even tell you that their brothers are into drugs but because they are now involved in tennis, their lives have improved,” said Ngema.