South African Soccer NGO in the Spotlight

By | October 24th, 2017 | No Comments

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Kabelo “KB” Mashinini, Thabiso “Boyzzz” Khumalo and Thabang “Cosmos” Matsoko are the heart and soul of the Umhlaba Vision Foundation (UVF) in South Africa. In a recent piece published in the Huffington Post, the three men discuss their nonprofit organization that since 2007 has provided local boys with overseas educational experiences through soccer.

“Hailing from the Meadowlands section of Soweto, Mashinini, Khumalo and Matsoko have impacted their community and country significantly over the last decade,” the article states.  “What we’re doing,” says Michigan-based Khumalo, “is bringing talented student-athletes here to go to school and then when they do good in soccer and in school, they get two opportunities.”

“Because most of these kids are like me, where I only depended on soccer, and if soccer didn’t work, I hadn’t considered what else I’d do,” Khumalo said, “I decided to create the foundation to help the kids of South Africa and make my contribution to society using something I love and am passionate about.”

UVF has important Michigan connections through Khumalo and sponsors such as Madonna University Athletics, AFC Ann Arbor, Concordia Ann Arbor Athletics, Northville Rush, and Michigan ODP.

Read the full article here.

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Boyzzz Khumalo: From Soweto to Michigan, part 2

By | July 25th, 2014 | 2 Comments



Part 2 of my interview with Boyzzz Khumalo (part 1 is here) opens with a description of the harrowing injury that prematurely ended his Major League Soccer career.

Boyzzz reflects on the inherent fragility of professional sports, the importance of higher education for life after soccer, and his extensive youth coaching experiences in both Soweto and in Michigan.

Boyzzz’s deeply personal commitment to community upliftment comes through in a detailed discussion of the challenges and hopes for the Umhlaba Vision Foundation. Anyone interested in getting involved or learning more about Umhlaba can send email to boyzzzkhumalo80 AT gmail.

Boyzzz Khumalo: From Soweto to Michigan

By | July 24th, 2014 | No Comments



Thabiso “Boyzzz” Khumalo grew up in Soweto, South Africa, around the corner from the homes of two Nobel Peace laureates: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Like so many boys in the land of apartheid, he spent every moment of free time playing soccer and dreaming of becoming a professional player overseas. Unlike most of them, however, Boyzzz fulfilled his dream

On July 22, I sat down with Boyzzz for an interview on the campus of Michigan State University. We’d been hoping to do an interview ever since we met in November 2013 when he visited my “Sport in African History” seminar for a screening and discussion of Invictus.

This week was an especially opportune time to chat about Boyzzz’s sporting life because on Sunday, July 27, Lansing United, his current team, travels east to New Jersey to play a National Premier Soccer League semifinal against New York Red Bull Under-23.

How does a young man from Soweto end up playing in Michigan? In part 1 of our interview, Boyzzz shares memories of anarchic pickup games in Soweto; his first experience in the U.S. during a youth tournament that would change his life; and then scoring his first MLS goal for DC United.

Boyzzz also discusses the work of the Umhlaba Vision Foundation–a nonprofit organization he founded in 2007 with two South African friends. The goal of Umhlaba (meaning “world” in the Zulu language) is to change the lives of young Sowetans by creating a positive development environment through sport and education and bringing student-athletes to the United States. For more information about the foundation please email Boyzzz (boyzzzkhumalo80 AT gmail).

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for part 2 of the interview!