listed as number 7 on the PCW Top Videos list, I had to think,
"Why was this video posted on May 6, 2012 without any commentary?"
Sbu Duma was murdered in Howick, KwaZulu Natal the week before this posting.
This story evinces, in a startling way, that even the most best intentioned organizations, such as the Maybach Foundation, really do not address the problem of those impoverished souls found in less fortunate surroundings.
Although numerous polo players have died untimely deaths, how many were murdered?
How many tennis stars or golf elite were killed in this manner?
In the USA alone, young basketball, football and baseball players, and especially boxers, have been killed at young ages, many in the middle of their careers, because they were caught in the wrong milieu, a the wrong time, often involved with the wrong people
It is not enough to take the "boy out of the ghetto." Only when these organizations realize that they must also "take the ghetto out of the boy", can they show a better rate of success.
What a tragic waste of human life this was.
Personally, I find your comment "take the ghetto out of the boy" in incredibly bad taste.
Unfortunately, South Africa remains a very violent country, with a particuarly high murder rate in rural areas. This young man was raised on a farm, and it is tragic that the same rural environment that gave him the opportunity to become the accomplished horseman, and subsequently player, that he was, meant that his chances of dying violently were around 35 in 100 000 - far more likely than his odds of playing polo for his country. Or playing polo at all, had he been raised anywhere else.
I mourn this 'tragic waste of human life' as I mourn the thousands of others, of all demographics, who are murdered in South Africa every year.
Ostensibly the comment may sound crass. However, you yourself cite statistics that reinforce my very claim. It is upon returning to their "environment" which is the danger. Remember, many still living there have not had the opportunity of escaping the squalor. Why is that in "bad taste?"
Actually, my comment may have been in bad taste, or at least a bit 'off' - my apologies.
However, the environment he was killed in was the environment that made him the player he was. If you 'take the farm out of the boy' you're left with nothing. I think many English footballers are a great example of what happens when people start making a lot of money and forget their roots.
But, to get closer to your point - there is no point in creating positive roles models, if you are then going to remove them from the society to which they should be role models. When that happens, all that's left is examples of people who either fail, or make a living through dishonest means.
My concern has always been that when we try to fix something, we treat only the symptoms and not the source. Sending a successful kid back to his habitat rarely does much for the other kids who can use him as a role model and is often terribly injurious to the player. Allen Iverson is a perfect example. Born to a 15 year single mother, he rose to become a NBA All-Star (11 times) and earned over $154 million just from his NBA salary. But he kept his boyhood friends close and lavished gifts upon them, wherever he traveled. Now he is facing bankruptcy, and has no real prospects for work. We don't have to watch people fail, nor do they have to succeed only through dishonest means. But they do need guidance. Forget about the value fo creating a role model. Let us work on saving one kid at a time, and doing it for his/her lifetime.