Newcastle - Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana attacking midfielder Siyabonga Nkosi will host an under-19 football tournament in his hometown of Newcastle later this month.
It will be the 10th anniversary of the Siyabonga Nkosi Youth Festival in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the competition will run from July 23-31.
It will be done in co-operation with the Newcastle Municipality and the Department of Sport and Recreation.
Nkosi, 34, said the main objective of the tournament will be to recognise young and promising talent in the KZN province as he does not wish to see aspiring footballers get the same lack of recognition he had experienced in his childhood.
“I think the tournament will be a good initiative to give back to the community,” Nkosi told Sport24 in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
“It will be a good opportunity for young and aspiring stars to showcase their talents which would help them to be recognised.
“And doors could be opened for them to get greener pastures; I know how difficult it is to get up to the top because I also experienced that when they were no scouts in my childhood.
“So in this tournament, hopefully some young talents will be recognised and that’s our main objective.”
Nkosi also revealed that there will be a reward of up to R20 000 for all participants and the competition will be sponsored by various private and government institutions.
He also added that big-name stars will be present to honour his initiative.
“The event will be sponsored by the Newcastle Municipality as I have said and in co-operation with the KZN Department of Arts and Culture."
“The Department of Sport and Recreation will also take part and Ukhozi FM with many others as well.
“There will be a reward of up to R20 000 not only for the winners, but for all the participants as well because that’s our annual contribution.
“It’s a big year for us and the youth will be entertained by a couple of celebrities, not only the football legends but from other industries as well.
“I’m still waiting to formalise everything, then we’ll announce to the public who those celebrities are.
“And again it’ll be my birthday month and I’ll also involve my celebrations too.”