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Ken Borland

Kwinana thrilled the most by development clinic

Posted on October 27, 2022 by Ken

SOUTHBROOM, KwaZulu-Natal – For Vodacom’s Eleni Kwinana, the Executive Head of Department for Vodacom Business Marketing KZN, the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series is a wonderful chance for their amateur clients to connect with Sunshine Tour professionals, but what thrilled her the most on the pro-am’s opening day at San Lameer Country Club on Tuesday was the development clinic.

Around 20 kids from disadvantaged areas on the KZN South Coast attended the development clinic, and Kwinana was delighted to see some of the same boys and girls who had attended the corresponding event at Selborne Park Golf Club in 2020.

“To give young kids from areas where they would never be exposed to golf the chance to get some coaching is very heartwarming, and I even recognised some of the boys and girls from two years ago at Selborne. They have sprung up, and it was brilliant to see them again,” Kwinana said.

“Youth education is one of our key pillars at Vodacom and helping communities has almost become a way of life for us, we don’t see CSI programmes as being something separate from our day-to-day work.

“Where we see a need, we help or we find someone who can help. Like our zero-rated Vodacom e-School which allows pupils to access their curriculum and test themselves. My own daughter went from a D aggregate to an A for maths, and it doesn’t cost a cent if you’re a Vodacom customer.

“There’s also our Code Like a Girl programme, where we find girls nationally who have never touched a tech device, we teach them during the June holidays, and by the time school starts again they are able to sort out their own website,” Kwinana said.

While Vodacom’s grand plan is to allow people from every district and rural area to also Connect For Good in this digital age, sometimes disaster strikes, whether it be in the form of the civil unrest that plagued KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021 or the massive floods that engulfed the province in April/May this year. And then Vodacom spring into action with a range of emergency relief measures.

“Vodacom is investing R1 billion of infrastructure into KZN, which is the biggest investment in the province. We find working with communities leads to much better longevity and protection of our assets, and so we never ever neglect our communities.

“We are there for their benefit, which is why when the floods came, we donated R3 million worth of relief aid through the Gift of the Givers, but we also went out to communities that had not been assisted yet and brought them blankets and food.

“During the riots we restored cellphone coverage a lot quicker than usual for those suppliers that the economy depends on, we gave them makeshift satellite dishes. We do these things so we can thrive as a province.

“We helped keep suburbs safe and restored businesses’ connectivity so the economy could bounce back as quickly as possible,” Kwinana said.

So helping people from all walks of life is par for the course for Vodacom. And golf has enjoyed their patronage and support for longer than most sports, with the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series running since 2004. It is the longest-running series of events on the Sunshine Tour.

“We really enjoy seeing the professionals and amateurs connect at our tournaments. Especially in this post-Covid time because people have been starved of human contact,” Kwinana said.

But with Vodacom involved so massively in the entire golf ecosystem , that human touch will always be around.

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