As the Father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, once said – Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that very little else does. It speaks to the youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.

With this sentiment in mind, Sikhaba iCovid-19 has invited sports players, including Bafana Bafana player Thami Mkhize, to add their voices to a campaign encouraging South Africans to work together as a team to beat Covid-19.

“We are all defending ourselves against the virus by washing our hands, wearing our masks, and social distancing. But we have to push forward, to attack and defend against this disease,” says Thami Mkhize. “The attack is how we get our advantage back. People are losing their jobs and their lives, and we are so scared of this disease that people don’t want you to even know they have it. This means that we feel even more alone!”

Around the country, cases are reaching their peak and increasing at a staggering rate. The only way to defeat this virus and build a more promising future, is to fight this virus, like we have tackled the sporting challenges we have faced together as a nation.

Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, has appealed to the South African public to join in solidarity in this fight. After four months of fighting for our lives, literally in many instances, people are growing tired, and there is an overall sense of fatigue. As we move into the predicted peak of transmission, it is now more important than ever to work as a team to protect ourselves and our communities.

“We need to attack the stigma by talking about it. We can’t win if we don’t communicate,” explains Mkhize. “We are tired, scared, and down in the second half. The rise in confirmed cases, all the bad news, and the weeks of lockdown have been brutal. It’s like we had a bunch of goals scored against us, one after the other. So this is the critical moment where we need to band together, to have each other’s backs -despite the fatigue, despite the aches and pains. We need to dig deep and fight back. We must communicate like a team.

So how do we beat Covid-19 as a team? Each of us has a role to play, and a position to fill on the team. We are not playing against each other, or our government. Our opponent is the virus. Let’s make sure we are defending ourselves by wearing our masks, socials distancing and regular hand-washing with soap and water. We also need attack strategies: to tackle stigma, apathy and fatigue related to the virus.

The Team Sikhaba campaign is encouraging communities and sports teams across the country to help spread the word and share the importance of taking on this opponent. Let us take up our home-ground advantage and beat this virus into submission, just like the Springboks did with the English rugby team last year.

We want everyone to join #TeamSikhaba, share your story, spread the word and create awareness, because beating Covid-19 is a team sport. 

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Twitter – @Sikhaba

Hashtag – #TeamSikhaba

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