KZN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HONOURS A CRICKET LEGEND
By: Tony Manyangadze
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health yesterday set aside its ‘stethoscope’ and took time to honour Linda Zondi for his outstanding contributions to cricket development.
Zondi, a former cricketer, hung his gear when his career was reaching its peak opting to become a ‘sign post’ that gives directions and light up the road to stardom for upcoming cricket players, especially coming from the black communities, to realise their full potential.
MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, narrated how he met Zondi at the gym a few years ago. After this conversation, Dr Dhlomo admitted to having been moved and thrilled by Zondi’s vision and achievements in taking cricket, a sporting activity dominated by the ‘elite’, to all the corners of the province.
“It all started when I met Zondi at the gym, there I learnt a bit about his involvement in cricket and therefore I found him to be a resource for me while I was chairing the ANC provincial executive committee of social transformation,” said Dr Dhlomo.
“Zondi is now the first African convener of the selectors of Under 19, the very same team that he once played for in 1995 but didn’t go any further,” he added.
Dr Dhlomo also took the opportunity to assure Zondi that he did not make a mistake by choosing to promote young cricketers instead of playing; rather his then sacrifice has led to the success of many talented youngsters today who might not have had the chance to bloom if it wasn’t for Zondi.
“He might not have been the Makaya Ntini that we know but he has been a blessing to many other South Africans.”
Director of Wollowton Group, Shaib Moosa also had similar sentiments. In his speech he echoed that Zondi is more than an inspiration to many.
“I think Linda Zondi epitomises the true spirit of development. They say if you give a man a fish, feed him for a day; but teach the man how to fish, feed him for his lifetime. That is what Zondi epitomises, that is what he has been striving to archive,” Moosa said.
Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Sapheta, MEC for Arts, Culture and Recreation was also present at the celebrations. She too has in the past years worked with Zondi and she has no doubt that he will overcome any obstacles that may come his way.
Zondi who was humbly moved by the recognition, thanked the MECs for the recognition and promised the nation that he will not disappoint or betray those who have sacrificed their lives, their time and their resources for him to be where he is today.
“We cannot fail those who died for us to be here today. If it wasn’t for that liberation I wouldn’t be here or I wouldn’t be judged fo rmy qualities and his information,” said Zondi.