Cooper to swim from is­land her dad jailed on

Fundraiser to teach kids how to be safe in the wa­ter

Sunday World - - Sunday Report - By Sihle Nde­bele

Anti-apartheid ac­tivist Saths Cooper’s daugh­ter Oneida may not have utilised pol­i­tics to em­power others like her fa­ther but she ap­pears to have in­her­ited her­dad’s big heart of help­ing others.

Cooper, 25, es­tab­lished a non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion (NPO), Mak­ing WavesTo­gether SA, aimed at teach­ing chil­dren from underprivileged com­mu­ni­ties how to swim as a nec­es­sary life skill.

“We teach his­tor­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged kids how to swim. We want to re­duce the peren­nial school hol­i­day loss of life by drown­ing, cre­at­ing a crit­i­cal sense of mas­tery and in­de­pen­dence,” said Cooper whose swim­ming lessons are con­ducte­dather new­ly­found­edswim­ming school Bub­ble Ba­bies in Rose­bank, Joburg.

Cooper has al­ready been suc­cess­ful in groom­ing a group of 20 boys aged 613 fromNkosi’s Haven, a Joburg-based HIV/Aids home, to be wa­ter safe in un­der three months.

The Joburg-born wa­ter en­thu­si­ast will em­bark on a cold wa­ter jour­ney from Robben Is­land to Blou­bergstrand to raise funds­for the NPO she­has es­tab­lished. This will also be about pay­ing homage to her fa­ther, who spent five years on the fa­mous is­land, shar­ing a cell with renowned Strug­gle icon Nel­son Man­dela.

Should she fin­ish her wa­ter jour­ney on Oc­to­ber 5 or 6 “de­pend­ing on the weather”, Cooper will be the first di­rect de­scen­dent of some­one who was in­car­cer­ated on the is­land to at­tempt the swim.

She grad­u­ated in clin­i­cal psy­chol­ogy and women’s stud­ies from the Uni­ver­sity of New Hamp­shire in 2015, while on a

swim­ming schol­ar­ship.

Oneida Cooper

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