LOCAL LAD RELATES HIS GERMAN SPORTS EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE
Having been in Germany for nine months on a sports exchange programme, 26-year-old Qhama Dyakala from Station Hill came back with many stories to tell about his German experience.
The former Port Alfred High School pupil recently graduated with his honours degree in human science movement at the University of Fort Hare, but was unfortunately faced with unemployment.
However, his regular visits to the library searching for a job directed him to a friend that changed his life.
“Last January, after being fed-up of doing nothing, I met a very valuable friend, Sxeaks Nkwinti, who I now regard as a brother, mentor, and father figure.
“He noticed me on my frequent visits to the library and asked me about that. After hearing my story, he asked me to volunteer at the department of sport, recreation, arts and culture [Dsrac],” Dyakala said.
Despite facing the difficulties of travelling to Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) early in the morning and coming back late at night with no source of income, his energetic nature got him into an exchange programme in Germany.
“My manager Anga Ngcebetsha noticed how energetic and enthusiastic I was, as well as the positive mindset I brought into the office, and got me into an exchange programme in mid-March [last year]. I only got accepted in June after I had long forgotten about it,” Dyakala said.
“All the expenses were covered by EC Dsrac which I truly appreciate. I was supposed to leave at the end of July but I got held up due to a visa delay and I only left at the end of October,” Dyakala added.
Braving the cold weather for months, he taught grades 1 to 4 different kinds of sports, such as rugby, football and basketball. His passion for sports kept him going.
“When I got there, it was the beginning of winter and it was not nice at all. I was a physical educator at Leineberg Grund-Schule in Göttingen, a small town where Albert Einstein studied,” he said.
“I don’t remember a night not drinking beer there. I experienced racism but I did not take that into mind because it was going to shift my focus.
“Everything is also expensive there,” he added.
Dyakala arrived back in South Africa last Wednesday.
“It’s always good to be home, seeing my people and eating my mom’s food, because I missed her cooking so much. Africa to me is paradise. What I also realised there [in Germany] is everyone is depressed and they don’t value friends and family.”
But he said it would be easier to visit Germany again, as he had made many friends, whom he now counts as brothers and sisters, there.
OVERSEAS OPPORTUNITY: Qhama Dyakala from Station Hill spent time in Germany on a sports exchange programme