Winning a bronze medal at a Western Province (WP) Point Series race, would have been little more than a dream for Khayelitsha, B-Section, BMX rider, Sibusiso Zenani, 13.
Being crowned the WP Rider of the Year, is certainly an incredible achievement for the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy rider, even with all the promise he showed when jumping on a scooter, at the age of a year old,.
But, of course, winning runs through Sbu’s veins, he is mentored by a team of winners; in the likes of national top-five ranked BMX rider, Wanga Moshani, provincial top-ranked junior Elite, Luthando James, and former world number six BMX rider, who also happens to be his older sister, Anita Zenani.
Sibusiso was a part of coach Xolisa Makubalo’s seven Velokhaya riders who bagged three podium finishes and six trophies, at the Overberg BMX track in Hermanus this past weekend. The team was chaperoned by Velokhaya Road Programme manager Litha Mbadlisa with ‘Coach X’ preparing SA fifth-ranked Moshani for the nationals soon to take place.
He finished first in the under14/15 boys’ overall standings.
James ranked third in the Junior Elites, and Bahle Dwangu leads this year’s Junior Elite category.
Mihle Matiso finished second in the boys’ under-13 division and his brother Mihlali Matiso third in the boys under-14 overall standings. This followed with Nqobile Sitemela and Sicelo Nokulila finishing sixth and seventh respectively, in the boys’ under-14 category.
Earlier in the year prior to the national lockdown, Sibusiso came tops in the Overberg and was further victorious at a race held at Songo Info, in Kayamandi, in September.
The Grade 6 Homba Primary School pupil said his short-term goal is to win the SA number one title and to focus on further building and honing his skill.
“I want the other younger boys to learn from me and I also want to go to the world (championships) and come back with the world number one spot so I can give it back to my community,” said Sibusiso.
Sibusiso’s mother, Somikazi Zenani, said she admires the sport for the fact that it “keeps him busy, off the street, and when he comes back home, he focuses on his homeworks.”
Zenani said her son is encouraged by his grandmother, Mabel Zenani, who sometimes reminds him to go to the gym, while she prepares for soccer practise at Vukani MaAfrika Old Age Football Club.
“He is doing a good job of inspiring other kids. They live in a very difficult time in society,” she said.
Zenani said, when the kids are busy with bikes or other sports, they are taken off the streets, from drugs and other social ills.
Provincial rider, James said they performed well despite a tough race. He feels overwhelmed with pride for his teammate, Sibusiso, as he represented the team and the community well.
Operations, PR and media manager at Velokhaya, Shaun Doch, said the WP Rider of the Year is a consolidation of the rider with the most points. So, Sibusiso, since March, has been riding and working hard to be crowned the ‘province’s overall rider. Doch said the young rider has been surrounded by a supportive group for the past 12 years he has been in the sport.