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PPI-SA Introducing Coaches: Archange Kalonji

Coach Archange in action.

My Name is Archange Mickelange Kaniki Kalonji born on the 14th May 1997 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Mbuji Mayi) a very small village in the heart of Congo. I am currently living in South Africa (Durban).

I moved to South Africa in 2003 due to political unrest in Congo and the war between rebels and soldier but my father had moved here before us (2002) he fled Congo because he was working for the government and someone had hired a hit man to take kill him, so he left Congo and moved to South Africa leaving us in Congo.

One year later we followed him to South Africa, and joined my father in Johannesburg. I was a soccer lover at that time and attended Yoeville boys Primary school not knowing a single word of English expect “hello”.

In 2004 my father died from Meningitis and from then my love for sport ended because he was the only one that kept pushing me. In 2007 we moved to Durban seeking for a better easier life.

When we arrived in Durban I got with the wrong crew and started shoplifting and surrounding myself with older guys who did and sold drugs(eg.tik,cocaine,Heroin,marijuana ). After a while I saw kids playing basketball at a church next to my building.I used to hate basketball till I was introduced to it by my cousin Oliver Amisi in 2009 at Christ Church Addington and from then the love for basketball just grew. I ended up attending the trials for the junior team at my primary school (Addington Primary School) in which I made the team and provincial U13 team. It was there that I was introduced to an organization called Peaceplayers International SA. I participated in the Primary School Program (PSP) for all of my Primary school years and got a great opportunity to further my studies at Durban High School.

I carried on working hard, that hard work did pay off when I earned a full scholarship to attend Durban High School which is the best basketball school in the southern hemisphere it felt like a dream cause just yesterday I ran away from death in my country to this upcoming basketball player with a bright future. At DHS I excelled in basketball because now I had something that made me feel alive again and played for every top side in each age group till I made it on the first team at age 14, making me the youngest player on the team.

Archange with other PPI-SA coaches at a team building camp.

Played for 4 years on the 1st team and captained it twice, during that 5 years of high school I made the provincial (junior and senior) basketball team as well as grabbing attention from great varsities in south African and one of them being Vaal University of technology.

I grew up with PPI-SA and never lost contact with this amazing organization, even when I went on to DHS. When I completed my matric, I knew I wanted to give back to the organization that gave me so much. So I applied to be a coach, and now I mentor and coach 24 amazing children from Gardenia Primary School in Wentworth. I can not wait to see what my future awaits but I know with hard work and discipline, I will continue to succeed.

PeacePlayers South AfricaPPI-SA Introducing Coaches: Archange Kalonji

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