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31 Jul, 2015

Black knight gets black knight bike

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Photograph by Anthony Fitzhenry/Qhubeka
Photograph by Anthony Fitzhenry/Qhubeka
Photograph by Anthony Fitzhenry/Qhubeka
Photograph by Anthony Fitzhenry/Qhubeka
Photograph by Anthony Fitzhenry/Qhubeka
Photograph by Anthony Fitzhenry/Qhubeka

When you raise almost R5-million for a specific charity, it makes sense that the charity concerned would want to spoil you in some way. But Qhubeka does it a little differently.

Qhubeka founder, Anthony Fitzhenry presented South African golfing icon Gary Player with a one-of-a-kind signature Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycle recently.

“Today I felt like a kid on his birthday,” said Gary after Anthony presented him with the bike on the golfer’s farm in the Karoo. “Thanks Qhubeka for this fantastic bicycle.”

The bicycle was given to golfing’s black knight to thank him for his part in raising almost R5 million for the non-profit organisation.

Qhubeka is a South African non-profit organisation that helps people to move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results.

Having a bicycle changes people's lives by increasing the distance they can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there. Qhubeka is World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa.

Called the “Black Knight” in honour of Gary’s signature golfing outfit, the bike is painted black with gold trimmings.

“No other athlete in the history of South Africa has given more to charity. Thank you, Mr Player! Gary Player is a champion on the golf course and a champion for humankind!” commented Anthony.

The South African Gary Player Invitational (GPI), presented by Coca-Cola, which features major golf champions, celebrities and top-flight businessmen rubbing shoulders on the fairways, has raised funds Qhubeka since 2012.

An innovative partnership between Coca-Cola, Qhubeka and Wildlands aims to support the Wildlands Waste-preneur project rollout (community members who barter waste for livelihood support items), through the introduction of a Coca-Cola Buffalo Bicycle.

The bicycle is bartered for recycled plastic and PET bottles, with a view to incentivising the collection of these materials.

“At Qhubeka, our focus is on mobilising people with bicycles because we believe that bicycles can change people’s lives, whether it’s by helping them to access economic opportunity or get to school safely and quickly,” said Executive Director of Qhubeka, Sarah Phaweni.

“Qhubeka is thankful to Gary Player for his support. By including Qhubeka and Wildlands as one of the beneficiaries of the Gary Player Invitational, Gary Player has highlighted the need to get more people on bicycles.”

World Bicycle Relief is a US-based non-profit organisation dedicated to transforming individuals and communities through The Power of Bicycles. Since 2005, World Bicycle Relief has trained more than 1 100 field mechanics and provided more than 200 000 specially designed, locally assembled quality bicycles to disaster survivors, healthcare workers, students and entrepreneurs in the developing world.

For more information, please visit www.qhubeka.org and www.worldbicyclerelief.org.