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 his honours degree in human science movement at Fort Hare University, 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 of mine, Sxeaks Nkwinti, who I now take as a brother, mentor, and father figure. During my frequent visits to the library he noticed me and asked me about that. After hearing my story he asked that I volunteer at the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture,” Dyakala said.
Despite facing difficulties of travelling to Grahamstown early in the morning and coming back late at night with no source of income even at home, his energetic nature got him in into an exchange programme in Germany.
“My manager Anga Ngcebetsha saw how energetic, enthusiastic [I was] and the positive mind 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 visa delay and I left at the end of October,” Dyakala added.
Braving the cold weather for months, he taught Grades 1-4 different kinds of sports such as rugby, football and basketball. His passion for sports kept him going.
“When I got there it was beginning of winter and it was not nice at all. The temperature can go up to 18°C. I was a physical educator at Leineberg Grund-Schule in Göttingen, a small town where even 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 expensive there.”
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 there, that he now counts are brothers and sisters .