March 5, 2024

Developing cyclists aim to inspire and empower women in SA

CAPE TOWN – Two young women believe that by encouraging more women to ride bicycles, they could break down gender stereotypes in their communities and inspire women to pursue their dreams in South Africa.

Yomelela Mfazwe and Ongezo Mini, both nineteen, are on a mission to pedal their way to a better life through cycling.

Juggling between waitressing tables in Stellenbosch and cycling some of the country’s rockiest roads and toughest mountains, they share a common goal – to become successful cyclists who can inspire change within the sport of cycling by getting more women on bicycles.

Mfazwe started her cycling journey two years ago when she was 17 where her focus was predominantly on mountain biking. She attended the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy, a non-profit organization in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

“I have always been a sporty person. Growing up, I used to play Netball and Soccer, whereafter I discovered cycling through a friend at school,” said Mfazwe.

“She told me about the Academy, where I learned how to ride a bike, the rules of cycling and how the industry of cycling works for free. Ever since, I’ve been on a mission to conquer some of the country’s most difficult cycling races, including the Cape Epic.”

Meanwhile, Mini started riding when she was 15 years old in her hometown of KwaZulu-Natal – at Go Durban Cycle Academy.

Ongezo Mini Photo: Supplied

“When I first joined the club, I was the only female, which challenged me to work harder. I thought, if a male can do it, then why can’t I?” Mini said.

“Riding brings me joy and empowers me to overcome the challenges I face every day, allowing me to focus on the present moment and appreciate the beauty of the journey.

With every ride, I discover a renewed sense of vitality and inspiration that fuels my soul, reminding me that anything is possible when I set my mind to it.”

The two young inspiring ladies embarked on their latest adventure – the Race To Willowmore last month where the use of modern-day navigation technology like GPS was not allowed.

The pair set out on a challenging 500 km cycling expedition.

Mfazwe added: “I want other women to see my experience as proof that if we keep trying and don’t give up, we can succeed not only in sports but also in life.” 

©2022 All rights reserved

Scroll to Top