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'Lifting' Dreams - Soweto Gym

Personal message

My name is Heinrich Badenhorst and I live in Pretoria. I am raising funds for Khati Mabuya and his dream.

In February 2019 I met Khati Mabuya at a weightlifting competition. I remember him winning the competition by a considerable margin, a pure talent, with old worn-out shoes. I befriended him and got to know him. At the Arnold Classic, I saw him arrive with about 20 kids from Soweto which piqued my interest. Upon a visit to their academy, I saw they were coaching these kids in their backyard on an uneven concrete surface in the cold outside. Trust me Soweto can get cold in the late afternoon especially in the winter months. They told me that they have not received any funding for this project and that he is working a day-job, along with his kids' academy and pursuing his athletic career at night. Khati represented South Africa at the World Championships and I decided it is about time someone stepped in to give him a helping hand, once I told Olympic Weightlifter from Great Britain, Sonny Webster, about this and sent him a video, a very strong hand decided to help.

We want to build Khati a weightlifting Gym in his backyard in Soweto where the Kids can train on an even surface, with the proper equipment and indoors protected from the cold. We want to provide them with all the necessary equipment and support for the next two years to sustain this academy. In Soweto, a very poor community with a lot of drug problems and high crime rates, the kids need a safe place to train and be mentored by someone like Khati to pursue purposeful careers and not fall into a life of drugs and crime. Khati's dream is to see a young weightlifter from Soweto at the Olympics, and with your support, we can make it happen!

We would like to have the Funds raised before the end of 2019 so that the Kids can start the 2020 season with full support in their new facility. We also want to expand the academy and help more Kids!

The majority of the funds will be used for the construction of the facility. The 41.37 Square Meter yard will have to be leveled and will require a fair amount of ground shifting and a level cement surface to be laid. The goal is to set up a large shipping container-gym in the backyard that is easy to lock and will provide security against theft of the equipment. We are sourcing sponsors for the equipment or at least discounted prices. We want to build a small kitchenette with non-perishable food items and supplements so each kid can go home with a full stomach. If we manage to raise the full amount we would also like to rebuild the outside toilet and add a shower that has warm water, a luxury that not all people in Soweto have access to. A portion of the funds will be allocated to their participation in competitions for the next two years. We will set-up an Instagram account for the weightlifting academy so that our contributors can stay up to date with the construction and progress of these young athletes.

Your donations will help provide a sporting facility to the children in Soweto. They will have a safe environment to train in the afternoons and have the opportunity to participate in the competitive sport along with their academic school careers. Sport can provide these kid's with the dream of becoming a professional athlete and shift their mind from peer pressure to a dream of wearing South African Colors like their coach, Khati, has done on multiple occasions. The sport of Olympic weightlifting is very small in South Africa and we can invest in the grassroots development of a Sport confirmed for the Olympic Program until 2024.

The funds will be held by BackaBuddy while we get all the best invoices together for the construction, floor work, and equipment as well as purchase agreements for food and supplements. We are still sourcing the best equipment quotes internationally, hoping for charitable purchase discounts or equipment donations. We want to do our homework thoroughly for the best quotes so we can invest as much money as possible in the food, supplements and maintenance contracts for the gym to keep the gym running for a long period. These quotes will be submitted to BackaBuddy and paid out of our donations received.

*Funds raised will go directly to the relevant service providers and suppliers*


  • Jun 09, 2020 - USD $ 31.65
  • "So happy to see Khati building up his gym and providing his leadership to the young community around him." - Tyla Sullivan

  • Jun 08, 2020 - USD $ 11.87
  • "What a fantastic community! " - Eleanor

  • Jun 03, 2020 - USD $ 26.38
  • "We believe in you!" - Anonymous

  • Feb 22, 2020 - USD $ 13.60
  • "For the next generation" - Melodee

  • Dec 23, 2019 - USD $ 14.78
  • "Great cause :) " - Suzy coops

  • Dec 17, 2019 - R 1 131.02
  • "We believe in you Khati!" - Anonymous

  • Dec 10, 2019 - USD $ 72.02
  • "Happy to help out" - Frank C

  • Dec 10, 2019 - USD $ 36.01
  • "Such a great cause Sonny and Hein! Great work!" - athlete_lou

  • Dec 10, 2019 - R 3 003.92
  • "Goodluck with the project I hope u make it to the Olympics " - MJ

  • Dec 03, 2019 - R 514.00
  • "So excited Khatie!" - Barbara

  • Dec 01, 2019 - USD $ 14.34
  • "Send it!!" - Brett

  • Oct 28, 2019 - R 2 570.50
  • "Khati this is incredible, good luck with the project and hopefully I will be able to visit one day. Thank you for all you do for the lifting community. More grease to your elbows! " - AA

  • Oct 22, 2019 - USD $ 10.00
  • "go get em" - Sal

  • Oct 02, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "Proud to help!" - Barbara

  • Sep 30, 2019 - R 514.00
  • "So excited Khatie!" - Barbara

  • Aug 14, 2019 - R 51.41
  • "Inspirational " - Anonymous

  • Aug 12, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "Let’s do this!" - Lana

  • Aug 01, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "So excited Khatie!" - Barbara

  • Jul 31, 2019 - USD $ 37.05
  • "What an amazing cause! I’m also passionate about weightlifting and have visited Southern Africa a number of times, so think this is a fantastic project. I will be watching your progress closely ????" - Hannah WM

  • Jul 31, 2019 - USD $ 12.79
  • "Such an incredible charity. Sending love and positivity x" - Sophie fuller

  • Jul 31, 2019 - USD $ 5.85
  • "Good luck Khati!" - Jeff K

  • Jul 30, 2019 - USD $ 11.27
  • "Great job guys!!!!!" - Julian K.

  • Jul 30, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "Never ever give up on your dreams. " - Anon

  • Jul 30, 2019 - USD $ 74.08
  • "Well done! I hope to come and visit someday :)" - Sylvia

  • Jul 30, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "We believe in you Khati!" - Anonymous

Donate to this charity


Donations to date

R 15 267.33

Fundraising target

R 325 000.00

Khati Mabuya Gym Cause

Khati Mabuya Gym Cause Logo

Heinrich Badenhorst from Pretoria is raising funds to help Khati Mabuya fulfill his dream of building a weightlifting gym and ultimately see a young weightlifter from Soweto at the Olympics.