Shortly after receiving her South African colours for chess, Amahle Zenzile from Crossroads, Cape Town has been invited to represent South Africa at the African Youth Chess Tournament to be held in Namibia.
Who is Amahle Zenzile?
Amahle Zenzile, who lives with her grandmother, started playing chess for the Crossroads Chess Club two years ago. Before long, she was one of the best players in her age group and maintained an impressive rating of 1284.
Thando Hlakula, who coaches Amahle at no charge and has guided her every step of the way, says her determination and her aptitude for chess are unmatched.
“Amahle has gone on to win a number of gold and silver medals. She has been named ‘best player’ numerous times. She is currently ranked second best player in the Western Cape, and for her age category, she is currently ranked fifth in South Africa,” says Thando.
Amahle’s consistent hard work paid off in March this year at the SAJCC Closed, where she played against the top 30 under-12 girls from across South Africa.
With a crowdfunding campaign launched on BackaBuddy by her best friend and fellow competitor, 12-year-old Trinity Van Beeck, Amahle was able to afford the trip to Johannesburg to compete in the event.
With quiet confidence, she went on to receive her South African colours and finish fifth in her age group.
Since then, Amahle has gone on to win the Western Cape Schools Chess under-11 girls’ division, and the South African Schools Chess under-13 girls tournaments. She has also been invited to represent South Africa at The African Youth Chess Tournament in December.
“The progress she has made in a very short space of time is quite remarkable. There is no diction to convey how proud and happy I am for her and looking forward to the African Youth in Namibia,” says Thando.
To cover the costs of the trip, registration and accommodation, Trinity has set up a crowdfunding campaign to appeal to South Africans to support Amahle’s chess dreams.
“My beautiful friend has a warrior spirit, and I am so proud to be her friend. She is a shining beacon of hope to other children in her community. I am inspired by her every single day, and I would love to help her on the next part of her journey. She is so deserving of this opportunity,” says Trinity.
To make a donation to Amahle’s campaign on BackaBuddy, visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/Amahle
Written by Caryn Edwards The South African reporter