Following his passion and playing his part to make our roads that much safer for motor cycle riders is all in a day’s work for Sfiso Themba.
Born in a village called Schoemansdal in Mpumalanga, just 4Km away from the Swaziland border, Themba is a systems/web developer by profession in the IT industry. It is an industry he loves as he enjoys the accomplishment of solving day to day problems by using technology.
His other great love is racing. “I grew up watching Formula 1 cars with my grandfather. From a young age I would race my bicycles, but never thought I would race motorbikes in my future,” says Sfiso.
Sfiso, who is also a director of Motorsport South Africa (MSA), soon realised once he started racing, that more needed to be done with everyday street riders. Riding is essentially a skill, and it has to be continuously sharpened. “Most road bikers buy bikes for a lifestyle and never invest in the skill of riding. I therefore decided to create a race page where I not only talk about my racing career but also educate riders about the fundamentals of a bike. This then led to the creation of the tag line “Biking is a Lifestyle and Riding is a Skill” which has manifested itself through the training I do in partnership with SANRAL,” he says.
The partnership with SANRAL was made possible because they too care about road safety and their stats show a growing number of bike accidents. SANRAL instantly recognised the potential of using someone with Sfiso’s skills and set up a training partnership.
The purpose of the partnership is to get all South African bikers from all walks of life to have the riding skills to reduce deaths on the public roads.
Sfiso says the training is mostly done on track including, but not limited to, Zwartkops, Polokwane and short circuit etc “We educate and discuss riding gear, the understanding and purpose of gear then move to bike and sitting etiquette as well as riding lessons and observations,” he explains.
The partnership has already trained over 200 bikers and this year they are looking to expand into other provinces after a successful pilot on a regional basis.
The response from riders so far has been incredible with most giving 110% praise and riders feeling that they are much more competent and equipped to enjoy their bikes.
“There’s also a demand from those who didn’t attend as they see a significant change and confidence in the riding ability of those who attended,” says Sfiso.
Sfiso says thanks to SANRAL, the initiative is really helping to create safer motorcycle riders on the road. His dream is to be able to expand the project even further. “I would love to see bike manufacturers becoming involved and giving back to bikers who support their brands. The more partners we have on board after all the greater our reach and the safer our roads will become,” he says.
Adrian Scholtz, Chief Executive Officer of MSA agrees and concludes, “MSA is proud that one of its directors is playing such a significant role in promoting motorcycle safety on the country’s roads. Not only is this a much-needed community service but we are also hopeful that Sfiso’s passion for motorcycle racing will inspire some of the riders he is assisting to try their hand at formal motorsport competition themselves.”
Compiled on behalf of MSA by Cathy Findley PR