This is such a great initiave, really. By combining the emotive power of sport and music, Qhubeka have just released Qhubeka KubaKuba, Qhubeka’s new official song, during the team presentation of Team Dimension Data at the Tour de France held on the evening of Thursday 29 June in front of the world’s media in Düsseldorf.
The song was created by South African musicians Mark Cheyne and Monde Msutwana. ‘KubaKuba’ is a simplification of ‘Qhuba Qhuba’, meaning ‘pedal pedal’. It’s derived from Qhubeka’s name, an Nguni word that means “to progress” or “to move forward”.
It was chosen because of Qhubeka’s belief that bicycles help people move forward – with a bicycle, a person can travel faster and further, and carry more.
“You can’t be involved in cycling and not know about Team Dimension Data and Qhubeka. I had dreamed of writing a song that Qhubeka would love,” says Mark Cheyne, music composer, producer and a keen cyclist.
Mark Cheyne paired up with friend and singer/songwriter Monde Msutwana, who is currently voice coaching for The Voice SA, and the duo has produced a song that is Pan-African and very catchy. Qhubeka KubaKuba can be purchased on the iTunes Store and is also available as a ringtone, with a portion of the proceeds going towards funding bicycles for Qhubeka’s learn-to-earn and work-to-earn programmes.
“We were thrilled to hear that our song would be played on the global stage at the Tour de France,” says Cheyne. “We hope it will bring more awareness to what Qhubeka and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is doing to change people’s lives using bicycles.”
“It was good fun making this track, and it’s special to make music that is part of a bigger purpose,” says Msutwana. “We believe pairing our passion for music and for Africa with Qhubeka’s vision of changing lives with bicycles is a winning combination.”
Team Principal at Team Dimension Data, Doug Ryder, says sports and music have a shared ability to move, inspire and unite people. “Our team is proud to support Qhubeka, and it was an honour to let cycling fans around the world hear Qhubeka KubaKuba for the first time during our team presentation at the team presentation at Tour de France 2017.”
Riders at Team Dimension Data have had the opportunity to visit Qhubeka’s programmes to see the difference bicycles can make. This video shows Team Dimension Data experiencing a Qhubeka bicycle distribution event and is set to Qhubeka KubaKuba, Qhubeka’s new official song! Check it out on Youtube here.
Daniel Teklehaimanot, Team Dimension Data cycling champion from Eritrea, says, “This is a really nice song. It makes you smile when you listen to it and it is special that this song is about our team and Qhubeka. I am sure it will give the guys good motivation at the Tour but we will listen to it at all our races because everyday we ride for Qhubeka.”
How did Qhubeka start?
The history behind the organisation is a heartfelt one. In 2004, Qhubeka founder, Anthony Fitzhenry owned a successful IT company. He recognised education is one route out of poverty and wanted to give children in under-resourced communities access to education.
One day, Fitzhenry began speaking with a headmistress of a township school. She made him imagine what the life of a child living in a disadvantaged setting was like. She spoke about how the struggle to access education often starts at home for these children. She asked him to imagine being a child in a home where you have to wake up in the dark at 4am, help out with chores, and begin a long walk to school. As he listened, Anthony realised that access to education, wouldn’t be resolved by schools computers and internet, but by finding a way to the kids to get to school more easily.
Fitzhenry began visiting the homes of the children at the school. As he did this he noticed there were no taxi routes or buses. In fact, there was very little infrastructure available for any transport systems. However, as a cyclist he recognised that bicycles were a low-cost solution.
Following this realisation, Qhubeka was born and Fitzhenry began to source bicycles and set up systems where children could do something to earn a bicycle.
Thirteen years later, Qhubeka has helped over 80 000 people gain access to schools, clinics and jobs.
Get involved on social media:
KubaKuba Campaign hashtag #KubaKuba
Qhubeka Twitter @Qhubeka
Qhubeka Facebook @QhubekaBicycles
Qhubeka Instagram @Qhubeka