By Dimakatso Songoane
When professional athlete and Phalaphala Fm sports commentator Arnold Ravhutulu, recently facilitated Heartlines’ national “Nothing for Mahala” Values and Money campaign in Makhado, his celebrity status in Venda opened many new doors in churches, schools and communities in the surrounding areas.
Arnold was not shy to admit that his celebrity status worked in the team’s favour. “Being well known worked as a bonus and made it easy to mobilise people. The support and attention from the people was overwhelming,” he says.
“Running the Values and Money campaign in Makhado was very special. It was like ploughing back to my own communities.
I could speak in my mother tongue and share the importance of having good values when it comes to money with my fellow Venda citizens.
It made me very proud. It was also exciting to able to add value with something different from the sport I am known for.”
Co-facilitator Sthembiso Segolela found working with this public figure inspiring.
“He is a leader in his own right, a prolific speaker, a man of integrity and highly respected as a sports presenter” says Sthembiso.
He appreciated how Arnold’s popularity and fame opened many doors, enabling the team to get additional workshops and training sessions, but said that it didn’t mean he started acting like a rock star.
“Arnold remains humble as ever despite his celebrity status”
Arnold’s message to the people of Makhado was that while most people have challenges with finances, we need to work hard as a country to change the attitudes and behaviour of people around money.
“People need to be responsible in spending their money. It is time to start saving” says Arnold.