Thunder's Thabo Sefolosha Speaks About Helping Kids In Africa

Friday, April 5th 2013, 4:28 pm

We know Thabo Sefolosha as Thunder defensive specialist from Switzerland. But what you may not know is why he has become so involved with helping children in South Africa.

The adoration and success he now experiences daily in Oklahoma City is a long way from where his story began.

"My mom and dad moved from South Africa because of the apartheid regime that was there at the time. My mom being white, my father being black it was tough for them to stay in South Africa," Sefolosha told News 9.

Although Sefolosha would grow up in Switzerland. He would go back to visit South Africa several times as he got older.

"I thought to myself, I really need to do something," Sefolosha recalled.

Sports seemed the obvious way.

"Just experience with my teammates, experience with my coaches and just having to follow rules and learning a lot of different things," Sefolosha said.

So he along with his wife started an after-school program in the city of Mamelodi, where Sefolosha's parents once lived. Children there are at high risk for AIDS, gang violence and rape. A majority of the children at risk because they have nowhere safe to go after school.

"It's always heartbreaking to see children you want to help that don't have the proper basic necessities," said Bertillon Sefolosha, Thabo's wife.

A fundraiser two years ago got the project off the ground.

Then this summer Thabo and Bertille visited the school and saw firsthand what their work and the donations of Oklahomans accomplished.

"It's a great story to tell the kids in South Africa. You guys are able to do all this because guys in Oklahoma decided to be generous," Sefolosha said.

The couple is hosting another charity event in two weeks on Saturday April 13. They hope to raise a hundred thousand dollars to provide shoes and clothing and grow the program.

Learn more about the program