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Meet Khololwam Montsi, the 17-year-old South African ready to compete at the Junior French Open tennis tournament

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Khololwam Montsi Profile

Real Name; Khololwam Montsi
Age: 17 yrs
Birth Place: East London-born, South African
Profession: Tennis Player

Who is Khololwam Montsi

Meet Khololwam Montsi the East London-born, South African young boy who is a tennis sensation.

According to reports, Khololwam Montsi is will become the first black African to play at the Junior French Open.

Khololwam Montsi is just 17-year-old this year with the official confirmation coming soon.

Khololwam Montsi has always been a dreamer. Before he had ever entered a tennis tournament, he was imagining himself winning Wimbledon. In lieu of any role models or a path trodden before them, dreams are what black African tennis players have.

They are to be held on to and guarded. So when people have attempted to tread on Montsi’s aspirations, questioning whether a 5ft 5in player such as him can succeed, he simply used it as further motivation.

Back in June of 2020 during an interview, Khololwam said:

“Me wanting to prove people wrong, I was like: ‘OK, I’m gonna do this thing and I’m gonna work hard every day. I’m gonna beat everyone that I can,’” he says. “If I lose, I lose, I go back to the drawing board. But I’m on a mission, really.”

Montsi’s ambition has already carried him far. In March the 17-year-old cried as he won the African Junior Championships and rose to No 12 in the International Tennis Federation junior rankings. He is now the highest-ranked African junior player and just a few steps below him sits Eliakim Coulibaly, an 18-year-old Ivorian.

They are close friends and, despite being rivals, their solidarity is touching; they call themselves African brothers. This year they became the first African players in history to be in the junior top 20 rankings simultaneously.

His elder brother, Siphosothando, stepped up and would eventually reach the top 100 in juniors, inspiring Khololwam in the process.

After a discussion about development quotas and the importance of being black, Montsi shrugs: “I was No 1 in under-12s. From the very start, I took myself as a player on merit. I never took myself as a development player, my brother never told himself he was a development player. My family never told us that. Because I mean, what’s a ‘development player’, you know? We’re here for a reason and we’re doing what we’re doing for a reason.

We’re also representing other black players and we’re not alone. So playing with the support of black people is actually a really special thing.”

“I would say today we have 80 players in all age categories on the continent who have a [serious] tennis project,” says Amine Ben Makhlouf, an ITF development officer. “If you go today to Barcelona – only Barcelona – you will find, like, 5,000. We are 80 trying to compete against thousands.”

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