Building dreams and futures through football

Franklin-Luke Philander believes in God, family, purpose, and empowering the youth.

29 November 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk

Franklin-Luke Philander from Tsumeb is the night security supervisor at the Strand Hotel in Swakopmund, where he grew up. In 2011 he matriculated at Swakopmund Secondary School and went on to do an advanced diploma in banking finance and credit at the Institute of Bankers and graduated in May 2019. At some point, he plans to pursue a career in risk and security management at a financial institution.

Philander’s job duties as security supervisor is to ensure that the company’s assets are protected and that the guests and employees are safe.

“I’m also responsible for training the subordinates, supporting my superiors and seeing that company policy and procedures are adhered to, in order to lead the company’s values,” Philander explains.

He initially wanted to become a football player when he was younger, but after the seventh grade, becoming a football coach seemed to be more up his alley.

Life do-overs are unfortunately an impossible fantasy, but if Philander could have one, he would start playing football at the age of six and study football coaching or sport management straight out of high school.

“My best childhood memory is when I scored my first goal in my first soccer match and we ended up winning the match,” he says - with his love for the sport clearly visible.

In 2017, Philander channelled his inner football fan and decided to start an organisation where football can be used as a tool to get the youth involved, help them go for their dreams and teach them the word of God.

“I want to encourage the youth to have the right attitude and discipline.”

He says the Genesis Football Academy has been nothing but a blessing in his life and it keeps him focused on what’s important. “It teaches me to be a leader, to face challenges and to have faith through difficult circumstances and, most importantly, it makes me a better person,” Philander says.

He believes that God is using him to improve someone else’s life, to help others to achieve their dreams as it means a lot for him to give something back and be part of something amazing. There were many challenges that Philander has had to face. At times Philander had to use his salary to cover costs such as the training field and purchasing football equipment. Philander says being employed at Strand Hotel is what he is most thankful for.

“Starting Genesis Football Academy from the ground, building it up and sticking to my principles, morals and values has been very challenging,” he says.

Aside from that, being himself, accepting failures and learning from them have also tested his faith. “My message and the best advice I’ve ever received is to put God first and to never lose faith in your dreams.”

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