Meet sisters, Loapi Chokwe (17 years) and Maru Chokwe (16 years) who joined BSI at the beginning of 2023, after visiting in 2022 from Botswana to participate in a few private golfing clinics at BSI, and now basing themselves in South Africa, along with 14-year old Ugandan born Keisha Kagoro, who are all studying full-time in the BSI Junior Academy Program.
BSI JUNIOR Golf Academy
BSI has had many interactions and have dealt with many great women in the golfing world who are shaping and creating new pathways for women both on the golf course and those who have made great careers and are working in the industry. From the likes of professional golfer Casandra Alexander, to your very own Charlene Thomson, Founder of We Women Golf Magazine, to the BSI graduates who are breaking the barriers and taking up positions as greenkeepers and golf administrators in big corporates, as read about in previous editions of We Women Golf.
The future of womens golf in africa
In this article, we would like to focus our attention on the development and future of women’s golf in Africa and highlight some young ladies who have chosen to leave their countries of birth and follow their passion and concentrate on a sport they have become to love over their young years.
We would like to introduce you to BSI Golf Academy’s ‘The Young Lionesses of Africa’.
WE GOT AN OPPORTUNITY To Chat To the Young Ladies…
About their dreams and ambitions and how things are going in their short few months in South Africa
Q&A with The 3 Lionesses
How old were you when you started playing golf?
Loapi Chokwe I started at 14 years old
Maru Chokwe I started at 13 years old
Keisha Kagoro 6 years old
What or who inspired you to start playing golf?
Loapi Chokwe I was watching a movie and they were playing golf and I jokingly told my parents that I would like to play, my father took it seriously and now I am here and I can really say I love the sport.
Keisha Kagoro Most of my family was playing and I did not want to feel left out.
Who is your favourite golfer and why?
Loapi Chokwe I have two favourite golfers, Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn and they are my favourite because they have a similar story to the journey my sister and I are on.
Maru Chokwe The Jutanugarn sisters because their journey to being pro golfers is very relatable and beautiful.
Keisha Kagoro Nelly Korda as being ranked number 1 in the world, is a huge inspiration.
Who is your favourite golfer and why?
Loapi Chokwe My greatest achievement as a golfer, has to be when I represented my country, Botswana in Egypt for the All-Africa Junior Championship.
Maru Chokwe Winning the Orapa Diamond Challenge 2022 in Botswana
What makes you proud to be a female golfer in such a male dominant sport?
Loapi Chokwe What makes me proud to be a female golfer is that you barely see girls play golf and I continue playing in a male environment. I want to be a pro golfer and you hardly hear a female telling people they want to go pro in golf.
Maru Chokwe I’m proud that I’m taking this step as I know it will open up more opportunities in sport and in life for me.
Keisha Kagoro That I have a greater chance to prove to the world that golf is for both genders.
How do you feel about playing against boys?
Loapi Chokwe I enjoy playing with boys as it is more competition and motivates me more. Naturally a boy would hit further than a girl and I have realised their game is more consistent so there is much I can take out and learn from.
Are there any challenges you have experienced as a female golfer?
Maru Chokwe There are not many females my age playing in my home country so there is not many tournaments and competitions for us.
Keisha Kagoro The expectation is set high for us female golfers because there is not a lot of us, so we are expected to be at top.
Where would you like to see yourself in a few years?
Loapi Chokwe I would like to see myself touring the world playing professional golf and meeting different women that were powerful enough to continue in sport and made it big.
What is your biggest dream as a golfer?
Loapi Chokwe My biggest dream is to turn professional and inspire more young girls to take up the sport.
Maru Chokwe My biggest dream as a golfer is to play on the LPGA tour.
Keisha Kagoro To be the best and most successful female golfer from Africa.
What woman inspires you and why?
Loapi Chokwe My mother inspires me a lot and I know a lot of girls say this, but my mother is the most intelligent and hardworking woman I have ever met and the effort she puts into everything she does, from the love she gives to her family to the support she shows me and my siblings in our golf journey.
Maru Chokwe My mother inspires me so much because of how hard working she is.
Keisha Kagoro My mother because she never gives up and finds a way to encourage herself.
African High Performance Golf Training Camp
BSI hosts and manages on behalf of the R&A, Olympic Solidarity Fund, International Golf Federation and PGA of SA, the African High Performance Golf Training Camp which forms part of a project to increase the competitiveness of golf across the continent and happened in June 2023. Players from the 2nd African High Performance Golf Training Camp 2023 from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mauritius, Namibia and Uganda.