South African president uses golf to raise funds for education

South Africa President Jacob Zuma
Courtesy: South African government
South African President Jacob Zuma believes that golf can help people achieve a healthy lifestyle.
By John Holmes

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Friday, February 14, 2014 | 7:55 p.m.
President Obama is spending the Presidents Day weekend in Palm Springs, where his plans reportedly include binge-watching ''True Detective'' and playing a little golf. In South Africa today, President Jacob Zuma went all in on golf, kicking off his weekend with his sixth annual President’s Address Golf Challenge.
For the last six years, Zuma has followed up his annual State of the Nation address with a day of golf to raise money for his education trust and other charities. So he joined a host of other golfers at the Atlantic Beach Golf Course, just outside Cape Town, for the big event.
Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Energy Minister Ben Martins, Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet and United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa were among the participants, according to a report on Joining them were a variety of leaders from both the public and private sectors in southern Africa.
"I think the contributions by the people who are participating in this event us to attend to some of the challenges and help our children. The feedback we are getting is that the work we are doing is making an impact," Zuma told the website. 
"It is indeed an important occasion. I feel very passionate about it. That is why I don't miss it,'' he added. ''Whatever we do here must have an impact to those who are needy."
Zuma also encouraged South Africans to use sport to achieve a healthy lifestyle, and said that sport can help unite the country's people.
"Sport is very important. Besides the entertainment and the competitive spirit that it brings, you get healthier if you participate in sport,'' he explained. ''So I'm very happy that some ministers are here today to play."
South Africa is just one of several golf-crazy nations – the Africa Open is being played there this week – but I don't know of any others where the president and his fellow leaders get together for a huge golf charity outing for such a good cause. It'd sure be great to see other countries follow Zuma's example.