Post-Apartheid Role Model Project


The Maybach Foundation Mourns the Untimely Loss of Sbu Duma - May 2012


The Wilhelm & Karl Maybach Foundation is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Sbu Duma, longtime protégé of the Foundation. For over  three years the Maybach Foundation had been supporting Sbu in a shared effort to have this South African native achieve success in the polo world.

As a stable boy, Sbu was destined to follow in his father’s shoes as a groomsman, until his undeniable talent brought him to the attention of the BBC and the Maybach Foundation. He was also supported by the local Lions River Polo Club and the South African Polo Association. He has trained and played internationally and was scheduled to go to the United Kingdom to further compete and train.

He was, and should remain, an inspiration to all who aspire to achieve their individual greatness and to share their gifts. The Maybach Foundation mourns his loss but will continue his legacy. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and supporters throughout the international polo family.


Sbu had been busy playing high level polo matches in South Africa. At one of his most recent matches in the North West Province of South Africa, Sbu was awarded the honor of Most Valuable Player. To further hone his skills and increase his impact as a positive role model in his home country of South Africa, Sbu returned to Argentina for continued training.   

The Maybach Foundation worked with Sbu Duma for almost three years, supporting him in a shared effort to have this South African native make it in the polo world. No stranger to adversity, Sbu was born into a family of little means. As a stable boy he was destined to fill his father's shoes as a groomsman. 

But history would see it differently and Sbu's undeniable talent eventually came to the Foundation's attention through a chance meeting with a producer for the BBC. The pros checked him out and with a thumbs-up the Foundation sent him to Argentina several times where he trained with his high-goal mentor Federico Bachmann in the ways of Argentine stick and ball. The Foundation saw that he pursued an equestrian career parallel to his championship track and watched him go on to play matches throughout Europe. 

Sbu was selected as part of the South African Team scheduled to compete at the Federation of International Polo, IX World Championship Zone D Playoffs held in Malaysia from June 11-27th, 2011. See the excerpt from the SA Polo March Newsletter below.

Zone "D" FIP Playoffs - Malaysia:

The team selected from available squad members to represent South Africa at the Zone "D" playoffs in Malaysia is as follows:

4 Goal             Terence Spilsbury, Duncan Watson and Lance Watson

3 Goal             Sbu Duma, Shaun Brokensha and Campbell Macnab

In selecting the team, the selectors felt the best combination for Malaysian conditions and ponies would be two fours and two three goal players with some flexibility in having a reserve in each handicap bracket.



In October 2008, the Foundation launched the Post Apartheid Role Model (PARM) project. Extraordinarily talented South African polo player, Sbu Duma, was trained and mentored by top international professionals in his field. The lead mentor for the project was Federico Bachmann, a 5-goal professional polo player who is based in Argentina. Project locations include Argentina, Spain, France, Germany and Great Britain. The project goals are for the protégé to become a:

  1. Highly skilled athlete who will successfully play on a professional polo team in an international area.
  2. Positive change agent and active role model by teaching polo skills to young people who face adversity.


Maybach Foundation protégé Sbu Duma’s story is particularly inspiring considering he is from South Africa, where the effects of Apartheid continue to impact people’s lives today. Mr. Duma was a young black man who grew up in circumstances that provided him with limited opportunities. Through his hard work and dedication, and the support of his local polo community and the Maybach Foundation, he was succeeding in a sport that has been extremely exclusive to people of his background. Mr. Duma’s success in sport of polo was a remarkable accomplishment. With Foundation support, it was anticipated that Mr. Duma would reach the level of the worlds’ top professional polo players. He would have been be the first black South African to do so, a point that is particularly significant in post-apartheid South Africa and a story that has the potential to inspire people worldwide.

The Protégé

Sbu Duma grew up in humble circumstances in the Dargle district of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands in South Africa. His father works on a farm that is owned by a renowned South African polo player. Mr. Duma’s promise was soon spotted by the local Lions River Polo Club, which invited him to attend club practices and provided related support to help him rise to the level of his talent. The South African Polo Association (SAPA) awarded him a scholarship in 1999, and since 2001 he has been representing his country in international school competitions as one of the most talented players. In 2008 Mr. Duma was presented the ‘most valuable player award’ after a historic match where his team won the All Africa Cup at Inanda in Sandton, Johannesburg; the first victory for an all-black South African team.

Project Components

As part of the PARM project the Foundation provides:
  • Mentorship and intensive polo training
  • Participation in high-goal competitive tournaments
  • Public speaking, business and computer skill training
  • Community service activities
  • Exposure to different cultures
  • Coaching on development of concrete objectives that will enable protégé to achieve personal goal of passing on what he has learned to others

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