Nqobile’s once in a lifetime opportunity on the iconic yacht, Maiden


When the Maiden Factor arrives on South African shores on the morning of Thursday, January 5,  2023, Nqobile Khuzwayo will be on board.

The Maiden Factor, the boat skippered by Tracy Edwards MBE, with the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989/1990, is currently on a mission sailing a world tour to raise funds for girls’ education.  The Maiden is raising awareness of the 130 million girls world-wide who are currently not able to access an education by fund raising and supporting community programmes around the world.

Nqobile flew to Dakar in early December to sail from Dakar to Cape Town, spending her first Christmas and New Year at sea before arriving, 27 days later, in Cape Town.

Nqobile’s passion for sailing was nurtured by the Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation which runs a ‘Girls in Sailing’ program that encourages girls to sail, and both inadvertently and intentionally fosters life skills and education.

This program was featured in World Sailing  ”Steering the Course” in 2021 and contributes towards the attainment of the sustainable goals which assisted them to win the World Sailing 11th Hour Sailing Sustainability Award in the November of that Year.

Nqobile began sailing at Sail Africa back in 2018 and was selected to attend the Lawhill Maritime Centre on a bursary sponsored by Grindrod Shipping in 2020, and by Phil and Anne Wade in 2021 and 2022.   Phil is the co-founder of Marine Inspirations.

Marine Inspirations is an organisation that has taken young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of them from South Africa, to Spain and introduced them not only to sailing, but to the Super Yacht industry and the potential therein.

  “I am so grateful for this opportunity; it is my dream one day to work in the Super Yacht industry.  Sailing with other women from around the world will not only improve my sailing skills, but give me an opportunity to work alongside other inspiring women.  I hope I can pass on what I have learned on my return”. 

(updated 31 December 2022)


Nqobile Khuzwayo (19) is maritime student who completed her Grade 12 year at the Lawhill Maritime Centre at Simon’s Town School in 2022.  She hails from South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal Province and, when not in boarding at Lawhill, resides with her mother and siblings in an informal settlement called Mayville, near the port city of Durban.

Nqobile began sailing in 2018, at the age of 15, when a teacher introduced her to the iThemba Lethu organisation who, in turn, introduced her to Sail Africa.  Her love and talent for sailing and the maritime world led to her being awarded a prestigious, three-year bursary to attend Lawhill by the S.A.T.S General Botha Old Boys Association,  Grindrod Shipping and Phil and Anne Wade of Marine Inspirations.

Nqobile is a qualified SA Sailing Day Skipper and is former Captain of the Lawhill Sailing team.

No stranger to life’s many challenges, Nqobile believes she was born to sail and regards her selection to sail on Maiden from Cape Town to Maputo as “a big opportunity and an amazing achievement’’.

“I am deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to support the work of the Maiden Factor as it raises funds for education and gives young girls a platform to share their views.  I am testimony to the power of education and how it can change lives and change the world and I want to use this opportunity to show girls who are faced with similar challenges that, with hard work and support, dreams do come true.”

Updated 31 December 2022


RADIO:    Cape Talk interview – 6 January 2022



Click on the link below to read Brian Ingpen’s SUCCESSES AT SEA article which appeared in the Cape Times .. it includes a short piece on Nqobile.

CT 4 reproof – nkhuz

Click on the link below to read a Business Day article on Nqobile’s Maiden Voyage…