Richman Bongani Mahlangu knows all too well the struggle many black South Africans endured to attain the basic right to be treated as humans. Born in the all-black township of Lamontville, he grew up in poverty in the midst of South Africa’s dehumanizing system of separation called Apartheid. After losing his father at a young age, he discovered his love for the game of tennis. He spent day-after-day hitting tennis balls against a wall with a racket that had broken strings. Tim Gray, a white British tennis coach noticed Richman’s passion for tennis and offered to coach him for free.
Through fierce determination and his commitment to education to create a better life for himself and his family, he earned a tennis scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Richman moved to America and eventually trained both of his sons to become noteworthy tennis players at Harvard and Georgetown, two of the country’s most prestigious universities. Zulu Dreams is the story of a man’s pursuit of a lifelong dream of earning a higher education for himself and then for his sons. Tennis was the means to obtain access to America’s top schools.
Richman currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada where as a high school counselor he enjoys the opportunity to empower, motivate, and help his students to make better choices about their lives and their academic future. He teaches private tennis lessons at a local country club. Now that he has seen both of his sons graduate college, Richman is now focusing on the next chapter of his life as a motivational speaker and author.
Education: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater Arts
Certified Tennis Professional
United States Professional Tennis Association
United States Professional Tennis Registry
Coached a former top 20 professional tennis player in 1992 (Horst Skoff)
High School Guidance Counselor
Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, full tennis scholarship, 1986
Westmont College, Santa Barbara, full tennis scholarship, 1989
English, Zulu, Afrikaans, German
Richman graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas