Photo taken in 2014 whilst in the junior school. Other team mates are also non white, but classified as coloreds. Don't get into it as color is still a thing sadly. You can be too dark or not dark enough depending on who you are with which sounds a little nuts, but this is the reality.
I thought I would share a story about a young man who has a fighting spirit that is very rare to find. What he has had to endure should never of happened and all because of jealousy.
In 2016 a young black kid called Qhaphela Gobodo won a rugby scholarship at another school. He was the first black student in the school to receive the scholarship and unfortunately it was never fulfilled. Qhaphela was attacked outside of class after going to the bathroom. He was hit over the head and had a flammable liquid poured over him and set alight. We are talking about a child in grade 8 being set alight. These are not adults,but kids doing this sort of thing.
No one came to his aid and it was left up to him to find a tap to put the flames out. That was in 2016 and what is more depressing is that no arrests were ever made. I am sure Qhaphela knows who did this to him and could be keeping it a secret I don't know.
It s at times like this you wish you had money to make a difference. Screw the Lambo's, but to be able to help eve if it is something small like an education.
26 operations later and all he still wants to do is play rugby. I cannot believe jealousy could have done this as this is just pure evil. No one was arrested and the police have given up finding who did this criminal act. This is plain cowardice and hatred and deserves more publicity than it received. Today was the first time I had heard about this story.
The one good thing is Heineken heard about this story as well and took Qhaphela to Japan to watch the Rugby World Cup. His next goal is to try and get a scholarship to go to university and keep on playing. Any hopes of playing professional rugby look like they have been stolen from him. I am hoping he does get some scholarship as at least the Springbok Rugby team knows his story and possibly will look out for him.
What I find special is that he hasn't given up yet he has faced everything that life has thrown at him and he is still standing. The sport that he was obviously once very talented at still holds a passion and I think that gives him the strength. I just am shocked that other kids could have done this over a scholarship as this has blown me away.
It seems everyone has let him down as his school where he should have been safe was quite the opposite. The kids even teased him on his return after the operations. The police for lack of effort and his classmates who should of known or who know exactly who they are.What I find scary is this didn't happen 100 years ago, but only 4 years ago.
Dreams and talent can be smashed in seconds,but a spirit of determination can never be taken away. Personally Qhaphela is a better person than me as I don't know how I would react to this. I had my refereeing career stolen away from me through an injury yet this was through an attack of hatred and jealousy which makes it far worse.
Imagine being the cop trying to get to the bottom of this? I know I would be a bad cop as I would get results but in the wrong way. I say it is the right way as this looks like a community cover up if I have ever heard of one. Whoever it is that did this the school knows and are keeping quiet for God knows what.