Set ablaze by jealous classmates, Qaphela Gobodo’s dream rugby career and life were set ablaze.
Qaphela Titus Gobodo
Qaphela Titus Gobodo, a rising rugby star had dreams dashed by jealousy; his life was almost taken away from an act of jealousy, hatred, and racial prejudice.
While a few jealous people changed his whole life, it is now on the right pathway, thanks to so many more good people. Qaphela is rising from the ashes and is inspiring people with his bravery and heart.
In Wellington, South Africa, he was in Grade 8 at Bergrivier High School, when he earned a rugby scholarship for a prestigious school in Pretoria. He was a rising star and had a promising career ahead of him.
At the age of 15, his life was entirely changed by a group of jealous classmates.
After he had gotten the scholarships, he broke the news to his teammates. One horrifying day, Qaphela was attacked by four boys walking behind him; one of the boys hit him on the head, causing him to collapse to the ground. The boys poured paraffin or thinners, all over his body and set him on fire. An ambulance was called, and he was rushed to Paarl Hospital.
His parents and siblings couldn’t recognize him, they thought they would lose him, but he pulled through after he underwent twenty surgeries to repair the damage of the third-degree burns he sustained.
Qaphela faced the most challenging time in his life; his body was recovering from painful burns, he was mercilessly bullied at school, and his dream of becoming a Springbok drifted away. All of this was because he got a bursary from Hoerskool Garsfontein in Pretoria after he displayed his rugby ability at his school, where he happened to be the only great black player amongst his teammates.
When he went back to school, he received no, but he became a laughing stock. Qaphela couldn’t handle the bullying, so he dropped out. Qaphela’s story was first heard when Nthabeleng Likotsi Tweeted about him. She hoped to help him get back on his feet. Her main focus being, to get him back into school. All he wanted was to recover, so he could go back to the field and do what he does best, play rugby!
He is now 18-years-old, and as much as Nthabeleng tried, schools refused to admit him as he was too old. She never gave up and was happy to announce in August that they managed to register him for his Grade 9 certificate at an online school for 2020.
Qaphela was also blessed by a major sponsor of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. For the first time, he has left his home province to watch the semi-finals between New Zealand and England and South Africa and Wales.
Qaphela will watch the semi-finals where the strong Springboks take on Wales and the epic battle between New Zealand and England.
Reports say that No justice has yet been done concerning the boys who committed this heinous crime. According to him, the four boys were his teammates, but he can’t remember their faces.
The wrong he did was telling his good news to his teammates.