A young good looking man with a heart of lion and undying passion for rugby. Qaphela got his scars when he was 15 after he was set alight at school by his peers just after he was selected for scholarship because of his talent in rugby.“One was holding a golf-stick,next thing it hit me and i was on the ground, feeling helpless like the pigs who get slaughtered each and every day.I was only 15 years and again on that day you failed me.I could feel beating break a bone.I was set on fire in your presents.All you could do was scream with me and cry with me and no hello but guess what? I don't hate you. Cause i didn't need you that day. All i needed was water.As my body was burning. Your “uniform " was burned.My legs,Stomach,everywhere i don't know how i was able to run from tap to tap without your help and was able to save my life though. But i did Alone. You burnt me because of my talent. Can you believe it? You burnt me because i had gotten a bursary”.
He underwent at least 20 surgeries but that still didn’t kill his dreams. He remembers going to back to school after the ordeal and his fellow students made fun of his scars. Like most of us, that broke his heart and made him think he was alone. Qaphela remembers watching my interview with Daily Thetha SABC1 on SABC1 with his mother when we were discussing rare diseases.Seeing me speak out about my own scars might have contributed a little to his courage to share his story but what played major role is the love he has for Rugby.All he wants right now is to play rugby.You are certainly not alone Qaphela and just because you don't "fit the description of what this society calls beautiful", it doesn't mean your dreams are invalid. The fact that you won the fire battle shows that you are a true warrior.
Those four boys who thought were burning your dreams were actually fueling it! Cos you came back stronger and the fire that was meant to burn the life out of you actually burns the strength in you and makes you even more powerful,cos now you know you can take on anything the world throws at you.Now everywhere you go they will see your strength just by looking at you. Wear those scars like medals because you are a warrior,you got scars to prove it. Welcome to our family of warriors.You Rock.Thank you for inspiring the nation. cc Qaphela Gobodo #Qaphela #rockscars