Qaphela Gobodo.15 years old chap from a humble background in Wellington, South Africa, but with a dream that was so tall as mountain Everest.
One of the most hardworking lads that God molded out of the dust of Wellington.
Yeah, he did it!
The results were quite remarkable. The chap was truly destined for great things. He rose to become the greatest rugby player in his community school in Bergriver.
He became the first black captain of his school’s rugby team, and the first black student to play in the team.
He was the pride of Bergriver rugby team. His hard work brought him very close to his dream.
The big dream of playing for Springboks: The biggest Rugby team in Africa.
Consequently, He won a rugby scholarship to Hoerskool Garsfontein, one of the most prestigious schools in Pretoria.
Through this scholarship his dream of making it to Springboks would be realized.
Family were proud.
He would be the light of the tribe.
The custodian of immortality.
Then he shared the news to his teammates, “Hey, guys, I’m one step away from Springboks! The dream is happening.”
But what he did not see was the jealousy that was hidden in their hearts.
One fateful afternoon, he excused himself from class to go to the bathroom, when coming outside from there, a group of four boys attacked him.
One hit him with a golf stick on his head, and he fell into unconsciousness on the floor, they poured paraffin on him, and set him ablaze.
Yes, they burnt him alive!
He lay on the ground for several minutes without knowing that he was burning alive.
Sadly, no one saw him.
When he regained consciousness several minutes later, he ran towards the principal’s office screaming for help.
With his body still on fire, everyone was scared of getting close to him. He ran to the tap, opened it and went under it to subdue the fire.
The ambulance team was called to take him to the hospital.
Everyone gave up on him. The burns were too severe, that no one thought he could make it alive.
When his father saw him, he broke down in tears and said, “So, my son, you’re going to leave me at such a young age?”
When his sister saw him, she stood afar in tears and cried, “No, this is not my brother. This is not my brother… I want to see my brother.”
But Qaphela replied them, “Don’t be scared, I’m not going to die. No, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to live, and I’m going to come back and play rugby.”
And God heard the faith of that brave lad.
Because if a man’s faith says “Yeah” even God Himself cannot say “Nay” to him.
20 surgeries were the number of surgeries he underwent in a space of four months.
Now the shocker!
Do you know the people that burnt Qaphela? His teammates!
When he returned from the hospital, the scholarship was gone! The dream of Springboks faded away. Even though he tried to give himself to rugby again, but things were never the same again
His scars would never allow him to have that dream again.
His story has continued to touch the heart of a generation, redefining the concept of trust for millions of people in Africa and beyond.
During one of his interviews, Qaphela said that his biggest mistake in life was learning too late that it is not every secret that is supposed to be shared with friends.
This is life!
And in life, we have to be careful of the kind of success stories we share with friends.
Especially when those successes are not yet mature.
Because the truth is, NOT every friend is going to be happy with your success, even though they might pretend to be happy in your presence.
Not every friend is happy that you are going farther than them in life.
Many friends see you as a competitor, and once they see that you have going or have gone ahead of them, they begin to hate on you real bad
It’s a messed up world! It’s alright to trust people, but then, learn to keep your secrets to yourself.
Sometimes, you don’t have to tell people the plans you are making, especially when the plans are still at the early stages of formation.
We will never be able to know who truly wishes us well, and who don’t. The ones we call best friends might actually be the biggest enemies we have around us.
Never let your guard down.
Never trust someone so deeply to the level that you give them the power to destroy you.
If they know all your secrets, then they can destroy you.