Heavy burdens, but huge successes

2011-01-06 00:00

AFTER Lindokuhle Ndaba’s mother died two-and-a-half years ago, it fell to him to care for his two younger brothers, feeding them and seeing to it that they got to school and did their homework every day.

Despite this enormous responsibility resting on his shoulders, the 18-year-old Ndaba captained Utrecht High School’s first rugby team last year, chaired the students’ representative council and was dux of his school. He also obtained distinctions in all his subjects in the matric finals so that he could fulfil the last wish of his mother, Nthabiseng, that he would become a doctor one day.

Ndaba’s father, Sibusiso, is a technician in the electricity section of the Johannesburg municipality.

Ndaba’s cousin Melusi (22), a student in electrical engineering at the FET college in Majuba came to live with him and helped with his brothers, Andile (14) and Sphilele (10).

The father’s friends would pop in every so often to see whether all was still well, and teachers from Utrecht High School helped the boys wherever they could, but it was Ndaba who ensured every morning that his brothers got up in time for school before he travelled 24 km to school by taxi.

In the afternoons he first made supper before settling down to his books until midnight or 1 am.

Ndaba started the matric maths syllabus in grade 10. Every second weekend he also helped at the consulting rooms of Dr Y.M. Docrat, doing community guidance on hygiene and the prevention of infections. He has applied to study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year.

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