Upbeat ‘Ceddie’ starts rebuilding his new life

2008-03-18 00:00

Where some might have become reclusive and bemoaned the terrible misfortune of having their life turned upside down in an instant, Cedric Mkhize is moving on courageously since being paralysed after a car accident near Bloemfontein last year.

The former Sharks winger is now working at Sibaya Casino, in the staff development and training department, as he continues to rebuild his life.

"Things are going well at the moment," he said last night. "The support structure around me has helped me through this, and I think it is amazing to see how many people genuinely care."

Mkhize speaks forthrightly about the sudden change in his life — but reveals that, in essence, not much has changed.

"The only thing that has changed is the fact that I lost the use of my legs," he says.

"Otherwise, I am the same Ceddie, with the same personality and the same outlook on life."

Mkhize’s embrace of his new circumstances reveals a startling courage in adversity, but he insists that he has much to be grateful for.

"It could have been much worse, and I can only be grateful that I have been given another chance in life and I will do all I can to use it fully.

"If it had been someone else, maybe they would have taken it differently, and found it hard to move on," Mkhize said.

"But I have decided to move on with my life, and the support from everyone — including the Sharks, my family, my girlfriend and people on the streets — has really helped."

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s benefit dinner at his alma mater, Maritzburg College, Mkhize is full of excitement.

"I think it will be a great event, and it will give people the opportunity to see for themselves how I am doing," he said.

"It will also give me a chance to get my point of view across, and to say thank you to everyone for their continued support."

Having not been back at his old stamping ground for a few years, Mkhize is looking forward to seeing the latest developments.

"Eish, it’s been a while, hey. I have never even seen the new hall, where the dinner is going to be," he said with a chuckle.

Tomorrow’s benefit dinner, which will be attended by Mkhize’s former Sharks team-mates and a host of SA rugby legends, is promising to be a memorable event. Not only for the various personalities of South African rugby, but — more importantly — as a reminder of how to tackle adversity when it comes knocking at your door.

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