Haythorne Secondary pupil laid to rest

2017-04-19 06:00

THE Grade 11 pupil at Haythorne Secondary who died after collapsing at a rugby match two weeks ago was laid to rest on the weekend.

A sombre mood engulfed Life Bible Church International on Saturday where friends and family gathered to pay their respects to Awande Mkhize (16) who died due to heart-failure on 29 March.

Mourners fought back tears as speakers shared fond memories of Awande.

Awande’s older brother Thandolwethu, who was with him at the rugby match, said he had accepted it was his time to go.

“When our parents dropped us at school, he became my responsibility. I would ensure as his big brother that he was fine. I will miss looking out for him, it is hard to accept but it was time brother. We tried all we could to save your life but God needed another angel in heaven,” said a tearful Thandolwethu.

His friend Siyanda Shezi said he had lost a confidant.

“He was more than a friend, he was a brother. He had love, encouragement and he gave guidance. I remember how he would help me out with transport money when my parents were going through a rough patch financially. He was a remarkable human being and I’ll miss him.” Kaylene Goosen, who was Awande’s Grade 8 teacher said he had crept into the corner of her heart.

“He was a gentleman from the beginning and had a natural talent as a hooker. He gave his heart and soul to training and all the coaches remarked about his talent. He also produced excellent academic results and even after he had moved to other grades he would come by the office to greet me with a broad smile.”

His coach Raymond Easthorpe said Awande always stood out and had passion and determination.

“He was a pleasure to coach, and his death has left a big void in the team and the school. We will miss him and we have committed ourselves to play every day in his memory and to win many games to make him proud.”

Awande’s parents Nonhlanhla and Mandla also paid tribute to him in a moving letter read by Pastor Sabelo Manyathi.

“You were a blessing in our family, our last born. We watched you grow and gave you all the love we could. Your days on earth were short but you have made us proud,” said the letter.

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