A boy with a wish to shine

2019-04-16 06:00
Deolano Steenkamp’s ever-supportive mother congratulating her first-born son on completing the cycling race.

Deolano Steenkamp’s ever-supportive mother congratulating her first-born son on completing the cycling race.

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All Deolano Steenkamp (17) wants to do is to ride his bicycle, observe nature and spread the message of living a good life.

Steenkamp recently completed his first Cape Town Cycle Tour, finishing the race in just under six hours. He dreams of competing in the Tour de France one day.

He is his mother’s and younger siblings’ beacon of hope and wants to make them proud and graduate with a qualification in a field that is related to either animals or nature. He has not made up his mind yet, but thinks it will be one of those two.

“I first wanted to study mechanical engineering but I have changed my mind. I want to work with animals because I love nature,” says Steenkamp, a resident of Portlands.

Steenkamp attended Westport Primary School when his mother was involved in an accident that had a huge impact on his family life.

His mother’s condition remained critical for four months and the tragedy caused his academic performance to collapse.

It was not easy for him but he had to remain strong for his siblings, his mother and most importantly, himself.

He then had to part ways with his school and heard about City Mission Educational Services (CMES).

His mother is the reason he was able to attend, having looked for a place for him to study. To the family’s delight, he was accepted. While he was at CMES, his uncle introduced him to cycling. At first he did not show any keenness but before anyone knew it, he was hooked.

He first saw it as a means to get some exercise and to also avoid thinking about the situation at home.

He is now a passionate, full-time cyclist.

“I wish to tour France and for that to happen, one of the things I have to do is train hard,” he says, referring to his goal to compete in the Tour de France.

He is part of the leadership team at his church and helps other children where he can, with anything he can.

His wheelchair-bound mother, Tanya, says she is proud of the man her son is becoming.

“He is very calm and a good-hearted man. He wants to give to the poor even though he, himself, is not rich,” shares the proud mother.

She says she will never forget the emotional moment when she was in hospital and her son told her that when she was involved in the accident, something inside him died.

He is described by his teacher and mentor, Nathan Remedy, as a humble, determined and hardworking young boy whom he believes the sky is the limit.

“I wish he excels in his cycling career and in his education,” he says.

Anyone who would like to offer any form of support or sponsorship to Steenkamp should feel free to.


  • To sponsor a cycling kit or a bicycle for Steenkamp, contact him on 083 615 9010.


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