A KwaZulu-Natal matriculant who was recently awarded for helping his friend with cerebral palsy throughout his high school career, says he did so because "it is the right thing to do".
Moyiso Radebe and his friend Mandlenkosi Mbatha, who has cerebral palsy, were both acknowledged recently by the provincial education department for their camaraderie and perseverance in completing matric.
Speaking a week after pushing his wheelchair-bound friend to the main stage at the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education awards, the Mzimela Senior Secondary School pupil said it was a proud moment. They were given a special award for their camaraderie and dedication to academics.
'I was not going to just leave him'
"I remember when I saw him. I just thought I should go and help because he is a good innocent person. We all need a chance," Radebe told News24 on Monday.
"When I first saw him, I knew that I needed to help him. He would struggle to do many things. I was not going to just leave him," Radebe said.
"Him getting an award at provincial level is a dream come true. Helping him was always the right thing to do."Mosiyo Radebe, left, and Mandlenkosi Mbatha. The duo have been friends for three years. (Supplied, Mosiyo Radebe)
He said he knew the struggles Mbatha went through in life.
"His award means something. He is being recognised. For me, I am happy because I know my friend is doing well and will go places."
'He pushes me to be better'
Radebe said their friendship was a welcomed constant in his life.
"We have been friends for three years. I would help him with drinking and eating during the break time. I would also see him on weekends. I learned a lot from him."
He said his friend was his greatest inspiration.
"The rest of us, we say we have a lot of problems we are dealing with, but that is not true. Mandlenkosi knows about life. He pushes me to be better."
Radebe said their friendship grew in high school because they both had a passion for education.
"He is a very dedicated guy and I picked up his way of thinking. He does not give up and now, neither do I."
He encouraged other pupils to forge ahead.
"You must be kind to each other, and you must push with your education. It is the only way to set yourself and your family free."