Oratile Molatleghi was playing for the Bulls at the primary schools inter provincial sevens tournament when he was spotted and asked if he would like to come to King Edward VII School to develop as a rugby player and a person.
His parents visited the school and liked what they saw. His parents were not in a position to send him here, so he was offered a TAG bursary to pay for his school fees and he came here at the beginning of grade 8.
He played for the under-14, under-15 and under-16A teams, making the Golden Lions under-16 Welpies provincial team. He is now playing for the third team as a centre and has scored, he says, about 17 tries this season. “I have enjoyed the season in the thirds,” he said, “and have come off the bench for the seconds on a number of occasions, my goal is to play for the Reds, however, it is something that I have been dreaming about since I was in grade 8, and I am going to give it a full go next year.”
He is also a good athlete – he won the under-15 hurdles at the boys’ schools interhigh last year – and was part of the school’s elite athletics programme that runs during the first term.
Oratile is in Buxton House and he calls being in the hostel as “living the good life.” The food is good and the strict time slots in which you have to study or do your homework have been good for his school work, he said. “You are taught to be disciplined and organised and those are things that I need.”
He is confident that he is in no danger of failing, but knows he can do better in class. “I am aiming for a 60% average and am working hard towards it,” he said.
“Best of all, you have your friends around you all the time. It’s great living with people who have the same values and interests that you do.”
The thing he finds special about the school is that it builds character. “We are learning about the outside world from within the safety of the school,” he says. “I have learnt that, in life, things don’t always come to you easily, you have to work for them. The first rugby team is an example of that. Those players have worked hard to get there, and now that they are, they have a responsibility to represent the school with honour. It’s more than just playing rugby.”
A mature, balanced approach from an impressive young man who is quietly busy making his mark at the school.