Thabang Mphafi misses his grandmother. He was living with her in Welkom before he came across to King Edward VII School in the second term this year, and he enjoyed the way she used to fuss over him.
“I’m going to see her in the holidays and I’m looking forward to that,” he said. Other than that, there is nothing he regrets about his decision to come to the school, and he says he is very thankful to the TAG Foundation for making it possible for him.
He was spotted last year while at Dagbreek Primary School in Welkom, playing for the Griffons in the Primary Schools Craven Week, and at the SA Primary School athletics championships where he participated in the long jump and hurdles.
‘Mr Van Vuuren spoke to me at the Craven Week and told me that I could be given an opportunity to develop at a school like KES. I have to admit that I had never heard of the school, but my mother did some research and it looked great.”
Before he could make up his mind, however, he was forced to go to Welkom Gymnasium instead. He was not happy there and his mother inquired about still coming to KES and, to cut a long story short, he is here now settling in to his new surroundings and playing for the under-14A rugby team as a number 8.
“I found the work ethic was poor at Welkom and the kids were not disciplined. I didn’t enjoy the kind of rugby the coaches were getting us to play. They were, however, happy for me that I was going to a top rugby school where I would be getting good opportunities.”
Thabang is in School House and he is loving it. “It’s definitely helping me with my school work as we are forced to spend time studying and that’s been good for me,” he said. “We are well looked after there, and we are taught to be respectful.”
Rugby is taken seriously at the school, he says, and that suits him. “The under-14A team has done quite well. We lost narrowly to Waterkloof and Affies, but apart from that we have won all our games so far,” he said. “I think that once we all get to know each other better we are going to develop into a very good team.”
He is looking forward to next term and the athletics season when, no doubt, he is going to make a big contribution to the school. After that, his dreams are to make the Grant Khomo team as an under-16 and, of course, to play for the Reds one day.