Blessing Mampuru (12), head boy of Laerskool Piet Hugo Primary has it all, good looks, a warm personality, excellent academic achievements and a lot of sporting talent, and says he does indeed feel blessed after being chosen to play for the u.12 Limpopo Blue Bulls team.
As fly-half on the team, his is a key position. He needs to be highly skilled, quick thinking and tactically clever as once the forwards have won the ball, it’s his job to make sure the ball is used well.
No wonder, then, that he is also a Top 10 academic learner at his school who loves social sciences and economic and management sciences. His average this year is 81% and he is determined to improve on this. Referring to a recent proposal by the Department of Basic Education that history should be made a compulsory subject in the curriculum, Blessing says he is all for this. “I think it would be a very good thing. History is important, it teaches us where we come from and often shows where we are going,” he says.
He says the u.12 Limpopo Blue Bulls have played two matches already, losing the first against the Pumas and winning the second, which was against the Leopards on Saturday. “It was a really tough game but we won 5-0 in the end. The team is doing really well so far,” he says.
He has several rugby heroes including Handré Pollard, Elton Jantjies and Jesse Kriel, all Springbok players.
Rugby is not the only sport he loves. He also plays soccer, cricket and does high jump and hurdles but rugby remains his favourite and he dreams of becoming a Springbok player one day. He has a passion for sport and even in his limited spare time can be seen playing ball games with his friends. When he is not playing ball, he enjoys watching television and cartoons are his favourite. His music preference is for hip-hop and house music. “I like music with a lot of beat and lyrics that make sense,” he adds.
He is the youngest of five boys and believes this is why he has been able to take on the leadership role as head boy successfully over other learners many of whom are older than him. He exudes a quiet confidence and looks people straight in the eyes when he speaks. “Because of growing up with siblings who are older than me, I think it is much easier for me to be assertive when necessary, even when dealing with those older than me,” he explains.
He says he owes his latest rugby achievement to his 24-year-old brother, Tshepo. “He encouraged me to compete in the rugby trials, even though I didn’t believe I was a good enough player to make the team. I was totally shocked when I heard I had made the team,” he says.
His message to other young learners is to keep on working and never give up. “With hard work anything is possible, so don’t limit your dreams,” he adds.
Laerskool Piet Hugo Primary principal Werner Christou says Blessing is a hard worker in all aspects. “Everything he takes on, he does with enthusiasm and therefore attains success therein. Over the years he has worked incredibly hard to reach his various achievements,” a proud Christou says, adding that he expects Blessing to go very far in life and be a huge success at whatever endeavour he takes on.
Story & photo: KAREN VENTER