Thapelo Nachabeleng, a disabled man donated 40 pairs of school shoes worth R8 000 to needy learners of Greenside Primary as part of a charity drive on Friday.
Nchabeleng was shot in his back by thugs who attempted to burgle his parents’ house in Zone 8, Seshego in 2012. The injuries left him disabled and dependent on a wheelchair for mobility.
Since he became disabled, he has worked tirelessly on his charity drive that aims to ensure that needy learners attending schools in Polokwane and surrounds never have to go to school barefoot, especially during the winter.
“Before I was shot I worked at company in Ladanna. I was retrenched and they gave me lot of money. Looking at my situation though, I realised there was nothing more I could do with the money because I was no longer independent. I then started a charity drive aimed at reaching out to needy learners in various communities. I saw the need here in Greenside where most learners are from disadvantaged backgrounds and come to school barefooted. That touched me and I am glad to have made a difference,” Nchabeleng said.
School Principal, Peter Ramaphakela said the shoes will make a difference for needy learners at school. “Most of the learners are orphans and some are from child headed families. They come to school bare footed, some with worn-out shoes, and that creates discomfort. We want to thank him for considering our learners and we are certain that the donation will make a positive impact in their lives,” Ramaphakela said.
Thapelo’s mother, Veronica Nchabeleng was also present during the handover. She said she was proud of her son’s efforts to improve the lives of underprivileged learners. “As a parent I am very proud of my son. I am also glad that his situation did not make him withdraw from life. He is stronger than before. He is taking the world by storm and God gave him strength and power to move on with his life,” she said.
Asked about the fateful incident, Thapelo said he remembers entering his parents‘ house through the garage door at around midday were he found thugs helping themselves to items in the house. “They saw me, started firing shots and thereafter fled. The following day in hospital and could not believe it when the doctors said I would not walk again,” Thapelo said.