Two inspirational scholars overcame life-changing diagnoses and won our hearts

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Neo Rakuba and Xolo Sibaya were both diagnosed with life-changing illnesses. They refused to be put down by it and excelled in their schooling careers, earning them high praise and warming our hearts.


Two young men from different schools within the Curro Schooling network were diagnosed with life-changing illnesses. Their schooling careers were altered but neither of them ever gave up and throughout their struggles, they continued to perform well at school.

These young men are truly inspirational. These are their stories.

This is the story of Neo Rakuba: Everything was going well for Neo Rakuba when he was elected as head boy of Meridian Rustenburg in 2016. However, in April that year, he was diagnosed with leukaemia and spent the rest of the year in hospital receiving chemotherapy and other medical support. When he was moved to Steve Biko hospital in Pretoria, his life was in grave danger. Despite this, Rakuba beat cancer to triumphantly return to school to finish Grade 12. Rakuba achieved excellent results.

During an award ceremony, he was awarded for his academic excellence. The moment was so moving that his grandmother jumped up from her seat and started dancing and reciting Tswana poetry in front of the stage

This is the story of Xolo Sibaya: Xolo Sibaya from Grantleigh College in KwaZulu-Natal may have been diagnosed with King Denborough Syndrome (a genetic condition that causes the body to be physically disabled), but he has never allowed that to limit his achievements.

Unable to play sport, he quickly became the manager for the rugby team that his friends played in, going on to manage every team at Grantleigh at some point in his school career. At his school’s Matric Academic Awards Ceremony, the soft-spoken Xolo was awarded the Clayton Walters Trophy for Triumph through Adversity in recognition of his personal conduct.

Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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