Themba, on the cusp of a promising soccer career, was attacked on his way to soccer practice by a group of young men he grew up playing with.
Cape Town, South Africa (18 November 2020) – Adrienne Westman has spent the last 9 years giving a lift to a young man named Themba. He has become part of her family and her to his. However, the other day she got the horrific news that Themba had been beaten by a group of young men who he played soccer with.
Distraught, Adrienne rushed to Themba and got him to a private hospital so he could receive medical care that would hopefully save his eye, which was badly damaged by a hammer during the attack.
The violent act of jealousy has pushed Adrienne to take big steps in moving the family to a safer area where Themba won’t be at risk anymore. She hopes the medical care he is now getting can save his eye. His dreams all hang in the balance as they wait.
Adrienne took to Facebook to share his inspiring and tragic story in the hopes that it will bring about real change for Themba.
“About 9 years ago, I was parked outside a primary school, and this young tall, athletic boy was standing outside the school with his friends, and something about him grabbed my attention. I was very intrigued. I watched him as he interacted with the other kids. I could tell that all the kids respected him and wanted his affirmation. This young man with a lion heart of kindness toward over them.
It was quite late in the afternoon, and all the kids were waiting to be collected by their parents. Something told me that his parents were not coming.
As I was there collecting other kids at the school that afternoon, I asked him if he was alright and if could I perhaps give him a lift home? His eyes lit up as if I had just bought him a brand new bicycle.
I spoke to him a little… excited to find out more information about this incredible dynamic young man.
He is one of 5 brothers, of which he is the oldest.
They live together in a tiny home in the township.
All the 5 brothers share one bed.
All the 5 brothers share all their clothes, shoes etc.
All the 5 brothers play football.
Their mom (Eunice) runs a crèche for small kids in the township who don’t have parents during the day with little to no income. (Even worse now due to COVID)
I decided then and there that I was going to do my part for this young gifted and talented boy.
I decided that I would pick him up every morning en route to school.
I decided that 3 weeks before his exams he would come and stay with us and I would help him to study and prepare for his exams.
I decided to gift him and his family with as much as I could. I decided to love him as if he were my own son.
I invited him and his family for lunch the following Saturday afternoon, and I asked Themba and his parents if that was alright with them? If I may, please help out where I could. They, of course, agreed, with lots of thank you’s and appreciation.
From the moment I saw him standing outside the school gate, I knew that we would be intertwined each other’s lives in some shape or form.
He has subsequently become a super achiever in football. He was invited to play football in Germany for a short stint, and he has achieved numerous football accolades. Football is his life.
06:00 this morning (17 November 2020) he was en route to his training session as he does diligently every morning.
4 young men attacked him! Themba knows these guys, as they played football together growing up!? They hit him with a hammer numerous times to the face and head, stabbed him and left him to fend for himself in a critical condition. I think they ran away when he finally blacked out due to the multiple blows to his head.
This brave, courageous young man found the strength to pick himself up and find his way home bleeding and unable to see.
I rushed to get him to MediClinic so he could get the urgent and best care he required.
He is so so brave. Please pray with me that he does not lose his eye. He is getting all the necessary scans and medication he requires. The doctors are worried about the swelling on his head and his eye.
He asked me in the hospital: “Ma, what do I say when I see these guys again in the streets?”
I told him to use all this anger that he is feeling right now to push harder and to motivate himself to get him and his family out of the township. He must become the soccer star he believes he will become.
He should work towards buying his family a bigger home, in a safer area.
He should think of ways to help his community. Perhaps, start a self-defence and soccer academy in the townships to help other kids who fall victim to such horrendous crimes.
Then, when he sees these guys again, he can smile and thank them for pushing him to become an even greater man despite the challenges he has had to overcome.
How do you fight with guys who are not afraid of going to jail?
My heart is broken. 💔 Thank you for allowing me to share my heavy heart with you. 💔💔💔💔💔💔
If you would like to help me in supporting this kind yet determined young man and his family, you are more than welcome to message me! It would really help and make me happy.
It doesn’t matter how big or small!? 🙏🙏🙏🙏
Anything from food parcels to clothes for him and his family, to financial contributions for his hospital bills, to a soccer sponsorship!? Every bit counts. Together we are stronger.
Perhaps sharing this message? Who knows, what random acts of kindness could help to support this special family; close to my ❤.
Thank you for ALL your help love and support; it is most appreciated. 🥰
If you would like to assist Adrienne, you can reach out via Facebook here.
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