Youth Voices: Musa Simelane

Youth Voices: Musa Simelane

Musa Simelane is a 25 year-old born and bred Free Stater. He has limb deformity and is a wing in the wheelchair rugby squad who represented South Africa at the World Championships in London.

Musa Simelane, Willem Stiglingh

Musa is a passionate South African and believes the possibilities the country holds.

This 2nd year BA Corporate Communications Student, at the University of the Free State, excels at everything he does.

"If you are living, do something that is going to leave a legacy": is his motto.  

Musa lost his father when he was just 2-years old. Since then, it's been him and his mom: "My rock".

As a child carer, she could never afford to pay for varsity studies, but she did motivate him to hit the books "or end up like all the other kids on the street, living in a location".

So, Musa studied hard at high school  and earned a bursary.

Musa Simelane is also a passionate rugby player, who last year represented South Africa at the World Championships in London.

"Growing up, I used to feel sad when other children could do things I couldn't ... like running". 

Musa was born with a condition known as limb deformity. This means his hands and feet did not develop.   

So, how on earth do you play rugby without hands to catch the ball and feet to run?

In a wheelchair, off course. 

Musa is a wing in the wheelchair rugby squad and scoring "good" tries is his what he strives for - the more the better. 

Musa Simelane 1_getty
File photo: Getty Images

He's also a fierce tackler.

"I didn't choose to play wheelchair rugby. I was introduced to the sport by a friend after I stopped playing wheelchair basketball. To be honest, it scared me when the wheelchairs clashed. It is the only contact wheelchair sports code. But, I was also curious." 

Musa's fear was replaced with passion and his trip to the UK last year, his first ever overseas, has motived him even more. 

"The national leagues are coming up on 24 and 25 June in Pretoria. You should come and watch, it's very exciting."

Musa believes young South Africans can have it all: "Young people approach any situation with excitement and hope. Being young means (being) open to new possibilities". 

This is how Musa himself approaches life. He has overcome every obstacle in his path with distinction. He inspires all who know him, but he doesn't take any of the credit.

"I pray to the Lord, every time, that I am living. That's the first basic thing … to be living": says Musa.  "If you are good with something, make sure that you make it your craft, to be the best among the others." 

Musa's message to young South Africans: "Just do the best that you can, to make our country the better", is a message he himself lives by.  

He spoke to Dianne Broodryk...

Musa Simelane 2_getty
File photo: Getty Images

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