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GMA Extra: Checking in with wheelchair rugby star and now 3rd year student, Musa Simelane

Musa Simelane has completed his 2nd year BA Communications at the University of Bloemfontein in 2016. He works hard, studies with an academic bursary and stays in the Campus Res, but the rest of his costs are a struggle to get together for him and his single mom. What sets Musa apart from other students in the same situation is that Musa was born with “Limbs Deformity". 

musa simelane wheelchair

GMA EXTRA 9 JANUARY 2017 (MUSA 4 APRIL 2016/11 APRIL 2016)

  

ANGEL: Good Morning Angels Fund


SPONSORING: The GMA Fund will help Musa to pay for his unexpected internet-data costs, not covered by his bursary (UP TO R12 000,00)


BACKGROUND:  Musa Simelane has completed his 2nd year BA Communications at the University of Bloemfontein in 2016. He works hard, studies with an academic bursary and stays in the Campus Res, but the rest of his costs are a struggle to get together for him and his single mom. What sets Musa apart from other students in the same situation is that Musa was born with “Limbs Deformity". This means that his legs and arms are not fully developed. He taught himself to walk small distances, to write and to use his limbs as much as he can - despite great hardship. Musa even pushed himself to play rugby and he excels at the sport. He was selected to represent the South African team in an international tournament in the United Kingdom in 2015. We hosted Musa at the GMA Decade of Caring celebration last April, where Good Morning Angels helped him to pay for his own wheelchair to play rugby. The price tag was R90 000,00 and the 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Students of the University of Pretoria held a special fundraiser to help Musa buy the chair. They described him as inspiring through his attitude towards his disability, his work ethic, positive outlook on life in general and his humility. They raised some R15 000,00 and GMA, our sponsors and supporters added the rest. 


Musa contacted Good Morning Angels in December 2016, very worried after incurring unexpected internet data costs that is not covered by his bursary of just over R11 000,00. He and his mom cannot afford this expense and if left unpaid will prevent him from registration for his 3rd year. Below is his message.


REQUEST:


Hi Dianne, its Musa, the young man u sponsored with a rugby wheelchair. 


I know this is the wrong time of the year to be asking help from others, but I am in some trouble. Throughout the year, I have gone over to the university's doctor a couple of times and without knowing, I have overused the internet, that the bursary won't pay for. This escalated to just over R 11 000, and now the university says if I don't pay it on time (which I don't have currently) I cannot register. It is now my last year, I just realise I made a mistake but am willing to do anything and little jobs here and there but I just won't have enough time to make enough money by the time I have to pay it. 


I have been doing good with my school work (passed all my 2nd year subjects) but It won't make a difference if I don't pay. It will cause problems and I can't afford to be in the statistic of college dropouts.


So, Dianne I’m here asking for any kind of help that u can assist me with. I’ve been asking from other places too but no luck so far, I have been thinking of giving up now but the thought of being a university dropout scares me so much - I even get panic attacks because I promised my mother that I will graduate. With this set back in my way, it will seem like I make empty promises and it will cause a disappointment - but mostly my future won't be certain or as I have planned it. 

I'm hoping to hear from you, Musa. 


The Bloemfontein Mustangs won the championship in wheelchair rugby this year for the first time in the Free State and took the cup home. Just thought I could share good news with u.


ORIGINAL REQUEST:


Good evening to The Good Morning Angels Team,


My name is Marit von Schlichting, a second year Occupational Therapy Student.  We are in the process of helping a young sports hero accomplish his dreams, and have tried countless ways to get others involved. I know that you carry people's needs very close to your heart, and truly hope that you could help me in this venture.


I have attached a letter with more information in this regard. 

I sincerely hope that your team would be able to support us and Musa. We would be forever grateful.


Thank you very much for your time!


Kind regards and God Bless,

Marit von Schlichting


Dear Jacaranda FM & Good Morning Angels,  

                                                                                               

Life is not always fair. This is something many people contacting you probably know. Yet one young gentleman, Musa Ebenezer Simelane, has lived his life making the most of the cards he has been dealt. Humble beyond description, he faces a future of struggle and hope.  


Musa was born with a congenital abnormality of the arms and legs. The doctors described it as “Limbs Deformity,” and claim it is a condition which will affect him life-long. He cannot walk properly, can hardly run, struggles to write or use his arms as a normal person can. The doctors promised his family they would be able to fix his legs, but after numerous operations he still struggles forward with a severe limp, and needs to stop after twenty minutes of walking due to the immense pain.  


Over years of practicing, he has learned to write, however this is yet another of his endless struggles. As a child he needed help in everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, brushing his teeth, eating his food, or climbing stairs. Through hard work, he finally managed to achieve these tasks years after other children his age did. He has received various operations throughout his life, all attempting to help him but none being very successful. The long periods he spent in hospital also set him back in his school career, so that he finished matric three years after his peers.  


Although facing such difficulties, Musa remains humble and positive, and doesn’t plead for help. Even so, he has received as much help, love and support as anyone could ask for from his mother, a strong woman who fights for her only son every day.  Unfortunately, Musa’s father died when Musa was just 2 years old, leaving his mother to fight for the two of them. They have faced great financial difficulty which has forced them to move from Bloemfontein to Port Elizabeth, to Johannesburg, and back to Bloemfontein again.  Musa was sent to various schools, and in a particularly difficult time was sent to live with his Grandmother while his mother found work.  Even so, the two of them are closer than ever, and Musa says his mother, and God, are the two figures in his life he can completely rely on.


For obvious reasons, Musa couldn’t play regular sports with his peers, but this didn’t stop him from trying.  It was while playing Wheelchair Basketball that Musa’s hopes in sports were lost due to a major setback. An old school friend of Musa, playing for the National wheelchair basketball team, introduced him to Wheelchair Rugby and persuaded him to give it all a shot. Musa worked hard and started enjoying it, and his dedication was rewarded when he was selected to represent the South African team in an international tournament in the United Kingdom in 2015. Of course he is really proud of this, it is an inspiration to see someone’s humility, perseverance and determination pay off.


Currently, Musa is staying in a University Residence in Bloemfontein, where he is in his second year of a BA in Corporate and Marketing Communication.  This opportunity has only been given to him through an education bursary which allows him a shot at a successful future. However, extra money for food, travel and living expenses remains a never-ending challenge. Musa is a young man who is a great inspiration to others, particularly those facing disabilities themselves.  His optimism and dedication push him further than anyone could have deemed possible.


So how can he be helped further? In order to continue his Rugby career, Musa needs to save enough money for a custom-made wheelchair, one costing R90 000. It is impossible for him to raise this money by himself. He needs all the help he can get. 

As Occupational Therapy Department of the University of Pretoria we are organizing an Action Sports Day on 9 April 2016 at the Zambezi Action Sport Arena.  Our aim is to motivate sport teams and faculties from the University to participate in sports such as action dodgeball, soccer, cricket and netball on a competitive basis. We intend to raise funds towards Musa's custom-made wheelchair through team entry fees, food sales/sponsorships and raffle/money donations. We are also looking for prizes for the winning teams. We are asking whether the Good Morning Angels program, which has helped so many people in need in the past, can help this man live a life worth remembering.


Our most humble thanks,


Marit von Schlichting & the 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Students of the University of Pretoria.

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