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ENGINEERING STUDENT AND SAXOPHONIST

21-year-old student from SOS Children’s Villages Nelspruit

 

 

Meet *Jersey a 21-year-old youth from SOS Nelspruit.  *Jersey is a mechanical engineering student who has a passion for cars and all things automotive. *Jersey and his sibling *Henry came to SOS in 2004 when he was 7 years old and his brother was 8 years old at the time.  *Jersey was only two years old when his mother died and his father also died in the same year and this left the boys homeless and without parents to care for them. 

Their neighbour took them in and cared for them for a few months before being sent to a local Orphanage.  When *Jersey turned 7 years old, him and his brother joined SOS Children’s Village Nelspruit. 

“When I came to SOS I was young and confused, I did not understand why my step-sisters were not there”, said *Jersey.  His step-sisters used to stay with them in their home when their parents were still alive. When *Jersey and his brother were at the local orphanage their step-sisters visited them in few occasions and when they moved to SOS they stopped visiting them completely, and he says that this broke his heart.  *Jersey heard that he had uncles living in the nearby township, but they never had any relationship with them and have never actually seen or met them before.  During Christmas holidays, *Jersey and his brother visits the neighbour who cared for them when they were young, and they are the only family they know.

Soccer was one of *Jersey’s passions when he was in middle school and he played a goal keeper position.  He said that he had to work harder compared to his team mates because of his medium height.  But his soccer dreams were put on hold when he started high school and his education became primary to everything else. 

*Jersey finished high school with Maths, Science and Physics and he enrolled at Waterval Boven College to study Mechanical Engineering specialising in Diesel.  He completed with high marks in his theory work, and he is now looking for internship programmes for him to be able to complete his qualification. 

When it comes to natural talent, *Jersey is a born muso.  He discovered his talent in playing the Saxophone at the age of 17 when he was doing the 11th Grade.  Prior to that he used to be responsible for packing instruments at his church in Kwamagugu, then him and his church mates used to experiment with the instruments before packing them away.  KFC donated pennywhistles for SOS children in Nelspruit and *Jersey was dedicated to learning this new instrument that was introduced to him, and at the same time he was also introduced to the theory of music.  Now *Jersey is known for his talent in playing gospel songs with his Saxophone and he is very passionate and dedicated to his music. 

While *Jersey enjoys practice time with his band, he is also trying hard to get his engineering internship in order for him to complete his qualification.

In the near future, *Jersey hopes to manufacture his own engine and ultimately design his own car. 

*Names changed to protect the identity of the child

Story and photographs by:-
Suri Tsholetsane, Head of Communications
SOS Children’s Villages South Africa