Cape Town – Pupils and teachers at SACS Junior School here were given a brilliant reminder on the first day of the 2016 opening term by Proteas Test batsman Temba Bavuma that sporting dreams really can come true.
The now 25-year-old, who did his junior schooling at SACS before his family relocated to Johannesburg, wasn’t at the assembly there on Wednesday: his thoughts would have been entirely focused on the key third Test against England which started at the Wanderers a day later.
Bavuma entered it, for his eighth cap, on the back of becoming the first black African player to register a century for South Africa during the second encounter at Newlands over New Year.
But headmaster Francois Nel had dug out an extract from an old school magazine, in which a young Bavuma – who would have been around 11 at the time – had written a Grade 6 mini-project titled: “Where I see myself in fifteen years.”
His submission, published in the magazine, read: “I see myself in fifteen years in my suit and shaking (then SA president Thabo) Mr Mbeki’s hand congratulating me for making the South African side.
“If I do I would definitely thank my coaches and parents who support me all the way and especially my two uncles who gave me the skills of being one (a Proteas representative).
“I would also want to be an accountant because I’m very good at maths like my father (journalist-turned-businessman Vuyo Bavuma) who encouraged me to be one.”
Bavuma has satisfied his aspirations on both fronts, not only given his much-lauded milestone success at the crease at Newlands and encouraging Test-level strides before that match, but because he also possesses a degree in financial management through Unisa.
At the time of that classroom task in the early 2000s, Temba was also a member of the Under-11 A cricket side at SACS.
He did not get to shake the hand of Thabo Mbeki, of course, but after his 102 not out against the English tourists, was congratulated in a public statement by current President Jacob Zuma.
“He has done the country proud and is a role model for millions of young sport enthusiasts,” President Zuma said.
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