Pietermaritzburg - Hilton College old boy Lungisani “Lungi” Ngidi’s parents could not be prouder.
Ngidi this week saw his childhood dream of being a superhero at national level become a reality when he took 6/39 as South Africa defeated India by 135 runs for victory in the second Test in Pretoria.
His parents, Bongi and Jerome Ngidi, who live in Kloof, west of Durban, watched their 21-year-old son make his dream debut in Test cricket this week on television at the Kloof Junior Primary School where they are both employed as cleaners.
In an exclusive interview with The Witness on Thursday, the visibly elated parents sang their youngest son’s praises, with his mother, who was unable to hold back her tears of joy, describing her nerves at the moment he took his second wicket of the innings, that of the world’s best batsman at present - Virat Kohli.
She said she hopes Ngidi remains humble and is not consumed by fame.
"I don’t even know what to say but for everything I give praise to the Lord. When I look where we have come from as his parents all I can say is thank you Lord," she said.
"He has always been a very focused child and when I was down or sad he would come and give me a hug and say, 'I don’t want you to cry mom, you are still going to be rich. I want you to sit down and enjoy your life.'
"In 2015 he bought a house for us when he was just 19 years old and that shows what kind of a person he is. He hasn’t forgotten where he comes from ... Our wish for him is that he stays humble and that he continues to play until he reaches a point where he decides to retire."
His proud dad, Jerome, who said he spoke to the country’s newest darling on the phone after the game to congratulate him, described him as a special gift from God.
He echoed his wife’s sentiments in saying that Ngidi should not be consumed by fame.
"When he started school at Kloof Junior Primary Lungi began to show interest in everything that has to do with sports," he said.
"He loved rugby, cricket, swimming, hockey, football and athletics. He is a quiet and disciplined boy; he doesn’t like talking that much but he likes his sports.
"He always wanted to play for the national team, those were his wishes. He always used to say he wants to play like Makhaya Ntini. Even the young boys he used to play with as a kid would call him Makhaya Ntini because of the way he bowled.
"He left the other sports codes because his coach at Hilton College advised him to pick one sport and focus on it. He chose cricket.
"At the age of 15 he started playing for the junior national teams and he started touring countries such as India and England and that’s when we saw that he was going to go far."