Brilliant international student laid to rest

Kapoko Neville Mathapo was laid to rest in Thaba Nchu on Saturday. PHOTO: LEBAKENG NKABI

The funeral of Kapoko Neville Mathapo, the Free State government bursary holder who studied in China but tragically died in an accident last week, was attended among others by the MEC of COGTA in the Free State, Thembeni Nxangisa, and the Director General of the Free State Provincial Government, Kopung Ralikontsane.

Mathapo, who resided in Ratau in Thaba Nchu, completed his Civil Engineering at Shandong  Jianzhu University in China with a total of 33 distinctions. He returned to South Africa after his graduation in 2019.

Mathapo’s funeral service was held at the Barolong Community Hall on Saturday. His friends portrayed him as someone who was always dedicated in life, someone who loved education so much that he even arranged for one of his friends to also get a scholarship to study in China. In his spare time he motivated learners and the youth in Thaba Nchu and influenced them to change their attitude towards learning and to improve in their studies.

Nxangisa told Bloemfontein Courant that Mathapo has made a promise to build his mother a house, but death took him away before he could fulfil his wish.

“However, all is still well, because Premier Sisi Ntombela has promised to fulfil that promise to Mathapo’s mother. Death is a painful experience, especially when it takes intelligent and great minds, such as Kapoko.

“We always say to young people that the sky is the limit, but how far they get, depends on them. As a country we need people like Kapoko with the necessary skills to come up with innovative ways to move South Africa forward.

“I say to the family of Kapoko: mourn in your own time and on your own terms until you have come to terms with what has happened. Kapoko completed his studies in record time and his name will be written in the books of African history,‘’ said Nxangisa.

Speaking, Ralikontsane added that the scholarships given to young students offer them a chance to spread their wings.

“These bursaries do not guarantee them a job in government, but we trust that they will think like Kapoko, who dreamed of opening his own civil engineering company. These children must use the knowledge they have gained through the opportunity given to them by the Free State government. Premier Sisi Ntombela has asked us to host a praying service on 19 February 2020 for all the students who are currently studying in China. – Lebakeng Nkabi