Brandon’s eyes tell a story his demeanour does well to hide.
At first glance Brandon Moyo is just an 18-year-old who is about to take on the world, but under the mask the Bloubergrant High School kid is devastated and afraid.
First his tragic story might drown one in the reality of his situation before it resurrects one with his courage.
The only-child’s dad died when he was in Grade 11 and then, during his matric finals, his mother also passed away.
He is supported by a good friends of his mom, friends and teachers, but ultimately he is utterly alone.
Everyone who knows about him is proud of the fact that he achieved a Bachelor pass in his exams, yet the one person he is desperate to share it with now looks down at him from heaven.
“I know my mom is proud of how I’ve been coping since the whole tragedy struck,” he says.
TygerBurger interviewed him just a few hours before he headed to the University of Johannesburg to apply to study business science.
Before the end of the interview the teenager became the embodiment of sadness and perseverance.
He will never forget that night of 10 November 2013.
“I was about to write my third paper – biology. My mom was diagnosed with a liver disease, but she was doing fine, still going to work and stuff. But it was eating her up inside. On the Sunday night at about 23:00 she was in terrible pain – breaking out in a sweat. She didn’t want to go to hospital, but I phoned her best friend nonetheless. My mom’s friend took her to the hospital because it was decided that I should be studying. I was writing history that Wednesday and biology on the Friday.
“Before my mom left she was smiling and said that I should bring her stuff the next day when I come to visit. The next day I woke up and went to school and that afternoon when we went to the hospital we were told…”
His voice becomes fragile.
“… she was gone… She once told me that I’m the one with the brighter future… That is how I concentrated… It was very difficult.”
That evening his English teacher, Sue McIntosh, came to Brandon’s home and prayed with him and comforted him.
“She said that even though my mom has passed away, there are people around me who love me and can help me push through.”
The principal also phoned him and said that Brandon could take supplementary exams if he wanted, but Brandon refused.
He got a B for history and a C for biology.
“All I did was pray and trust God and rely on my friends for support.”
Brandon wrote biology paper two on the Monday, so he couldn’t even attend his mom’s memorial service. Now the house is engulfed in a deafening silence.
Brandon had to let go of his dream to study biotechnology because of inadequate marks and he is on his way to apply for a new course and a study loan. All of this will happen in a distant city where he knows no-one. His loneliness is tangible. His fear is suffocating.
Yet, if one takes into account his steely determination and strength of character, one just knows that Brandon will succeed in whatever he pursues.