'Life is not that bad to sit and repent'

'Life is not that bad to sit and repent'


Losing two arms at the age of eight after suffering electric shock is a shattering experience but Samkelo has put that behind to make his mark in the world of sport. He might have missed a medal in the IWAS Games here, finishing seventh in high jump, but that won’t stop him from laughing.

“I was eight years old when I suffered that mishap,” says Samkelo. “I was playing with my friends in my village and there was an electric line lying on the ground. I picked it up carelessly and that changed it all. I spent nine months in the hospital and later both my arms were amputated from below the elbow,” he said.
Samkelo, however, said he never lost self-confidence. “I didn’t wast any time. Soon after I was discharged from the hospital, I went to school for studies. I was never afraid. The fact that I lost two arms hasn’t hindered me much. Initially, I got help from my sisters and brother and also from my parents. Slowly and gradually, I found my own methods to do my routines,” said the 19-year-old, who is now a law student at the University of Johannesburg.

Asked about his entry into sports, Samkelo said. “I loved sports, especially soccer. My school gave a lot of importance to sports, so it wasn’t difficult for me to come up as an athlete. I like to live life fully. Every day is like the last day for me. I want to make full use of this life,” he said.

Samkelo spends his spare time watching movies and driving his four-wheeler. “If something happens to you only then you realise that there are bad and good times. Life is not that bad to sit and repent. It’s always good for me. I drive my father’s Toyota Corolla and Opel Corsa. But my favourite pastime is watching horror movies,” said Samkelo.

Samkelo, who won the 100 and 200M gold in the T-46 class at the IWAS Junior Games two years back in Germiston, South Africa, will be eyeing his first medal in the senior category here. “It’s exciting to go to different parts of the world and win medals for your country. That’s the way you feel you are giving something back to your country. I liked Bangalore and am hoping to take home a few medals from your city.”

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