Lukhangele qualifies as a LIfeguard !!
Lukhangele Brabo Tabatha, a Junior Coach and long-time participant in The Surfer Kids' core surf program, continues his journey by becoming a qualified lifeguard.
Mae, as called by his fellows, originated from the Eastern Cape. Later moved to the townships outside Mossel Bay at the age of 9. As surfing was introduced into his community, he saw the opportunity to start surfing himself, but didn’t know where or how he could start.
Mae has the dream of surfing worldwide, he searched for opportunities to reach his goal.
In the fullness of time, he saw older residents from the township fetching kids and walking them down to Diaz beach teaching them how to surf, this is when Mae went to his mother in hastiness to tell her what he just witnessed.
Time passed and at 10 years of age Mae became a participant of The Surfer Kids core surfing program. The Surfer Kids program offered him a safe haven, opportunities, many valuable lessons and taught him a great level of commitment he can apply throughout his lifetime. Mae also wants to give other children the joy of surfing as his life was enlightened by The Surfer Kids program. By giving other children this opportunity, it will brighten their future.
Mae has a very big love for the ocean and wants to progress more and more in ocean related activities. He also wants to show his community, colleagues, and peers that no matter what your circumstances are, you can build a bright future for yourself if you work hard. As he has many kids looking up to him at the core program of The Surfer Kids, he believes he can be a good role model if he qualifies by being a lifeguard and offer them a safe and fun time in the ocean.
By participating in the lifeguard course Mae can make his wish come true to help others, by getting the opportunity to be a qualified coach with first aid level 2 and good surfing abilities.
At The Surfer Kids, Mae has a great support system that gave him the necessary confidence to participate and believe in himself to become a qualified lifeguard. With this supporting community it was easy for him to grab this opportunity with both hands and succeed. Even though there is a lot of difficulties, like a lack of basic supplies at home, the intense training, still being in school with tasks that needs to be done, people questioning his abilities, he stayed committed and gave it his utter best.
Now, by being a qualified lifeguard there is a lot of responsibilities. It is not always nice to be that lifeguard who tells everybody to stay between the flags, to not swim at a certain place or depth in the ocean or to constantly warn people from the dangers and currents and sharks or bluebottles and jellyfish.
As a lifeguard you must be on duty 24/7 not just on your time slot on the beach but to help people in any other circumstance that might endanger them, to share your knowledge with people that could possibly save their lives in the future. You must acknowledge that other people trust you to help them in an endangered situation. You must be prepared and on the watch at all times.
Mae believes he could fulfill the standards needed to be a succeeding lifeguard even when he is still a young 16-year-old boy. The test to qualify as a lifesaver requires a lot. This includes swimming and running a certain distance in a specific time slot, being able to do CPR on infants, children, and adults, doing a spinal injury rescue, doing a written test on all knowledge needed to be a lifeguard and much more.
Mae gave his best at the lifesaving test, swimming early morning in cold water, fighting his way through the currents of the ocean, challenging his own abilities, doing rescuing trials with lifesaving instructors surrounding him and putting a lot of pressure on him.
As he passed this challenging lifesaving test he is ready to save lives, protect people from the ocean dangers and to be a surfing coach at The Surfer Kids and help others to find the joy in the ocean although it is so stros is a very exciting next chapter of his life where he can make a difference daily, change lives for the better, succeed in more opportunities and live his life to the fullest.