Blind cricketer graduates with a degree in music
Kenneth Mabelane is a lively, determined young man from Soshanguve who also happens to be blind. He will not let anything stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming an established musician, and has already released a single titled Make it better, which is available online. In addition to his musical talents, he also recently represented South Africa in India as part of the national blind cricket team. He graduated with a degree in music from the University of Pretoria (UP) on Wednesday, 3 May .
Mabelane strongly believes that one’s greatest challenge in life is conquering the self. ‘You will always have issues with yourself,’ he says. As the guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, ‘To be established in the self means that regardless of the person, object or situation that comes before us, we do not lose our smile and equanimity even for a moment. Even if we do lose it, it is momentary and we instantly gain it back. Then we are strongly and firmly established in the self. We do not get disturbed by petty and trivial matters.’ Mabelane says that with growth comes challenges, and that forms part of conquering the self. He adds, ‘So long as you want to grow, you will have challenges with the self; the older you grow, the better you get at mastering it.’
Both cricket and studying music have helped Mabelane get where he is today. ‘Representing South Africa on its own was a big achievement for me. It held a lot of prestige and still does,’ he says. He believes that keeping busy is part of conquering the self, and by graduating he is also reaping the rewards of his academics. Both sport and music carry significance for him. ‘Like music, sport is for healing, reflecting and expressing,’ he explains.
Mabelane says that musical talent runs in his family. His mother, or ‘soldier’ as he calls her, is gifted with vocal talent, while his siblings and his grandparents also had a significant influence on his love for music.
He plans to further his studies in the fields of law and sports journalism. He says: ‘In the words of Zeno of Citium, ”Man conquers the world by conquering himself.”‘
– Author Mikateko Mbambo