Pietermaritzburg, May 21: The Indian Premier League scholarship programme could not have come at a better time for eight-year-old S'bonga Zuma, who only started school at the Bisley Park Primary School here this year.
Having lost his mother just a week ago, the little boy is now in the care of his elderly grandmother and there was great concern about his schooling.
But a windfall came in the form of a 15,000 rand ($1,789/Rs.84,687) scholarship towards Zuma's school fees from the IPL, which has been handing out similar bursaries to five learners at each of the more than 50 games so far.
Zuma was taken to the IPL double header in Durban Wednesday by friends to help him overcome his grief and to lift his spirits. It turned out to be a double blessing for him.
The DLF IPL scholarship, together with a subsidy he receives from the school, will allow Zuma to complete primary school without having to worry about tuition fees.
The youngster, a fan of Makhaya Ntini, supports the Chennai Super Kings and would like to become a policeman once he has completed his studies.
Other learners winning scholarships Wednesday included Marcelle Pillay, 14, in Grade 8 at Southlands Secondary School in the huge mainly Indian township of Chatsworth, south of Durban. Pillay has hopes of becoming one of the very few South African Indian women cricketers one day.