Local hero inspires Cooper College students to make a difference

Netball and Soccer Festival
February 26, 2016

Local hero inspires Cooper College students to make a difference


Like many others around South Africa, the staff of Cooper College were extremely inspired by the story of Nicole Morgan and Obakeng Seutane that recently went viral on Facebook.  Nicole’s moving account of what took place on that fateful day at Cedar Square and of how a young man, Obakeng, literally saved her life by taking decisive action has reached far and wide with over 14,000 shares.  The story has been so inspirational that they were recently interviewed on MetroFM.

You can read the detailed account of their experience here: https://www.facebook.com/nicole.g.morgan.7/posts/10154121567057246

Cooper College felt that this story of an ‘everyday hero’ would be an amazing life lesson and inspiration to its students and invited Nicole and Obakeng to speak at a school assembly on Monday, 30 May. The initiative was also part of Cooper College’s ongoing anti-bullying campaign, providing the students with anecdotal evidence of true life heroes and relevant role models.

Obakeng started his personal account by putting the situation into perspective for the students.  He asked them questions such as, how many people are there in the world?  How many people are there in Johannesburg? How many members go to the gym (since he was on his way there when the incident happened).  He observed, “What are the odds that I, one ordinary guy who would be prepared to take action, would be the one that would come across Nicole and her son that day?”  If Obakeng had not acted quickly and been prepared to help and to take the risk upon himself of transporting her to the hospital, Nicole would not be alive today. Obakeng calls himself an ‘average college guy’ who was in the ‘right place at the right time’.  A truly humble hero.

Obakeng told the students, “You may think it’s nothing when you are trying to help someone, but that small act of kindness can mean the world to someone else”.  In this case, his decision to help Nicole saved someone’s mommy and someone’s wife.  His message to the children was that you don’t have to be a cape-wearing superhero to save lives or to be a real hero.

The students were given the opportunity to ask them questions.  One little boy came up to meet Obakeng and asked him, ‘How did you feel when you realised that you had saved her life?’  Obakeng’s response was, ‘I felt like I had a rainbow in my tummy’.

At the end of the presentation, some of the children were asked to explain what lesson they had learnt from listening to Nicole and Obakeng’sstory.  Some of the responses were:

  • Even a small person can make a big difference.
  • Anybody can be a hero.
  • One small act of kindness can change the world.

Nicole told the students that it is time for us in South Africa to start sharing the right kind of stories.  She also said that life is short and that we need to live life to the fullest.  She feels that this experience happened for a reason so that she and Obakeng can share this positive message with others.

Cooper College wanted to recognise the difference that Obakeng has made by being a positive role model and inspiration byproviding him with a donation towards his studies.  He certainly didn’t want or need a reward, but acts of goodness can have surprising consequences!