AGAINST ALL ODDS: Yazeed Karriem has been chosen for the WP Craven Week team
This Manenberg laaitie is taking the first step to making his dream of becoming a Springbok come true.

Yazeed Karriem, 18, was just selected to play at Craven Week, the annual rugby tournament for schoolboys and held in July.

The young flyhalf from The Leadership College (TLC) in Manenberg says he is still in shock after receiving the news that he will be representing Western Province next month.

In April, the matriculant participated in the Craven Week trials and says despite being among the smallest boys on the field, he persevered.

“If you must see some of those guys and then see me, you will be shocked. But I pushed through, worked hard and did not let anything hold me back,” says Yazeed.

In June, he played in the final trial at the Coastal Tournament in Oudtshoorn and says he gave it his all.

A few weeks later, Yazeed was back at school focusing on exams and almost missed THAT call.

He explains: “My phone was off and so I didn’t even know I was selected. When I saw the messages, I was like 'yoh!' But I knew I had given it my best.”

PROUD: The 18-year-old and dad, Nasser.

The teen has been playing for Manenberg Rangers for the past 13 years under the mentorship of Siaad Blake.

His doting daddy, Nasser, tells the Daily Voice that the family is very proud.

“He is such a focused boy and works hard. I never have to remind him to go to mosque, or training or complete his school work.”

TLC spokesperson Saadiq Albertyn says it is heartwarming to see a local learner excel.

“We are extremely proud and happy for Yazeed for being selected and wish him everything of the best.”

Yazeed has also already received offers from the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town to study and play rugby for them next year.

He is, however, still considering his options, which include taking a gap year.

He also enjoys spending time with his friends and says he has a “best female friend”.