HARARE – Obinna Nweke, a Falcon College teenage pupil who used his imposing physique to help prevent further casualties in a June road accident that left one teammate dead, has been recognised for his “heroism” at the elite Zimbabwean school.

Falcon’s rugby teams were on their way back from matches in Harare when the bus ferrying them overturned within sight of the school’s Esigodini home in Matabeleland.

First XV star Aidan O’Donovan died on the spot.

38-year-old school-bus driver Bheki Donga was praised for his heroics after his driving skills and quick-thinking had him managing to avoid a heavier impact, a crash that would have potentially killed the 60-plus passengers on board.

It has also emerged now, nearly a month after the fatal crash, how 17-year-old Nweke – already a Falcon schoolyard hero for his sporting prowess and charisma – jumped into action in an effort to reduce more loss of life.

“When the bus crashed, Obinna used his size and strength to kick through the air-vents and windows,” Falcon’s director of rugby Derek Chiwara, who sustained neck injuries, tells SportsCast.

“He was lifting his teammates out of the bus, and he rescued quite a number of them. He was a real hero to the boys. Even our member of staff, Mr (Dave) Grant, was taken out of the bus by Obinna.”

ROCK SOLID: Falcon College lock Obinna Nweke powers his way past players of St John’s College (Johannesburg) during the St John’s Easter Festival in March.

Falcon’s catering provider Introwise on Thursday paid tribute to Nweke, whose father is from Nigeria.

“Today, Obinna Nweke was recognised by Introwise for his heroism following last month’s bus accident,” read the post. “We are incredibly proud of Obinna and believe he truly deserves this recognition!”

A week after the accident, Nweke was selected for the Zimbabwe Schools team to the annual Academy Week in South Africa. The big lock-forward was one of the Zimbabwean schoolboys’ best players on view in the tournament in Boland.

Nweke is also a gifted basketball player, representing a Zimbabwean private schools select team in that sport as well.


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