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Victory after tragedy

Two Kraaifontein learners have done well in their matric examinations despite a family tragedy two years ago.

Twin brothers, Yusuf and Yaqoob Arrison from Scottsdene survived a hail of bullets fired by their mother. In the same incident, their mother shot and killed their older brother and herself.

Yusuf suffered a head injury and Yaqoob was shot in the hand.

Yaqoob carried his brother to a neighbour’s house for help.

Yusuf spent two months in an induced coma in Tygerberg Hospital while Yaqoob went back to school two days after the shooting.

Yaqoob said the support they received from family after the incident made it easier for him to pick himself up and try to live his life. “Our aunt was there for us all the way. She became a mother figure to us. This helped a lot because we could rely on her for anything,” Yaqoob said.

Yusuf said they have always had support even before the incident, but this grew after the tragedy.

“That gave us confidence and helped us go forward with life and not give up.”

Two years later, the boys passed their matric, obtaining a bachelor’s pass.

The two received a special ministerial award at the top achievers ceremony at Leeuwenhof on Thursday 16 January, for their commitment to their schoolwork. 

“This came as a surprise to us. We did not expect it. We knew we were going to receive awards, but we thought the minister was going to come to our school to have a chat with us. Being there was really special,” Yusuf said.

Yaqoob said he did his best and was proud of the results. “We did each other proud. Being there was an honour for us. It feels good being recognised for trying hard and doing our best,” he said. The two advised other youngsters who might be going through difficult circumstances to never give up. 

“If you are going through tough times, just think of where you want to be and not what you are going through at the moment because that is what is more important. No matter what you are going through, keep your supporters close to you because they will always be there,” Yusuf said.

Yusuf has been accepted to study psychology at the University of the Western Cape this year while Yaqoob is still waiting for a response to study physiotherapy at the same university.

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