A group of kids showed me what courage means


Kobus Robbertze lives on the gnarly side. Hanging out on rock faces, jumping off cliffs, and leaping from planes, the Bloemfontein local seeks the thrills that fear tries to hide. An outdoor photographer by trade, he gets his kicks from pushing his limits and documenting the exploits of others. But though he has experienced and seen many extreme feats, he learnt the true meaning of bravery from a group of children.

Four years ago, Robbertze started taking photographs for the Reach for a Dream foundation, which motivates children to fight life-threatening illnesses by chasing their dreams. The work was overwhelming. Robbertze witnessed first-hand the bitter beauty of young people devoting their final days to realising their deepest desires. For some it’s as simple as shaking the hand of their sports idol, while others are compelled to do something for their community. Robbertze could stand in the background no longer, and decided to put his inclination towards the extreme to good use.

An avid road cyclist, he committed to completing a solo tour of the Free State to raise funds for the foundation. The daunting three-week journey saw him visit 28 towns in a painstaking effort of endurance. Though it was tough on his body, Robbertze knew that his immediate experience of pain was eclipsed by the suffering of the children for whom he rode. His campaign generated enormous awareness for their cause throughout the Free State, garnering much-needed support. The goodness of a heart is not revealed by its stirring at the sight of hardship, but its driving action towards helping those in need.