South Africa’s aspiring astronaut Mandla Maseko has been laid to rest in Pretoria. Popularly known as ‘space boy’, Maseko died in a bike crash last weekend. Mourners described him as an ambitious young man who inspired many to dream big.
Family and friends said their last goodbyes. Maseko’s sudden death robbed him of being the first Black African in space.
This is after beating a million others and winning the Axe Apollo Space Academy trip to the stars. He also served as a Corporal in the SA Air Force.
“The Mandla I know was proud to be an airman in the South African Airforce, he wore his uniform with pride, his ironed shirt, pants neat all the time. He always wanted to serve the organisation, he did not believe in an ‘I cannot do attitude’, he made things happen, he was very efficient, he took charge,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mmamokgethi Morobane.
Another colleague Major General M.P. Sehloho said; “ Once again our greatest condolences to the Maseko family and friends, this comes from the bottom of our hearts, may the soul of Corporal Mandla Maseko rest in eternal peace, we will always remember him. ”
The 30-year old’s ambitious nature inspired many in Mabopane and Soshanguve. Many locals came out to pay their respects.
“To the South African community at large, we are humbled by the love and support, to the Mabopane and Soshanguve community for mourning such a giant, thank you,” says family spokesperson Sthembile Shabangu.
Maseko was also an avid biker, passion that unfortunately took his life. Various biking clubs honoured Maseko on his last ride.
Click below to watch Maseko’s funeral service: