Tezihano Mnyatsa, from Leonsdale in Elsies River, was selected to take part in the under-14 Commonwealth Chess Championships.
The boy, who attends Elswood Primary School, was supposed to be leaving on Tuesday, but couldn’t raise R30 000 for the trip.
His mother Elaine Mnyatsa said the family were heartbroken. “We have been (trying) to raise money for a few months selling food parcels and hosting small fund-raising events, but it wasn’t enough. We also cut our food money to put a little away.”
Mnyatsa said her son’s interest in chess grew at a young age. “It’s very dangerous where his primary school is, and they are always shooting and I don’t like it when they wait outside after school. We always picked him up and took him to aftercare, and that’s where he learnt chess.”