Ntando Msibi became started living on the streets at 11 after leaving home because of his alcoholic, abusive grandmother.
He struggled with substance abuse but found help from the charity Surfers not Street Children, based in Durban.
Now he is competing internationally in surfing, finishing 17th at the recent World Junior Surfing championship.
BBC What's New? went to meet him in South Africa.
Produced by Andre Lombard.