Grade 6 teacher scoops Wool­worths’ hero award


PINKY Mchunu was the hero Mzomusha Pri­mary School pupils needed.

They were so im­pressed, they nom­i­nated Mchunu for an award, which she won last week. The Grade 6 teacher at the Inanda school was cho­sen from 33 835 nom­i­na­tions coun­try­wide in the Wool­worths Ed­u­ca­tional Pro­grammes and Myschool com­pe­ti­tion.

“I am hum­bled by the award”, said Mchunu, 53.

It was a let­ter writ­ten by her pupil, Asim­bonge Ndlovu, that gave her the edge in the com­pe­ti­tion.

The 12-year-old girl wrote; “Thank you for not only be­ing a teacher, but a mother and provider to many of us.

“When you saw me with­out shoes and clothes you made sure that I did not feel the shame that came with poverty, you pro­vided even though you did not have to.”

Ndlovu said Mchunu was a role model and played the part of a mother, she en­sured that she came top of her class de­spite her im­pov­er­ished back­ground.

Ndlovu won a R5 000 Wool­worths voucher for her sub­mis­sion and Mchunu won R25 000 and a R30 000 voucher.

Mchunu, who was still sur­prised that she won, said she did not know her work would touch the lives of her pupils in this way.

“I grew up in a house­hold where it was im­por­tant to give back. We were taught never to watch our neigh­bours suf­fer when we could lend a help­ing hand and there­fore giv­ing and help­ing oth­ers is sec­ond na­ture to me.”

Mchunu said Asim­bonge was not the only pupil she had helped. Some of them, are now in univer­sity.

“I be­lieve ev­ery child de­serves an ed­u­ca­tion and to be treated with dig­nity and kind­ness.”

Mchunu said she would con­trib­ute some money that she won from the com­pe­ti­tion to buy­ing shorts for chil­dren at the school.

The an­nual event, now in its eighth year, pro­motes UN Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s World Teach­ers’ Day, which was on Oc­to­ber 5, by high­light­ing the dif­fer­ence that teach­ers can make in young pupils’ lives.

Wool­worth’s gen­eral man­ager of loy­alty and My School said it was im­por­tant for them to ac­knowl­edge or­di­nary he­roes like Mchunu.

Pinkie Mchunu with Asim­bonge Ndlovu who nom­i­nated her for na­tional Teach­ers’ Day com­pe­ti­tion.

Pinkie Mchunu with Pi­eter Twine (Wool­worths) and Dr Faith Khu­malo (De­part­ment of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion).

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