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).