The Star Early Edition
We need more vagabonds
IF IT IS at all possible to get past last week’s mega story that started with a Sparrow’s tweet and almost ended with a racial conflagration that would have made every cynic and pessimist’s eyes water, then there was a lot to be excited about, here in South Africa. Even then, the doom merchants and naysayers have an absolute field day; nit-picking over the entrails of the matric results, bemoaning quality over quantity, that’s their job.
For me, it’s always a gift to be able to read the uplifting stories of kids who triumphed in the face of incredible odds; heartache, disappointment, no money, perpetual stress.
And then there’s the self-proclaimed ‘vagabond principal’, Unity Secondary School headmaster Wandile Makhuba, so-called because he never sits in his office, but perpetually wanders from classroom to classroom. He has no truck with excuses from kids for not excelling or for tardiness from teachers.
The results speak for themselves: the best township matric in the province came from his school, the school itself has a 95 percent pass rate and – over the last four years – has sent 500 pupils directly to university.
He’s humble, he’s passionate. He’s single-handedly not just encouraging pupils to do well, he’s probably inspiring many of them to become teachers like himself.
We need more like him.