Alumni Newsletter 2019/02

Homecoming at Bushfire

Waterford alumni pictured at the 2019 MTN Bushfire festival. L-R: Fikile Nxumalo, Pernille Hansen, Nadia Smoor, Elton Smoor and Loyiso Pityan.
Last week, May 24 – 26, the world descended on the Kingdom of eSwatini to enjoy the MTN Bushfire festival, founded by Waterford Alumnus Jiggs Thorne (eSwatini, WK 83 – 89). In fact Waterford alumni counted in high numbers, alongside thousands of other people who came from across the globe, to experience the internationally acclaimed three-day music, theatre, poetry, dance and visual arts festival. The festival, is really an informal Waterford Kamhlaba reunion and it was a pleasure to see you all enjoying throughout the weekend.  
We managed to catch up with a few alumni over the weekend, it was wonderful to hear the them speak about their time and to learn that many of you have remained connected to the school. The graduates from the Class of 1989 represent such connectedness. Pictured above, both Elton and Pernille have children attending Waterford and Pernille serves the school on the Parent-Staff Association and has previously been a teacher here. Loyiso spoke so fondly of her time at Waterford and even though she is based in Joburg, there is no question for her that her children will attend Waterford. Dr. Fikile Nxumalo, who is based in Austin Texas, and has made a career in Early Childhood Development and is anticipating the publication of her second book made sure to fit in her trips to Wits and UCT around Bushfire. 

Seeing the close bond that these alumni still share really brought to life that Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA is embedded in the DNA of all those who cross its threshold to learn.
We also caught up with Class of 2009 alumni [insert names] who were getting together 10 years after graduating from Waterford with Mallie coming from as far as Washington D.C. Some of these ladies also paid us a visit on campus and spent some time with their teachers and walked around the school to see how much has changed since they were last here.

WK alumni Olawunmi, Siphilele, Nokwanda and Mallie during the 2019 Bushfire festival
 We hope to meet with more WK alums at next year’s festival! 
Alumni Updates

Marie Baird with her husband, Dave Baird
On Tuesday 21st May 2019, former WK teacher, Marie Baird wrote:

“Dave Baird and I were teachers at WK in the 1990s.  We've continued to live and work internationally throughout our careers.   Currently, Dave is Head of School at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong, and I have continued as an IBDP English teacher, examiner, and workshop facilitator (at least two of the WK English teachers have taken workshops with me online).

Interestingly – today, Dave was taking a group of prospective new parents around the school. One in the crowd introduced himself to Dave – he was a UWC scholar from Beijing whom I'd taught at WK, Cong (Charles) Yan. He graduated from WK, went on to study in Canada, worked in Toronto for 20 years, and has only recently relocated to Asia (Hong Kong). He was applying to the school on behalf of his two children for next year. What a small world – and how delightful to see him again. Teaching is the career that offers endless, and often unexpected, rewards.”

Keep in Touch
We have introduced this section for alumni who would like to share their stories and to keep us all updated on life after WK. Please send us an email

WK Community Service Highlight! 

Mpolonjeni Community Service picture by Adi Mallowah (IB1 student)
At the heart of Waterford's mission is expanding opportunities through community service. The "Mpolonjeni Care Point Commserve" is one way this mission is being achieved.  Aimed at giving back to the school's immediate community, this specific Commserve has been around for several years.

The concept of Care Point's, known as NCPs, is one that has existed in eSwatini since 2002. The aim is to provide an avenue for orphaned and vulnerable children to get food and pre-school education. Mpolonjeni Care Point is one of them. With 31 children aged 3 – 6, this NCP offers Waterford students the opportunity to engage with the community. The students spend every Thursday playing with the children and teaching them how to count, write, draw and paint.
Spending a Thursday morning with cheerful children is a lot of fun! The hike, however, is not to be underestimated. These students really are going the extra mile to serve the community.

Article by Matlala Sefale (IB1) 

Alumni Profiles

Joy Dekker (left) with her friend

Joy Dekker
(The Netherlands, WK 13-14)

"During my time at WK, I was a peer supporter and loved working with youngsters. I truly believe that young people are the change and are still open to new ideas, learning about each other and themselves." Read more

Alumni Events

Alumni Networking Event
Venue: Toronto, Canada
Date: 14 June 2019
There will be an alumni networking event in Toronto, Canada, on 14 June 2019.  If you are interested, please contact Alan WhitesideJoanna Patouris, or Nathi Dlamini.

24 Hour Run
Venue: Waterford Campus
Date: 21 - 22 June 2019
You are kindly invited to participate in this year’s 24 Hour Run which will start on Friday 21st June at 1500 hrs and end on Saturday 22nd June at 1500 hrs. This is an exciting event through which we raise funds for our community service projects. It is an opportunity to connect with old friends over nice food, beverages and music on campus. If you are interested in participating, join the Facebook group here or email: Nosimilo.  You can also make your contribution on our Just Giving Page here.

Dick & Enid Eyeington Soccer Tournament

Waterford Campus
Date: 22 July 2019
The Dick and Enid Eyeington Soccer Tournament is back again this year. We expect to have 24 alumni teams with the following breakdown: 12 People per team, 8 of those must be UWC alumni; 6 pools - 2 women’s pools and 4 men’s pools. If you are interested in registering a team, please email Nosimilo.
The 7 a-side football tournament is in honour of these two brilliant souls who helped shape society and improve the lives of other people. 


Opportunities with Nyatsela
Do you want to see the amazing places of Eswatini and do a great service for WK at the same time? We are looking for someone (a female) to join the Form 3s on a new initiative at Waterford Kamhlaba called Nyatsela which is a 21-day walk around Swaziland.  It starts on 19 July and we need a female adult to join one of the groups for the first 12 nights, from Friday 19 July to Wednesday 31 July. Please email Elinor Lowry or call on 7846 8154 if you would be able to help. Please spread the word, especially if you know someone who might be interested!

Internship opportunities with Ashinaga
There are ongoing opportunities at Ashinaga; a mission-aligned organisation providing educational opportunities to orphans around the world. They offer internships at their offices in Japan, Uganda and Senegal and cover the cost of flights and other living expenses. A number of UWC alums have completed internships at their offices. For more information about this opportunity, click here.
UWCx: Sky School Hackathon 15-16 June in Singapore

There is an opportunity for alums who are experienced in teaching language and narrative, designing humanities curriculums or journalism, media and storytelling. For more information please click here and register here


University Ambassador Program

The University Ambassador Program was initiated in 2016 with the aim of assisting in connecting soon to be alums with alumni at different universities around the world.   We currently have 46 University Ambassadors representing 38 univesities. Thank you so much for being willing to assist your fellow WK alumni.

If you are currently in University (at whatever level) and would like to become a University Ambassador, please email Nosimilo
The Advancement Office is here to serve you and answer any questions you may have. You can get in touch with any of us and we'll be happy to help:

Banele Nkambule Alumni Coordinator
Nosimilo Khumalo Engagement Officer 
Nonkululeko Msweli Database Assistant 
Mancoba Mabuza Communications & PR 
Lizz Mhangami Advancement Director 

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