WKFSA Newsletter: December 2020

Note from the Chair:
Sandile Hlophe (SA, WK 84-89)

The year 2020 has been a tumultuous one for us all. Not only did we retreat to the relative safety of our homes, but many around us and within our immediate circles fell ill and some lost their lives. It is in the midst of this fear and sorrow that we have re-discovered our capacity for kindness and for gratitude.
You will be pleased to know that WK UWCSA coped remarkably well with the school year. All students who could travel home were dispatched off campus within a day. Most staff continued to work remotely. Within 4 weeks, the school had established a remote teaching and learning capacity that worked incredibly well. With additional donor support, they were able to support the learners who struggled to access wifi or had related needs. Not only has no student been left behind, but most have thrived and achieved their academic goals.
This apparently seamless transition was due to the team effort of the staff and headmaster, confirming the sound culture and foundations of the school.
Sadly, we must now bid the headmaster, Stephen Lowry, farewell as he embarks on his next career experience. I believe we can all recall every headmaster that guided us through our time at WK, such is the lasting impact they have on our hearts. Stephen’s parting words at the final assembly were “Live lives of significance rather than of success”
The alumni body is indeed testimony to striving to meet this high objective wherever they are. We trust that you have been able to reconnect in some way with WK UWCSA during the year. Many joined the alumni webinars that were put together by the Advancement Office. This newsletter from the WK Foundation of SA serves to get in touch, refresh your connection with the school, and wish you all of the best for 2021.

Alumni Spotlight

Tandi Nzimande (SA, WK 82-88)
New Solidarity Fund boss up for the jobTandi Nzimande (nee Mzimba) credits her suitability to be CEO of Solidarity Fund to her alma mater.

She says, "As a teacher, my mother obviously valued education and tried to get the best she could for us, so I ended up going to Waterford Kamhlaba College in Mbabane, a school that without sponsorship and bursaries would have been impossible for me."

Nzimande credits the school for helping shape her world view. “Maybe after a person has left high school they blow up their memories, but for me, one of the things about Waterford was it tried to truly accommodate a wide range of backgrounds. My one friend’s parents were both unemployed, my other friend’s father was the president. As a result of that grounding I think I have a greater ability to be at ease in very varied spaces," she says.

According to Nzimande, the school emphasised community service and the pupils would take turns to visit ill and disabled orphans in a nearby hospital. She says that even though they weren’t always enthusiastic about this, it proved to be a valuable lesson.

“We were young and it felt like hard work; we never wanted to go but afterwards we always felt fulfilled, like we’d made a difference, even just to shine a ray of sunlight for a short while into somebody’s life. I guess that formed a foundation in me, aligned with how my mother interacted with the community," she says.

Kamhlaba Challenge Fund

David Crush (Luxembourg, WK 70 - 74),  a trustee of the WK Foundation of South Africa (WKFSA), writes:
"At Waterford in the early to mid-1970s, we seemed to spend a lot of our time running – to class, to the tuckshop, to the kitchen for “spares” of peri-peri chicken, up Tom and/or Kelly when we fell out with a teacher or prefect. Having shuffled through a number of marathons since I hit my forties  I decided, once I hit my sixties (in 2018) to attempt to run a marathon a month for the year to help raise funds for WKFSA to sponsor a student from Swaziland (eSwatini) through the IB course at the school. Two marathons in South Africa, two in the Netherlands, two in Canada, two in Sweden, two in the United Ki….no..wait…one in Scotland, one in England, one in Italy and one, by far the toughest, on the remote island of St Helena. By tapping into the pockets of friends, relations, work colleagues it was possible in the end to raise enough for a scholarship which allowed an amazing young lady from eSwatini to complete her IB.
This got us thinking on the Committee and we are currently building a website to enable all ex-Kamhlabans to easily set up their own challenge – running, swimming, walking, chess-a-thons, litter-a-thons, sing-a-thons, whatever-a-thons and tap their networks for finance that would be channelled into a Kamhlaba Scholarship Fund.  We plan to have the website up and running in the New Year and we will work with the Development Office at the school to roll out this new fundraising tool which we hope will allow people to hit the roads, rivers, chess boards with gusto once Covid lockdowns become a dim and distant memory."
But in the meantime…why not donate now to the WK Foundation of South Africa?

WST Founder on CNN!

"There is no point in dying now that I have lived this long, is there?" said Waterford School Trust (WST) founder, Martin Kenyon. He is one of the first people to receive Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. He played a crucial role in the establishment of Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA. We wish him a very long and healthy life. Watch the full CNN interview here.

Follow WK on Social Media

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