Showing posts from July, 2012

A tribute to my sister, Glenda who left us in 2010

Glenda all snazzy, hair grown back to shoulder length On  30 July 2010, my dearest sister, departed from us, expected at some point, yet unexpected when the day finally hit us. The more the cancer anchored itself, the more Glenda's mental and spiritual spirit ballooned. I dunno how she did it and even the medical staff were in awe of her power. Glenda posing with the dummy gift Mother Christmas (Aka me) gave her After battling with an aggressive cancer for 4 years, Glenda, the supreme fighter, finally succumbed.  Even on the day we finally took her to hospital because she took a bad turn, Glenda showed her superhuman strength.  She could not even walk but she remained calm and dignified as we waited at Constantiaberg reception.  A past student of mine was attending to us.  He told us we could take Glenda up to the ward while he waited for authorisation from the Medical Aid. He could see the pain wracking her face.  But no, my strong-willed, stubborn sis insisted that we

Westerford High School gets a 3D tour of Lavender Hill-Steenberg schools

I was blessed to be invited by educator Keith Niekerk to be part of Westerford High School’s Lecture Series which was launched this year. The focus of my talk “3D Reflections of School Life in the Lavender Hill-Steenberg area on the Cape Flats” was a tribute to the 16 schools that show amazing hope and resilience despite all the odds stacked against them.   As life would have it, I listened to the discussion on SAFM on the latest report released by the World Bank about the poverty levels in our country. I hear that the top end 20% still own 70% of our country’s wealth – no surprise at all. I reached Westerford, joined in on the “Cake Day” treat and off I went to my lecture room. I compliment the learners on their beautiful school and therapeutic garden setting. I share with them that I could just drive through their gates and ring the bell for attention at their school. At most of the schools I serve I say, the gates are locked and there are security personnel manning these gate


Madiba Day is always a fantastic day to see how ordinary folk and companies take their  PSP (Personal Sustainability Project, a phrase coined by Adam Werbach) seriously.  I spent the greater part of the morning in the Ocean View belt, another improverished area which seldom makes the headlines. The schools in the area make magic every day for the community. The learners at the schools are blessed to have such dedicated, passionate community workers who shower them with so much love, care and support. Off to Compass Bakery, looking for a Madiba Partner So, off went Helen – our engine at the Circuit office – and I, straight to Compass Bakery. We met Miguel of Compass Bakery who listened to our request to partner with them for the day. He was thrilled with the idea because his wife had just called to hear what he was doing to celebrate our beloved Father of the Nation’s 94 th birthday. And here we walk in and provide him with an answer. How cool is that? A few minutes later

I love to celebrate my birthday

I simply love the idea of a birthday. The Birthday Girl doing her Nerdy thang! A few weeks before my birthday, Basil and the children will start asking our famous question " And who will be celebrating a birthday on 4 July? I enjoy this teasing which has taken a bit of a turn because my children have finally realised that moms do age! So there's the bantering about my walk that is becoming slower and when I show any sign of longwindedness - heaven forbid!  My hairstyle comes under scrutiny and the way I dress is dissected. I am not supposed to wear too much make up because it does not suit me and my hair must be styled fashionably else the Lewinsky-kid syndrome goes haywire.  Of course, I enjoy this banter and play along . Desiree, Levona, Sharon, Erica and Devine in action Desiree, Levona, Sharon, Erica and Devine with the most devine pout Then when my birthday strikes, the mood is jovial, there is much singing and pampering to die for.  Throughout the d

Dialogue with Professor Jonathan Jansen: Lessons from the Spear incident.

You are seldom disappointed when storyteller, Professor Jonathan Jansen takes the floor. Rapport comes naturally even on this typical winter's afternoon. Off we go with Jonathan to Namibia, meeting a few young people and community members whom he had engaged on his recent travels to our neighbour. We hear our neighbours are calmer, happier and more aligned although they too have a difficult past. Selwyn Page, Devine Fisher, Jonathan Jansen and Jackie Loos Before we know it, we are travelling south again, crossing the Orange River and land straight in Spear Land. We hear lessons drawn from the Spear incident interspersed with just an adequate dose of contextual information to aid understanding. The Spear outcry demonstrated that we are still a deeply wounded nation - so angry and volatile that we forego reason and debate. It highlighted the failings of our education system and the incident also made us more aware of the thinness of our democracy.   Jonathan and Simo