All in a day’s work for Andile

2015-01-22 00:00

ANDILE Bhengu’s uncontained excitement at returning to school yesterday mimicked the feelings of euphoria felt by thousands of KZN pupils.

The Witness has spent every first day of school over the past three years with the youngster in a project that will eventually chronicle his experiences from grades 1 to 12.

Andile, who lives in Khokhwane, Elandskop, started Grade 3 at Langsyde Combined School yesterday.

Cheekily ignoring his mother Nomusa’s call to wake up, the eight-year-old yawned and rubbed his eyes before going back to sleep.

Nomusa scooped him into her arms and carried him to the shower, while his ironed uniform hung on the chair.

“I had not forgotten about school and I’m excited. I packed my stationery in my backpack and I am ready,” Andile said while his amused mother helped him get ready.

“I missed school and my friends. I’ll work hard and I want to finish matric without repeating grades,” he said, as he followed his mother to the kitchen for a breakfast of corn flakes.

Andile’s sister Nompilo, a Grade 10 pupil at Langsydel, takes credit for his commitment.

“I always help him with his homework. He tells me what he’s struggling with and I help. He is dedicated and I guess he gets that from me,” she said.

Andile’s mother said her son loves his playtime but takes his school work seriously.

“His level of maturity surprises me. He thinks like an adult.

“I monitor his school work and support him. I often go to school to enquire about his progress. He is a good boy and he looks after his stuff.”

Surprisingly, Andile has two phones — gifts given to him by his sister Sinegugu and father Ndabezinhle for achieving good results last year.

However, he leaves his phones at home so he can concentrate at school.

Before leaving his house his mother unfolded a R10 note and handed it to Andile. He accepted the money with a broad smile before putting it in his pocket.

It’s 7.15 am and it’s time to go to school.

Andile sprinted to the car to occupy the front seat. He lowered the car’s window to wave to a horse ­wandering near his home.

At school, he excitedly opened the contents of his backpack to show his friends his new stationery, received a final hug from his mother and then made his way to his classroom.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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