School spearheads love of Africa and its people in song

2015-06-04 06:00

Manyano High School Choir put on a spectacular show as they performed at the African Festival 2015 staged at the school on Monday 25 May. 

Mandla Mahashe

Manyano High School Choir put on a spectacular show as they performed at the African Festival 2015 staged at the school on Monday 25 May. PHOTOs: Mandla Mahashe

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Africa Day is a continent-wide celebration of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity(OAU), the precursor to the African Union(AU) exactly 52 years ago to Monday past.

And as part of the festivities to celebrate Africa Day, Manyano High School in Ilitha Park ware the proud hosts of this year’s African Festival on this day.

Learners from the school performed a play on Xenophobia, the choir wowed crowds with African songs, poetry and dance, including those with the gift of the gab engaged in the debates about the issue.

The event was made possible, thanks to the partnership between the school and the NGO called Bold Moves with support from Titan Helicopter Group (THG), Indwe Aviation, JayDee, Vhuwa Investments and Alexander Forbes.

Principal Nokuzola Malgas said that it was important for the school to host the event as they were facing serious challenges with the youths.

“We find that in most incidents of violence and mob protests it is the children that are used. If we place them at the forefront of fighting xenophobia it will go a long way in avoiding a repeat of such incidents,” said Malgas.

He said that the event was aimed at educating the community on the tolerance and partnerships with people of different origins.

“When we relay the message to the youth they are the ones that will carry such messages to their community and households.

It is important that our children be the leaders in something positive, instead of the bad, which is almost always the case,” she said.

Malgas recalled a time when her pupils were involved in anarchical behaviour thus putting the school in bad light.

“When there were rampant poo protests in our communities, one of our students was photographed and appeared on the front page of a newspaper in full uniform.

That really shocked us and brought the school a great deal of embarrassment hence we felt that we need to engage our pupils in programmes that address behavioural changes,” she explained.

The theme of the year’s event was ‘Celebrating Our Diversity’. Kemi Adebayo, Bold Moves CEO, said staging the event in Khayelitsha was an effort to address the problem of xenophobia in the country.

Sello Molloko, Alexandra Forbes chairman, warned the pupils of the dangers posed by attacks on other communities.

“Instead of building we are actually destroying ourselves. We should find a common denominator with other Africans instead of always trying to find what is different,” he said.

Malgas said there was a lot of anger among the young and incidents such as xenophobic attacks are a result of that anger. She said that the school has initiated programs to change such behavioural problems

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