Sobantu pupils get trip sponsorship

2016-02-24 06:00
Sobantu Secondary School pupils (from left) Fezeka Bhengu, Nokubonga Xaba, Thobeka Shange and English teacher Thandeka Sibiya celebrate after Save Hyper finance manager Anzar Badat announced that his company would sponsor their trip to Dubai. Principal Hopewell Majozi (back, left) beams with pride. PHOTO: Ian Carbutt

Sobantu Secondary School pupils (from left) Fezeka Bhengu, Nokubonga Xaba, Thobeka Shange and English teacher Thandeka Sibiya celebrate after Save Hyper finance manager Anzar Badat announced that his company would sponsor their trip to Dubai. Principal Hopewell Majozi (back, left) beams with pride. PHOTO: Ian Carbutt

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TEARS of joy and laughter echoed through the halls of Sobantu Secondary School last week after three pupils and a teacher were told they would travel to Dubai in April, courtesy of Pietermaritzburg’s Save Hyper.

Sobantu Secondary was the only South African­ school selected to ­participate in the final stages of a United Nations research competition on sustainable cities.

Pupils Fezeka Bhengu, Nokubonga Xaba and Thobeka Shange entered an essay on how Msunduzi could be ­sustained by using methane gas from municipal dumps to generate electricity for the city.

However, the excitement of their selection as finalists was short-lived when it was discovered that the next round of the competition would be held in Dubai, and required the school to fund the trip.

However, Save Hyper stepped in and announced to the pupils ­last Tuesday that it would fund the entire trip, including flights, accommodation, visas and passports. In addition, Save would pay for Sobantu Secondary English teacher Thandeka Sibiya, who supervised the pupils’ entry and research for the competition, to also make the trip.

With smiles on their faces, and tears in their eyes, the pupils thanked Save Hyper finance manager Anzar Badat and his team for their generosity.

“Everyone was telling me that I wouldn’t be able to go, and I thought I wouldn’t,” said ­Thobeka. “It has been so exhausting trying to get funding.

“Last night I got down on my knees to pray and today we have been given funding.

“This is amazing and I cannot thank Save Hyper­ enough for what they are doing for us.”

Badat said that as a Pietermaritzburg company, their policy was to give back to the community.

“It is our social responsibility to give back to the community and help pupils realise their full potential.

“We would like to sponsor the ­entire trip and give them the ­opportunity to make something of their lives,” he said.

Badat added that the Save group was thrilled at the pupils’ enthusiasm and motivation, and was happy to give them the opportunity to make the country proud.

“I am so happy. Not only will we be representing­ the country, this will give good exposure­ to township schools and show our pupils that the world does not end in Sobantu,” said Sibiya.

“I want my pupils to know there is more to life and I feel I have achieved this by showing them they can do anything with an education.”

Sobantu Secondary principal Hopewell Majozi­ said he was “over the moon” for his pupils­ and happy to have “motivated” teachers like ­Sibiya at the school.

“We want to thank Save Hyper for their offer. You have empowered three of our pupils and are helping make a name for Sobantu ­Secondary,” he said.

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