Foreign pupils struggle with Zulu paper

2015-11-18 08:09
Some of the Haythorne Secondary matric pupils who wrote the IsiZulu paper two yesterday. (From left, standing) Esther Pele, Zinhle Shoba, Slondiwe Ndlovu, Thembeka Kheswa and Noluthando Dladla. Seated are Joel Benga and Jonathan Bekhasa.

Some of the Haythorne Secondary matric pupils who wrote the IsiZulu paper two yesterday. (From left, standing) Esther Pele, Zinhle Shoba, Slondiwe Ndlovu, Thembeka Kheswa and Noluthando Dladla. Seated are Joel Benga and Jonathan Bekhasa. (Nosipho Nxasane, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - While Congolese matric pupils at Haythorne Secondary school said on Tuesday they found their IsiZulu paper two difficult, they paid tribute to their local classmates who coached them and helped them understand the language.

Jonathan Bukhasa (18) said: “It felt I had a different paper from everyone else. As much as I can speak and understand Zulu, reading and writing it is a different story. I moved here with my family in 2000, 15 years ago.

“The only reason why I chose Zulu is because it is easy to communicate in, unlike Afrikaans, which I don’t understand at all.”

He said despite the xenophobic attacks, which did not affect his family directly, he had enjoyed his stay here.

Esther Pele (17) moved to South Africa from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003 and has been living here for 12 years with her family.

“The paper was thought-provoking. I don’t know Zulu that well but I chose it because I knew my friends would help me out. I have never failed it though.”

Pele and her family moved here for a better life although her father had a good job back home.

“There were a lot of wars so we had to move when I was still young. When I was in primary school I had a hard time fitting in as pupils would pick on me, but my high school years were better,” said Pele.

“I learnt that life is not perfect. One thing that kept me going was keeping my emotions hidden and not trying to fit in but rather letting other pupils see me for being me,” she added.

Joel Benga (18) moved to SA in 2011.

“The paper was really hard. I do not understand Zulu and I cannot even read it. I am worried that this might make me lose my Bachelor’s pass. My friends have been helping me a lot. The only way I survived the paper was by writing everything my friends had explained to me and I answered what I could remember,” said Benga.

Their classmate Zinhle Shoba (18) said: “Having to share a class with Jonathan has been really worth it. We do tourism but we haven’t seen many of the places or things we learnt about during class. Jonathan helps us because he is from a different country, with a totally different culture. We have learnt a lot from all of them. We are like a family, helping each other along the way, which made our matric year very interesting and fun. We were able to exchange knowledge.”

Zinhle described the Zulu paper as being easy, fun and very relaxed.

• Nosipho.Nxasane@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  matric

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