Persistent boy gets President Zuma to visit his school

2010-06-09 11:07

A curious and very persistent 11-year-old boy was the reason behind

President Jacob Zuma’s visit to the Frances Vorwerg School in Johannesburg this


Rose Mbele, who is Paul Jarvis’ teacher at the school for remedial

learning, said the boy had asked her to arrange a visit by Zuma.

“I was in class one day, about three weeks ago, when Paul came and

asked me if the president could visit the school. I said, yes, he could, trying

to dismiss the boy,” she said.

But Paul kept asking her when Zuma was coming.

“He used to make us sick, he wanted to see the president,” said

another teacher, Rista Roux.

Eventually, Mbele said to herself: “I will make it happen.”

She contacted Zuma’s office and she was told that Zuma was


But later, she received a call from a man in the presidency who

asked to speak to Paul and told him that Zuma would indeed come to his


While waiting for Zuma’s chopper to land on the school grounds, an

excited Paul said: “I want to ask him (Zuma) questions.

I want to ask him why he

chose to become president and how he felt when he met the Queen of


Paul said he also wanted to be president one day.

Inside the school hall, yellow-and-green-clad pupils were singing

while waiting for Zuma’s arrival.

The school was decorated with soccer balls and

flags of the nations participating in the soccer World Cup, which kicks off on


Zuma’s visit came on the last day of the school term before the

start of the winter holidays.

Schools will be closed countrywide from today until July 13 in an

unusually long holiday to accommodate the World Cup tournament, which ends on

July 11.

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