THE principal of Nkosibomvu Secondary School in Hambanathi, Henry Cebekhulu, received the prestigious Nelson Mandela centenary award from the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society at the Tongaat Fair on March 3. Cebekhulu was honoured for being the “Mandela legacy”, which is the clarion call by the Mandela centenary celebration committee. Earlier in the year, the chief of the Mafukuzela Gandhi circuit singled out Cebekhulu and his school for achieving excellence in the National Senior Certificate examinations.The school registered over 400 pupils to sit for the 2017 matric exams and at the end of the year they obtained a pass rate of 81%, which means that over 320 pupils passed their exams.Every day after school, Cebekhulu ensured that the school was opened for pupils from indigent homes who needed some place to complete their homework. During weekends and school holidays, the school organised camps for matric pupils to stay over at school as part of their preparation programme. Cebekhulu matriculated at Nkosibomvu and returned to his alma mater in 1987 to serve as a teacher. Thereafter, he took up the post of principal at the school at the age of 34. While at the helm of the school, Cebekhulu has seen the school grow from strength to strength both in the academic and sporting arenas.The school’s prolific record on the sports field is second to none in the Tonver zone. Board member and co-ordinator for the Tongaat Fair Harold Maistry said: “The board of management of the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society had no doubt that Cebekhulu was a role model worthy of emulation by all in the community of Tongaat,” he said.Maistry said they decided to commence a series of Mandela centenary celebrations in Tongaat together with all their fraternal community-based organisations.“To kick off the celebrations in Tongaat, we thought it fitting to honour our own community leaders who are living the Mandela legacy and are making giant strides towards creating a better life for all in our community.“When we heard of the exploits of Cebekhulu we had no doubt that he was a shining example of what Mandela espoused for the entire country to live, in order to make South Africa great,” Maistry said. Upon receiving his award, Cebekhulu thanked the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society and the community for the award and reminded everyone that it was a team effort.He thanked his staff, pupils and parents for the role they played in ensuring that the school continues to strive for excellence.