Imbali’s first primary school celebrates 50 years

2016-11-09 06:01
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Funulwazi Primary School pupils perform for guests at the 50th anniversary celebrations.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Funulwazi Primary School pupils perform for guests at the 50th anniversary celebrations.

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THIS year marks 50 years since Imbali’s first primary school, Funulwazi, opened its doors. Celebrations to commemorate the golden anniversary were held at the school last Friday, attended by Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini, an alma mater of the school.

The school, which opened its doors in 1966, has grown from just 10 classrooms catering for Grade 1 to Grade 4 to 25 classrooms accepting pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 7.

Principal Mphumuzi Zondi said though the school was celebrating this milestone they were asking good Samaritans to extend their hand to help it.

“The hailstorms last year ruined the entire block of classrooms that are roofed with asbestos. We tried patching those holes, but the second round of storms was even stronger than the first one and the damage was far beyond our means as this requires major repairs that cost a substantial amount of money.

“We are urging all past pupils, some who now hold positions of power, to donate to the school so that it can returned to its former glory.”

Situated in Imbali Unit 1, the school has produced some prominent names in the city including former Msunduzi Municipality Mayor Hloni Zondi, the late Dr Bongani Hlatshwayo and KZN MEC for Art and Culture, Bongi Sithole-Moloi.

Sharing some of her fondest memories of the school Dlamini said she was proud to be a product of Funulwazi.

“I came here from Nkandla and got the warmest welcome from teachers and pupils. The years I spent at Funulwazi are still memorable. I was groomed by some of the best teachers in the country, who went beyond the call of duty and ensured that as pupils at the time we received the best education.”

To help the school Dlamini has embarked on a campaign to appeal to former pupils to give back to their alma mater and participate in refurbishing its deteriorating infrastructure.

“One of the reasons schools in the suburbs are well maintained is because former pupils always plough back. It’s the duty of former pupils who are now successful to ensure the school is moving forward and producing more future icons.

“The values we learnt here still play a huge role in some of the decisions we make in life, and we ought to show gratitude by giving back.”

She committed to reviving the school’s computer centre by donating 40 new computers.

“I have formed a committee that will plan a big bash to celebrate the school’s milestone next year. On that day I will be here to open the new computer centre. We are also extending an invitation to other former pupils to come on board and help us refurbish the infrastructure at the school for current pupils,” she said.

Local businessman, Sbu Msimang, who attended the celebration also committed to help fix the ceiling and roof of those classrooms that were damaged.

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