And now he’s in Grade 4

2016-01-14 09:52
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And now he’s in Grade 4

Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Andile Bhengu (9) is gently pulled from his warm bed by his mother for his first day of Grade 4

Pietermaritzburg - Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Andile Bhengu (9) is gently pulled from his warm bed by his mother for his first day of Grade 4.

The Witness has chronicled Andile’s first day of school every year since grade R, and this year the novelty of the first day of school has worn off and getting out of bed is a struggle.

Living with his mother, father and two sisters, Nompilo, a Grade 11 pupil at St John Paul Secondary, and Sinegugu, a UKZN bachelor of science Honours student, Andile will make his way to Langsyde Primary in Khokhwane, Elandskop.

Andile’s mother Nomusa Bhengu cradles the sleeping child in her arms, whispering “Wake up my boy” as Andile slowly opens his eyes.

It’s a cool and misty day outside and staying in bed seems to be a better option than going to school.

Eventually, Andile is awake and goes to have a bath before his mom helps him get dressed for his big day.

As Nomusa dries her son off and slips a tie around his freshly pressed school shirt, she says Andile had been bursting with excitement all holiday just so he could wear a tie.

“I feel like I am a big boy now,” says Andile with his smartly striped tie around his neck.

Last year, Andile informed The Witness that he had wanted to be a policeman when he finished school but Nomusa said he had changed his mind in June last year.

“He wants to be a dentist. His baby teeth are coming out and it’s sore. He wants to know why they hurt and how to remove them and help other children,” she said.

Whispering to his mom shyly, Andile asked Nomusa to tell The Witness that his favourite part of last year was running with his friends, having his birthday party in his class and making a new best friend.

“I am excited to start running again. This year I want to be top of my class for English and learn to speak it as well as my sisters,” said Andile.

As Andile sits on the couch, Nomusa slips on his shiny new school shoes, and says she is looking forward to how well her son will do at school this year.

“He is a very clever boy at school. He talks to everyone like he is an adult,” laughs Nomusa.

As Andile spoons Rice Crispies into his mouth, his favourite according to Nomusa, he watches a few minutes of his favourite cartoon, Tom and Jerry.

“He wants to be like me; he always tells me he wants to get his university degree,” says his big sister Sinegugu watching her brother fondly as he eats.

“We are all very close and he always wants to be around me. He sometimes cries if I am not at home.

“He also wants to learn all the time, especially English. If we are watching TV, he will ask the meaning of English words he does not understand and then he will try to use them in conversations.”

After breakfast, Andile fetches his bags and is now ready for school.

“He told me he doesn’t want these fong kong bags for school. He only wanted a Puma or Adidas backpack,” says Nomusa as Andile pulls his brand new Puma bag onto his back.

Before leaving, Andile rushes out to say goodbye to his horse, Sister, whom he loves to ride after school.
Pressing a R20 note into Andile’s hand, Nomusa says Andile wanted slap chips on his first day back at school which is his favourite lunch.

Upon arriving at school, Andile rushes to his class to meet his friends, laughing and playing outside his new classroom.

They stand on the steps giggling in the cool morning air as pupils stream into Langsyde Primary.

Finally, it is time for him to say goodbye to his mom and when Nomusa draws him in for a hug, he pulls a face because “big boys” don’t need hugs from their moms.

The school bell sounds and Andile’s first day of Grade 4 begins.

At 3 pm, Nomusa fetches Andile and he talks excitedly about his first day of Grade 4

“He was very excited. He said his favourite part of the day was having his first English and maths lesson,” laughs Nomusa.

She said once he got home, he immediately went outside to play and had been riding his bike all afternoon as he did not have any homework.


Read more on:    pietermaritzbrug  |  school

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