His only complaint was his new shoes, Grade 1's mom says

2018-01-17 12:14
Shaun (7) with his mother Grace Gugu (James de Villiers, News24)

Shaun (7) with his mother Grace Gugu (James de Villiers, News24)

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Cape Town – Shaun Gugu’s only complaint on his first of school was his new leather shoes, his mom Grace says with a smile. 

She wipes the red lipstick off Shaun's face after kissing him. He is seated in front of Miss Liezel de Jager’s Grade 1 classroom at Jan van Riebeeck Primary School, in Cape Town. 

It’s Shaun’s first day at school. 

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"He’s been complaining about the shoes the entire morning," Grace says. 

"He’s very excited about his first day, the new friends, but the shoes… it’s too much."

Shaun doesn’t say much, but laughs when asked to show his teeth for a photo. 

"I am so proud of him. I just want him to be happy," Grace, a pastry chef from Zimbabwe, says leaving the classroom on her way to work. 

Metres from where Shaun is sitting drawing, teacher Astrid Jordaan prays for the first-time pupils in her light blue painted classroom. 

"Lord, thank you for a new day, new friends and a good holiday," Jordaan says, as roughly 20 Grade 1s clasp their hands together.  

"Lord, thank you that today will be a 'lekker' day."

Some bow their heads, while others sneak a peek at the new friends around them.


Wednesday also marks De Jager’s first day as a teacher, after completing her studies in Wellington last year. 

- Send us your back to school stories and photos.

She hugs each pupil as they enter her classroom, decorated with colourful letters of the alphabet and intricate bunting. 

"I am very excited, you know, to make them the best people they can possibly be," De Jager explains to News24, unable to contain her smile. 

"My mom inspired me to be a teacher. What better gift can there be than to inspire the next generation?"

After the parents eventually leave her classroom, De Jager walks to the board and faces her students.

"Good morning all, welcome to your first day. Who’s excited?" she asks, with her hands together. 

The children shouted out one by one: "I am. No, I am!"

"Well, get ready for a great year. It’s going to be a great adventure," De Jager tells them.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education

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