THE Highbury family is so incredibly proud of our old boy, Lungi Ngidi’s cricketing accomplishments. The excitement reached an all-time high when the 1st XI cricket team were able to visit Kingsmead on Tuesday afternoon to watch the Proteas practice, and meet Ngigi in person.
Dale Benkenstein, who is also a Highbury old boy, was there as batting coach for the Proteas. Together, the duo autographed a cricket shirt for Highbury, which will be displayed with pride in its Mike Procter Cricket Pavilion. The Upper Highway area is a close community and it was these community connections that helped Ngidi to get selected by Highbury Preparatory School for a full scholarship, an essential stepping-stone to his Hilton scholarship and success.
He was in Taryn Essery’s class at Kloof Senior Primary in Grade 5 and Wendy Wood was the head of department at the time. Both had close connections to Highbury, with Wood’s husband and Essery’s mom both teaching at the school, and it was through this that they heard of the scholarship opportunity.
Essery describes Ngidi at the time as being “a hard-working boy who was a talented cricketer but also an incredible swimmer and academically strong”.
Essery and Wood compiled Ngidi’s scholarship application and everyone was delighted when he was awarded a full scholarship, including boarding, for Grade 6 and 7 at Highbury.
Ngidi made the most of all the opportunities that Highbury offered. In Grade 6, he played second XI cricket as an Under 12 boy and enjoyed an early touring experience travelling to Trinityhouse. He received his First Team playing kit in Grade 7, made the KZN U13A cricket team and was named Highbury’s “Most Improved” cricket player in the same year.
“He was always respectful in all spheres of Highbury life and was an excellent all-round sportsman.
“He has inspired the highest levels of cricket fever at Highbury this season and we are so incredibly proud of him,” said Highbury principal Roland Lacock.