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Leeds College Instrumental In School Rebirth
​HAVING A BLAST: Mzuvele Secondary School Principal Mondli Shangase tries out one of the instruments donated to the school by Garforth Community College. With him are David Adams, Director of Performing Arts at the college, college students and teacher and MC, Nonceba Mdingi

Picture By: JESSIE SINGH
Song, dance and sweet music filed the air recently when Mzuvele Secondary School, in KwaMashu, bid farewell to their new friends, students from Garforth Community College, Leeds. The students, from one of eThekwini’s sister cities, handed over a selection of brass instruments, including trumpets, slide trombones and saxophones, for use by music and drama pupils at Mzuvele Secondary. As a token of their appreciation, Mzuvele pupils presented their Leeds guests with traditional attire, including animal hide vests, sandals and headbands.

The students have also left for England with new, Zulu names, bestowed upon them as a mark of affection. The exchange of gifts marked the culmination of a week the 12 Leeds drama students spent at Mzuvele. During their stay they also recorded five songs with pupils from Mzuvele, for an album they are working on. The school and college have a relationship that goes back some years.

It all started four years ago, when the Head of the Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries Unit, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, heard from colleagues that Mzuvele Secondary School was in disarray and in desperate need of help. The school, which is the second oldest in the area, was in a poor state of repair and had a 9% matric pass rate.
Ngcobo said, “When I saw the desperate state and conditions of the school I saw a need for us to intervene. “During my visit to Leeds we managed to get Garforth Community College to lend a helping hand.” The college raised R10 000 for the school and a relationship has grown between the two institutions, with a visit by KwaMashu pupils to Leeds. “Since the project started, there has been drastic improvement in the school’s performance academically, which has seen the matric pass rate improve to 40%.”

David “Thandanani” Adams, Director of Performing Arts at Garforth, said, “We have had a good working relationship with this school over the past two years, with a lot that has been achieved”. He said Mzuvele has an amazingly talented group of pupils whom they had enjoyed working with during their stay in KwaMashu. Siyanda Msomi, a teacher and coordinator of the school’s Leeds programme, said, “I’m very happy to see this dream come true as we have come a long way in planning for it with the help of the Municipality, Garforth Community College and other stakeholders.” Besides Mzuvele, Garforth is also helping a primary school in the area.
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