Nooitgedacht’s cultural pride celebrated on fun day

Nooitgedacht students, teachers and families united on 3 November for a day of fun and cultural activities at Lion Park for the school’s cultural fun day.

Children and their families celebrated the school’s cultural diversity with food, music, and activities from different cultures.

The event’s purpose was to bring the community together and to raise funds, said grade five English teacher Neo Tlhagale-Molefe.

“We just want to bring the community together,” she said. “We want to showcase the cultural diversity that we have at our school and raise funds at the same time. It is really important for our kids to learn and understand their culture. We want to continue with such activities to build good relationships with the community,” she said.

The school has students from different countries with different cultural backgrounds, Tlhagale-Molefe added. The school’s cultural diversity ranges from whites to blacks with some students coming from countries like Nigeria, DR Congo, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. The community members were invited along to the celebration with many of them taking part in the dancing and cultural activities.

The fundraising event was meant to take the school to another level, said Paul Chatindo, who teaches grade seven students.

“We are trying to raise funds so that we keep the school going,” Chatindo said. “With those kinds of funds, we can do the feeding scheme for our kids. Some of our students come from informal settlements and they do not have money.”

The cultural part of the event serves as a reminder of where people come from, Chatindo added. the cultural dances that students showcased are examples of what they learn at home.

“We have so many different cultures at our school, and we are learning a lot” said Cleopatra Mwale, one of the grade six students. “I think it is a good thing to see other people’s cultures because you can understand them better.”

 

Cosmo Dolphins participates in OR Tambo Soncini Games

Cosmo Dolphins Swimming Academy is on the move to advance the children’s swimming skills, and on 27 October the swimming youngsters will participate in this year’s OR Tambo Soncini Social Cohesion Games to be held in Germiston.

Cosmo Dolphins Swimming Academy is a swim school located at 10188, Uzbekistan Crescent, Ext 8, Cosmo City.

The primary purpose of the school is to teach children and adults to learn to swim. Tsepang and Moipone Mohapi founded the swimming academy which provides swimming lessons and competitions for both children and adults. They also educate the swimmers how to do swimming techniques like stroke correction and water aerobics.

Moipone Mohapi told Cosmo City Chronicle that OR Tambo Soncini Social Cohesion games will be a good platform for the young children to participate in.

“Participating in the OR Tambo Soncini games means a lot to the school and the children,” Mohapi said. “It is at these games where different outstanding swimmers will be selected to the national team to participate in Italy,” said Mohapi, who has also been appointed to be an assistant coach to guide Central Gauteng Aquatics swimmers to the OR Tambo games.

“If we get an athlete to represent the country,” Mohapi added. “That would be one of our greatest moments for us not only as a school, but for parents and Cosmo City as a whole. This is also a great opportunity for children to represent their province (Gauteng).  It is our first time to participate in the games and we feel honored because not every kid gets this opportunity.

OR Tambo Soncini Social Cohesion Games are not only limited to swimming as it also represents games like soccer, netball, rugby etc.

Swimming is an important sport, Mohapi said, because many careers like Aviation and SA Navy require swimming skills as a qualification to enter.

Cosmo Dolphins Swimming Academy has been influential in the community as they provide free swimming lessons, free transport to and from the swimming pool in the beginning of every year. This is aimed at teaching children about water awareness and safety. They also hold swimming camps and invite different people to talk about different careers to help children to make better informed decisions when time comes.

“Our community still does not take swimming seriously, hence we don't get enough support,” said Mohapi when questioned about the challenges they face. “We can have the strongest swimming club in Cosmo City if we get enough participants. We are open to anyone who would like to acquire this important life skill.”

People who want to join swimming, Mohapi said, you need a swimming costume, a swimming cap, a towel, and for fee structure go to www.cosmodolphins.co.za.

 

Izinyoka (electricity theft) Kills two students in Zandspruit.

Izinyoka (electricity theft) Kills two students in Zandspruit, leading to violent protests against illegal

Izinyoka (illegal electricity) electrocuted two Zandspruit students on the weekend of 13 and 14 October in two separate incidents, leading to a series of protests against illegal electricity connections

The eleven year and sixteen year old boys (names withheld) were walking outside during the rainy weekend, residents allege, when they stepped in water that had a live wire in it. Both died.

Residents of Zandspruit informal settlement take electricity directly from overhead power lines. Visible cables hang in the air, crossing from one shack to the other.

Residents took to the streets on 15 and 16 October to protest against illegal connections.

“The use of Izinyoka has turned our community into a death trap,” said resident Vusimuzi Mchunu during the protests. “This is all out of desperation for electricity, with the young kids paying the ultimate price of electrocutions. It has left the community in shock.

“Our electricity situation needs to be fixed because we might lose a lot of innocent souls,” Mchunu said.

Zandspruit Youth Development Forum leader David Tebogo Mangena said there was no need for residents to blame the government about the Zandspruit situation.

“We the residents started the illegal electricity connections,” Mangena said. “Of course it is a sad situation but we must blame ourselves for initiating the Izinyoka program.”

Mangena said it was unnecessary for the youth to protest because that is not the right way to solve the issues.

“It was a bad move by protesters because we have no reason to protest for this matter,” Mangena said. “Yes, we need electricity, but this is not a good way to get it. We had more than ten protests since 2010 but nothing has happened.”

“I think the way forward is to call people who are dealing with these illegal connections to remove the wire and put cooper,” Mandena added.

“We cannot force them to remove Izinyoka because people need power,” he said. “We are concerned about safety. They need to establish a team that will work with the councilor to approach Eskom and the government for proper electricity. A strike or a march should be organized if the government is not responding well or giving them clarity on their demand.”

During the Zandspruit protests, some of the businesses were affected as the protestors vandalized and looted the properties. On 19 October, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba addressed the community, promising to engage with Eskom to bring proper electrification.

“I have renewed the City’s commitment to assisting the residents by engaging with Eskom to fast track the process of electrifying the area,” the mayor said.

 

Community prays for Matriculants as their exams roar into life

“Students should not only approach exams physically,” said Pastor Evans Phiri of Cosmo City Church Forum, “because there are also spiritual forces to be overcome during exams.”

Pastor Phiri spoke during a prayer session for matric students held at Multipurpose on 17 October with Cosmo City Church Forum and the Department of Education. Hundreds of matric students and teachers attended the event, which takes place every year just a few days before exams to get the students spiritually ready for their tests.

During the session, different pastors and motivational speakers encouraged students to remain strong and confident as they embark on their decisive exams.

“Most of the matric students are very intelligent,” Pastor Evans said, “but sometimes when they get into an exam room, they find themselves in a place where they do not know what is happening. Others perform rituals before they start their exams. But we are calling on the name of Jesus today to bring clarity to our students. We want the best from our Cosmo City students.”

Mpumi Simbine, district official coordinator of the prayer meeting, said that ever since the prayer program began, the pass rate in Cosmo City schools has been improving.

“God can answer any prayers to help students cope during their exams,” Simbine said. “We are doing this program to support our learners. We wish them all the best and we hope God gives them guidance to remember everything they learnt during the course of the year.”

Tokelo  Tsiri of Cosmo City Secondary 1 is one of the matric students who attended the prayer meeting. It was a moment of upliftment for him, he said.

“As I was preparing for my exams, I felt like there was something lacking until I attended the prayer meeting,” said Tsiri. “We are now ready to face the exams, and I hope we will all do well.”

 

 

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