SACRED HEART COLLEGE MARIST OBS EDUCATION WITH WITH HEART HEART THAT THAT KNOWS KNOWS NO NO BOUNDS BOUNDS
J U N E E D IEDITION T I O N 22018 015 NOVEMBER
Family Spirit | A Passion for Work | Simplicity | Presence | In the Way of Mary
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The Meliores, and our Alumni, now have their own logo! The logo has been designed by Kgomotso Mautloa, a 2003 Sacred Heart College graduate. The significance of the M in the logo is the word Meliores, which means more than simply ‘better’. It can mean ‘more fully’ or ‘to make better’. Meliora can be translated to mean ‘good’, ‘honest’, ‘brave’ or ‘kind’. Furthermore, the M represents the word Marist, which connects us as a family. The opening gates behind the M, traced from the school’s beautiful main gate, imply that our alumni are always welcome. Kgomotso and his team at Green Robot Design (greenrobot.co.za) created a truly timeless icon; one that shows true insight. “The most exciting and probably most thrilling part of my career as the Creative Director at Green Robot Design is that I create new work every day. No one day is the same. That’s what gets me up in the morning,” said Kgomotso, giving us a glimpse into his studio life. “The endless opportunity to give art life and to craft work that people will see and hopefully enjoy pushes me to do better.” See our November 2014 edition for the full story.
Whoâ€™s Who ALUMNI COMMUNICATIONS Ellen Howell Alumni Relationship Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Layout and Design Cherry Bullard CJ Graphics
the alumni, parents, learners and staff who contributed to this edition of the Meliores publication.
is owned and published by Sacred Heart College. The authors and contributors reserve their rights in regard to the copyright of their work. No part of this work may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means without the written consent of Sacred Heart College.
2 I Messages from Our Team A Note from the Head of College I 2 A Note from the Alumni Manager I 2
3 I Sacred Heart News
Sacred Heart jazz band shines at Bassline Fest I 3 Having fun with numbers at Sacred Heart I 4 The 2017 Sacred Heart College Legacy Compass I 5 International Steelpan and Marimba Festival 2018 I 6 New Junior Mayor inaugurated I 7 Pre-Primary School 2018 I 8 Primary School and High School 2018 I 9
12 I Connecting with Alumni
To the matrics of 2018 I 10 Valedictory Speeches 2018 I 11 Mr Justice I. A. Maisels – Class of 1922 I 15 Frances Correia – Class of 1992 I 16 Mbali Mtsweni – Class of 2004 I 18 Nomamfengu Mbele – Class of 2013 I 22
Celebrations and Reunions 2018 Alumni Sport Event I 24 2008 Reunion I 25 Alumni Banners 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009 I 26 Get involved I 29
Contact details Pre-Primary and Primary School I 30 High School I 31
messageS from our team A Note from the Head of College Colin Northmore Head of Sacred Heart College 2018 has been an interesting year in the sense of the Chinese curse; â€œMay you live in interesting timesâ€?. South Africa has seen an economic recession and great political upheaval. The rule of law continues to be eroded and the education system continues to deteriorate with no end in sight. Our school is a microcosm of our society and so these things play out in our classrooms and with the families in our community. The attitude of the Johannesburg community continues to be one of underestimating the value of this College and prospects it offers our learners. In my Valedictory speech, I refer to the sociological concept of homophily. In an article in the Annual Review of Sociology, McPherson et al identify different types and dimensions of homophily, they refer to dimensions such as; Baseline vs. inbreeding, Status vs. Value, Race and ethnicity, Sex and gender, Age, Religion, Education, occupation and social class and Social media. All of these dimensions play out in the attitudes and views of the Johannesburg community and have a particular impact on their estimation of Sacred Heart College. Parents who have chosen to bring their children to our College have taken a deliberate decision to subordinate the effect of homophily and chosen an environment for their children that offers a counter to this trend. They want their children to experience the impact of interacting with families who come from outside the comfort zone of the familiar. They have an understanding that this will be of benefit to their children in the 4th industrial revolution. Many studies have shown that children from the environment we create here are more likely to possess the skills that employers and society agrees
are the ones most needed in the work environment of the future. It is difficult to place a value on the impact that this will have on their future but it is undoubtedly going to have a much more significant impact on their success than any other factor including their results in the Matric exam. In my meetings with the Alumni this year I see many examples of the success of our past students. Next year we will be placing a lot of focus on the fund-raising efforts for scholarships. I want to encourage all the students who have benefited from the education they received here to sign up and become a Champion of Change to create the opportunity for others to have the same benefit and opportunities.
A Note from the Alumni Manager Ellen Howell Alumni Relationship Manager Alumni@sacredheart.co.za This edition of the newsletter as always is filled with great personal stories from our Alumni that we proudly share with our community. The stories also reflect the History of the school from various view point and time periods which should be recorded and cherished. I hope that by reading them you will also be encouraged to share your story. This year the Alumni network have really come on board and got involved by challenging our Sacred Heart Senior Teams in Basketball, Netball and Soccer. Only our Basketball team managed to beat the Senior Sacred Heart Team. So I guess the bar has been set. Our Sun Exchange project has also been supported in a great way. Thank you Alumni for donations and sharing our vision with your network so as to make our energy saving dreams come true and assist students with their education. Thank you
sacred heart news Sacred Heart jazz band shines at Bassline Fest The song talks about the bustle that happens in Jozi.
acred Heart jazz band TBC made its mark at the Bassline Africa Day Fest at Constitution Hill on May 26 as the band gave an electric performance. The band, which consists of five learners from the school, said it was an honour to be able to share the stage with legends. The band opened for the five-time Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Malian icon Salif Keita and Nigerian pop sensation Yemi Alade to mention a few. “The experience was humbling and exciting. We really appreciated this opportunity,” said Biko Mabuse, the drummer. The band performed cover songs which got the crowd dancing and singing along. They also performed one of their original songs written by band member Angel Gwanda, titled “Jozi”. The song talks about the bustle that happens in Jozi.
“The song was inspired by what I saw happening around Joburg after I went hunting for holiday job and seeing how people hustle and bustle in the city,” said Angel. Sacred Heart Marimba Band also performed at the fest. This was the 14th Bassline Fest. The fest provides a platform to celebrate African vibrancy, diversity and globalism through music. Music lovers got the opportunity to indulge themselves in all things African like music, food and fashion. The fest was all about ‘Africa’s Tribute to Madiba’. Salif performed a tribute song to Madiba which was exclusively performed at the fest. Adapted from the article originally published by Bedfordview and Edenvale News on 5 June 2018 Author Busi Vilakazi https://bedfordviewedenvalenews.co.za/334848/ sacred-heart-jazz-band-shines-at-bassline-fest/
sacred heart news Having fun with numbers at Sacred Heart Maths can be overwhelmingly hard or frustratingly boring for many children.
acred Heart College held a Number Fun and Dress Up Day when learners could develop and understand maths. “Maths can be overwhelmingly hard or frustratingly boring for many children. Most children view maths as a challenge,” said Carol Thomas, head of foundation phase. The purpose of the Number Fun Day was to create opportunities and interactions to allow children to develop an understanding of numbers through play, games and fun activities. “Children can be more receptive to learning when it is associated with play. We hope to develop an interest in and a love for numbers in our children via various activities including building Lego, clay activities and chess. We hope to have renewed an interest in games and numbers,” said Thomas. Adapted from the article originally published by Bedfordview and Edenvale News on 16 July, 2018 Author Busi Vilakazi https://bedfordviewedenvalenews.co.za/336791/havingfun-with-numbers/
sacred heart news The 2017 Sacred Heart College Legacy Compass “A highly developed values system is like a compass. It serves as a guide to point you in the right direction when you are lost.” Idowu Koyenikan
he SHC Legacy project in 2017 was conceptualized by Debbie Le Roux who was assisted by Danielle Mowatt and Roslyn Wood-Morris. The project aimed to break the boundaries of location. Sacred Heart has always been a place that brings people of diverse backgrounds together. We explored the array
of places from which they, the SHC learners originate. They got to leave their legacy by printing their name and where they come from onto wooden tags in ink. The spectacular largescale compass was created as a foundation on which to attach all the name tags with locks. It is now a bold and permanent fixture outside the Social Sciences room and bears a snapshot of the staff and learners of 2017. “Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” Brene Brown
sacred heart news International Steelpan and Marimba Festival 2018
he High School Marimba Band performed at the International Steelpan and Marimba Festival 28th and 29th July 2018 @ St Dominicâ€™s in Boksburg in 4 different categories. The Alumni from last year, now at university, joined us on the 28th to perform in one of the categories. This was very exciting and we hope for more collaboration in the future with our alumni. The learners were amazing; their performances getting 3 special mentions. We also received a
few requests from observers to join us in some rehearsals as they are interested in the style and the tightness of how our learners play the instruments. Even though none of the groups received a special award this year, they have learnt a great deal and are looking forward to next year. Sacred Heart College is very fortunate to have Mr Gontse Segona, the Marimba Tutor, who allows our learners to enhance the amazing talents they have.
sacred heart news New Junior Mayor inaugurated
acred Heart College Grade 10 learner Tahir Tayob is the new Junior Mayor of the City of Johannesburg. He was recently inaugurated and will lead the Johannesburg Student Council for the next two years. Tahir said he is humbled by the opportunity and is looking forward to the challenge. “It’s such an honour to be elected. We are not often given such an incredible platform to affect
change, and to be one of the driving forces behind that change is reward enough in itself,” said Tahir. “The next two years of office will be challenging. I believe that I am up to the challenge. There are 120 student councillors by my side. We will tackle the challenge head-on,” said Tahir. He said in his time as Junior Mayor he would like to inspire and encourage the youth. “I think that one of the problems the youth of today face is the belief within themselves that they’re not capable of making a difference in other people’s lives because of their age. “By creating innovative ways to motivate and encourage people in taking an interest in the enrichment of our communities we are able to not let this culture of unwillingness to help our society strive. That’s the primary goal that I would like to achieve,” said Tahir He said quality education is a challenge and that the city needs to give more attention to the issue. “The city’s significant challenge is providing a quality level of education to the youth. They should look for ways to improve that because it will benefit the city. The youth is the future,” said Tahir.
Adapted from the article originally published by Bedfordview and Edenvale News on 16 July, 2018 Author Busi Vilakazi https://bedfordviewedenvalenews.co.za/337715/newjunior-mayor-inaugurated/
sacred heart news Pre-Primary School 2018
sacred heart news Primary School 2018
High School 2018
To the matrics of 2018 Life isn’t about making lots of money and being incredibly successful. It is about how you feel about yourself, how you affect people around you, what sort of friend, partner and possibly parent you become. It’s about the impact you make on the world. All of these things are determined by your core beliefs and values. These will have been formed as part of your life growing up in your home with your family and as a result of your time here at Sacred Heart College. As you embark on the next part of your journey, these core beliefs and values will be tested and shaped even further. This in turn will determine how you choose to live your life and the impact you will make on the world. As you have said throughout this year “We’ve got this”, you certainly have “got this”. Heather Blanckensee High School Principal
In Meliora Contende
James Alence Thomas Alfred Randry Bigirimana Tejal Bipath Heri Bukanga Sisanda Buthelezi Dani Costella Daniel Crouch Chukwuka Dunu Yaisa Etsiah Haseeb Hassan Gabrie Horowitz Paul Kabeya Damien Kiyombo Franklin Lodge Chiedza Makamanzi Atang Malebo Unathi Marapyana Nolufefe Maswanganyi Ruth McCormick Ntsoaki Didintle Mogodi Relebogile Molefe Tebogo Molefe Micole Monteiro
Nomonde Mriga Thidziambi Mufamadi Thandeka Munnik Charvana Naidoo Divanth Naidoo Tiskeen Narkedien Nqobile Ndlovu Simphiwe Ngwenya Zanokuhle Nhlapo Cloë Noto Kelechi Nwokeyi Botlhale Petlele Kyara Plasket-Govender Gian Potenza Alastair Price Juanito Riego de Dios Owen Riley Mbusiso Siso Michal Svorc Ziyaad Tayob Nthatuwa Tshabalala Keegan Urquhart Run-Long Wang Darren Wei
valedictory speech 2018 Colin Northmore In 1992 American heavy metal band Metallica released the song “Nothing Else Matters” The core lyrics contain a message that is often used by movements working to protect the planet from the effects of climate change and animal species from extinction. This song is both definitive of the class of 2018 and my message to you. The first verse contains these words: So close, no matter how far Couldn’t be much more from the heart Forever trusting who we are And nothing else matters Our school’s name has been Sacred Heart College for less than a third of our existence. When we attempt to market our school to the Johannesburg public, we try to find (as any business would) the unique selling point of our College. There we struggle. Academically and in the cultural and sporting activities we differ very little from the other independent schools we compete with. We are always reminded that we are unique, just like everyone else. Edward Young once said, “we are all born originals – why is it so many of us die copies”? If you ask any student what makes us unique, they invariably tell us it is their friendships and the relationships with their peers and teachers. This lead us to a marketing slogan last year of “choose heart”. It is difficult to capture the special uniqueness of this group of matrics, but I believe that we can use the words of Metallica “Couldn’t be much more from the heart”. The next line is our first piece of advice “forever trust who you are” and “heart can take you anywhere.” I hope you noticed how I slipped this year’s
marketing slogan in there but like John Wanamaker once said: “Half the money we spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is we don’t know which half.” In the third verse Metallica sing: Trust I seek and I find in you Every day for us something new Open mind for a different view And nothing else matters “A 1997 a study by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing found that 89% of high school and college staff identified critical thinking as a primary objective yet only 9% included tasks in class that were clearly designed to promote it. Schools are turning out excellent technicians, but poor innovative problem solvers. They are conditioned to rely on learning that defines the boundaries for thought. With the 90% who are conditioned technocrats, businesses are forced to try to train them to think beyond textbooks in finance, economics, computer programming, etc. to use their knowledge to generate action.” That is going to be a significant factor in your future success. You have to be able to do more than know, feel and understands you have to act. We strive to create learning opportunities here that promote the idea of the third line of this verse: An “open mind for a different view”. The staff of this school would be the first to tell you that we do not always succeed in creating all the opportunities for learning that we would want to. But you will find, as you go out into the world that a lot of the lessons you have acquired here are going to give you an edge and insights that are uncommon. This week I met with a group of alumni in Cape Town. They were very diverse. This is not surprising and would be true of any random
valedictory speech 2018 Colin Northmore valedictory speech continued
selection of our past students. We take it for granted, you take it for granted. Superficially and in many cases in fundamental and profound ways, transformation is a given at Sacred Heart College. These alumni are studying; astrophysics and the formation of galaxies, electrical engineering, gender issues and the impact of pornography on identity in black women and public policy at the University of Oxford. One of them was the manager of the championship-winning South African rugby sevens team. They commented on how different university is from their experience at Sacred Heart which is something we often hear from alumni. In the conversations we had what emerged was a story of how fellow students from other schools tended to congregate and bond with similar others (this is a concept in sociology called homophily) they also commented on how students from our school moved freely between groups and cultures. Even when the university set up contrived situations that forced integration, this only lasted for as long it was driven by external pressure. Harvard economics professor Richard Freeman has an interesting study on diversity in science. In his summary, he describes the key finding: “Using a measure of homophily for individual papers, he says, we find that greater homophily is associated with publication in lower impact journals and with fewer citations, even holding fixed the authors’ previous publishing performance. By contrast, papers with authors in more locations and with longer reference lists get published in higher impact journals and receive more citations than others. These findings suggest that diversity in inputs by author ethnicity, location, and references leads to greater contributions to science as measured by impact factors and citations.”
Celebrate the differences between you that have caused you to struggle to get to this point. The misunderstanding, deliberate and unconscious prejudices and insults that lead to conflict between you and the resolutions and solutions you have found to these conflicts. This has made you stronger, given you amazing skills and will be one of the most significant advantages you take with you. It is not so much that “nothing else matters” and more that you will find yourself in situations where “nothing will matter more”. Going back to verse 2, because why should we start at the beginning and finish at the end when we can find a different direction to go, this is Sacred Heart College after all. We hear them sing: Never opened myself this way Life is ours, we live it our way All these words I don’t just say And nothing else matters Life is yours, live it your way. Your friendships will endure – nothing else matters. These are not just words we say, it is the lived experience of times you have opened yourselves to new experiences and – nothing else matters Ultimately this song is a love song. James Hetfield, the lead singer, wrote this song while on the phone to his girlfriend. I always wonder if during that conversation his girlfriend asked: “James are you listening to me?” Similarly, valedictory is a love song. It is a song about your time here. It is a song about your struggles and triumphs. It is a song about the love of your teachers, parents and peers. I speak for your teachers and parents when I say that “we love you class of 2018”. We love the cute babies that you were, the talented teenagers you have are, and we love the promise of the adults you will become. Metallica sums this up perfectly in their refrain: “Nothing else matters”.
valedictory speech 2018 Keegan Urquhart Good Evening everyone. After my 12 years of school I have only 3 things to say to you. Firstly: Mama we made it. It’s been a long 12 years but we made it. “Everything that is and ever was, began with a dream” – Lavagirl 2005. Now most of you are probably wondering why I’m quoting Lavagirl. Well last week I bought the DVD and for the ﬁrst time in, I don’t know how long, I watched it again. And as I was watching it I was reminded of the days of my childhood when life was simple and all we had to worry about was our dreams of what we thought the world could be. It also reminded me how important it is to have dreams. But I digress. We are all here because our parents had a dream. A dream to get us an education that would take us to new heights in our future. And I think for the most part we and this school have delivered. We must remember that “These are the moments that will stay with us forever” – Caroline Forbes. Whether we like it or not the moments that we shared with this school and with each other will stay with us forever. We will always remember the good times, the bad times and everything in between. Be it the fact that I was constantly hounded for my ever changing hair colour or us coming together as a grade when Lerato passed. All of these moments will stay with us, most likely, till the day we die.
I would like to say thank you, to all of you and to the school. And once again. Mama we made it. Oh and one more thing. To Mrs Blankense. I don’t think you hear this often enough, but thank you for being such an amazing principal. You’ve made my 12 years at Sacred Heart College some of the most memorable years I’ll ever have. Thank you.
We are all here because our parents had a dream. A dream to get us an education that would take us to new heights in our future.
“Most dreams don’t come true on their own, you have to make them true” – Lavagirl. Never take what you have for granted. And in closing
valedictory speech 2018 Yaisa Loiyana Etsiah 2k18, The year of knowledge. Good evening all. My name is Yaisa Loiyana Etsiah, and I’ve been at SHC for 6 years including this year. When writing this speech I did not know where to begin. I was conflicted because I didn’t know whether or not I should use this speech as an opportunity to talk about things that bothered me, people that irritated me, or things that put a smile on my face. I finally told myself that all of those things are apart of my Sacred Heart College experience, including all the things I learnt about myself and others. And that I should try my best to share that with all of you in the short time that I have. Just like every other year, this one wasn’t the easiest. We had ups and downs, we took major L’s and W’s, we laughed and cried, we argued, we partied, we made connections, we stopped being friends, we stopped talking, we fell apart. All of these things are part of many of our experiences here at this school. However, I’m here to share my experience with you. Matric was tough. As a young female who has been through a lot in her life, this year really did get to me. I questioned almost every relationship I had with people, I isolated myself, I even began to question what my purpose was. But, being the optimist that I am, I was always able to pick myself up and dust myself off. -Life is tough. This is just a bump in the road. People will always judge no matter what. You deserve to be happy. Keep pushing, you’re almost there. Don’t let the haters get to you. -These are little pieces of advice I told myself in every situation I was in that made me view things in a negative way.
People always wonder why I talk about haters a lot. Here’s my definition of haters. Haters are all my negative thoughts, haters are people in my life that were not worth my time, haters are people that don’t want to see me succeed, haters are haters and they will always remain haters. But what we do, is we never give them what they want. So as we are all soon going to step into a new chapter in our lives, I encourage all of you to remember to always try your best to view things in a positive way. That’s the only way you’ll move forward and not backwards in your life. And just to end off my speech, I’d like to say to this group of amazing people, I know there’s a lot of you I won’t see in a very long time, just so you know, I will miss a lot of you dearly and I wish you all the best in life. Sacred Heart, thank you for your part in my journey.
Life is tough. This is just a bump in the road. People will always judge no matter what. You deserve to be happy. Keep pushing, you’re almost there. Don’t let the haters get to you.
Class of 1922
Mr Justice I. A. Maisels Defence Lawyer of the day
srael Aaron Maisels was one of the greatest defence advocates in the legal history of South Africa. Born in Johannesburg, he attended Marist Brothers’ School (forerunner to Sacred Heart College), and the University of the Witwatersrand where he embarked on the study of law. He played cricket in the University First XI, was chairman of the Law Students Society, the Debating Society, and he won the Gold Medal for the best speaker. Having passed his Bar exam – which allowed him to practice as an advocate of the Supreme Court – he defended an array of cases as a junior advocate under some distinguished senior advocates. World War II found him volunteering for military service in air intelligence, though his main work as a lawyer during the period involved court-martial work. After the war, he “took silk”, becoming what was then called a Queen’s Counsel, or QC. His briefs, amongst many others, included the “Bubbles” Schroeder case (a mystifying murder in Johannesburg), the David Pratt inquiry (the shooting of Prime Minister Verwoerd) and the
Coalbrook inquiry (when 435 miners perished in an underground disaster). However, the greatest triumph of his career as QC was the giant treason trial of 1956 – 1961 in which the state charged 156 members of the Congress alliance with conspiring to violently overthrow the state. Israel Maisels led the defence team which assembled perhaps the most distinguished team of defence lawyers of the day. The trial lasted almost five years, the state gradually dropping charges against all but 30 defendants. Thousands of documents were produced as evidence. A prominent academic was brought in to prove the intent of the accused. The process was long, and at times incredibly boring. By the time it ended, Maisels and his team (including Bram Fischer, Joe Slovo and Sidney Kentridge) had so thoroughly discredited the prosecution’s case that not a single person was convicted. Such prominence in a political trial meant that Maisels’s chance of becoming a judge in South Africa was zero. But he was summoned to the Bench of Rhodesia, where he served for a number of years until he found the increasingly repressive legislation under Ian Smith impossible to enforce in good conscience. He returned to South Africa and his practice as QC until his retirement. He died in 1994 at the age of 87. His autobiography presents insights into South African legal history, and what it meant to be a South African lawyer during the apartheid era. The Chairman of the Johannesburg Bar, Michael Kuper SC, paid tribute to Maisels (Isie to his friends) in the following words: “ He was the greatest advocate of my life-time, and also a kind, generous and great-hearted man.” (Taken mainly from an article which appeared in the Mail and Guardian, October 1998)
class of 1992
Frances Correia Why I continue to delight in Sacred Heart’s Ethos!
In Grade 11 we were offered the opportunity to choose to be in a ‘religious’ as opposed to a secular class.
a group of peers who had self-selected to be together because they were passionate about faith.
s a committed Catholic, I see an attitude of openness and generosity to others as integral to a life of faith, and I have often experienced this at Sacred Heart. Recently I attended my eldest child’s Grade 6 World Religions evening. The learners had dressed in their traditional religious clothes and they had decorated tables with religious books, statues, prayer carpets, rosaries and incense. There was even an atheist table with books by Richard Dawkins and Darwin’s Origin of Species on it! Also the learners had brought with them all sorts of yummy traditional foods! We were invited to sit and the learners led us through an interfaith prayer experience. Sharing favourite prayers and religious stories from their varying traditions. All of this took me back to my own experiences at Sacred Heart in the early 1990’s. In Grade 11 we were offered the opportunity to choose to be in a ‘religious’ as opposed to a secular class. This was the first time I was going to be with
Our class was equally made up of Christians and Muslim students, and Fr Dryden led these classes. We were encouraged to share deeply from our own faith experience, and to listen attentively to each other. These were my first ‘spiritual conversations’. I remember that I was paired with a young man, Mohammed, and I shared with him my frustrations with the off key and boring singing at my local church. He listened to me, and then asked a question I have never forgotten, he asked me why I went to church? Was it to listen to the singing, or was it to pray to God? I remember him suggesting to me that the next time I was disturbed by the singing I should imagine all the congregation singing as being like a slightly wobbly staircase, which nonetheless ascended to heaven. That image has stayed with me my whole life, and still consoles me when I find myself irritated by a particularly poor liturgy. This class was to have some long lasting effects on my life. I ended up choosing to become a Spiritual Director, working in the Jesuit Tradition. My life’s work is to sit and listen to people talking about their experience of God. Those ‘spiritual conversations’ I had in Grade 11 set the tone for
the many spiritual conversations I would have for the rest of my life. I learned there a real openness to how God works through different traditions and faiths. Later in my life when I began to study the documents of the Second Vatican Council, I came to realise how the spirit of The Council inspired these encounters. Sacred Heart in its Ethos Document, describes itself as a school rooted in the writings of Vatican II. Sometimes I think we Catholics are too quick to ask how many Catholics are in a school, or to look and see if they practice the more outward piety of Catholicism like the Rosary. Although there are a minority of Catholic learners here now (and when asked my mother I discovered that that was also the case when I was here) I recognise this attitude of openness to discovering ‘how God has been dealing with God’s other children’ as one that is profoundly Catholic. If we go back to The Vatican Council documents, we see the Church Fathers calling us to ‘regard with sincere reverence’ all other
faiths. Throughout the mystical tradition of the church and reiterated again in The Council we heard the importance of both knowledge and formation. Knowledge of faith can be taught, but formation is caught! It comes from experience and from witnessing the attitudes of the adults around us. The kind of experiential encounters that I was gifted with in Grade 11 shaped how I thought about my own faith, and the faiths of others. I discovered for myself the truth that to really be able to engage ecumenically or in an interfaith setting I needed to profoundly know my own tradition. Sacred Heart has also upheld the teachings of the church with regard to religious freedom. All those who come here should feel that their own faith and tradition is of value, and that they are encouraged to broaden their horizons about all questions of faith, so as to be able to deeply assent in their own hearts to the Truth as they perceive it! This religious ethos, that celebrates difference, and gives pre-eminence to human dignity, has for me remained constant in my experience of the school during the almost 40 years I have been associated with it.
class of 2004
Mbali Mtsweni Grand Prize Winner at the age of 17 anized in preparation for the international conference entitled “Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africaby 2020: Prioritizing Actions, Strengthening Actors, and Facilitating Partnerships”. The grand prize included the attendance of the Conference which was hosted in Kampala, Uganda, in the year of my matriculation, 2004. As the winner of the competition, I was afforded the opportunity to read my story aloud to various African Heads of State and International Dignitaries at a black tie event hosted to round off the 4 days of discussions, plenary sessions and presentations that had preceded it. Attending the conference as well as having my work published for the first time in a subsequent booklet that included selected entries from other contestants was a highlight of my teenage years.
hen I was in Grade 11, I decided to enter a competition that I had read about on a nondescript pamphlet that I had found on a seemingly random afternoon exhibition held in the Brother McCartin Centre. Little did I know at the time that that decision would spark a continuing interest and concern with matters relating to not only the theoretical, but also the practical aspects pertaining the wellbeing of our beloved continent of Africa. The brief was for a continental writing contest under the theme “A Full Food Basket for Africa by 2020” which called for original poems, essays or short stories by African youths expressing their perspectives, hopes and expectations concerning the food and nutritional struggles with which we are still faced. The competition was sponsored by the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) 2020 Vision Initiative, which was org-
The entire experience encouraged me to continue to foster my love for stories and telling them through the written word and I am ever grateful for the support I received from Sacred Heart College throughout the process. Emancipation from Emaciation
Once upon a time (we’re talking eons ago), Gaya (Mother Earth) and her children lived as one big happy family. They coexisted impeccably and wanted for nothing. But after some time, the children felt the urge to leave their nest called Pangaea to explore their “wide futures”. So they each went their separate ways and went on to bear their own offspring. Inevitably, they each had their fair share of triumphs and tribulations, but the one who bore the brunt of it all was Africa. She was trapped in a perpetual web of distress over her ailing children. They were plagued by war, fatal epidemics, lethal pandemics, and famine. The latter was most prevalent. Famine
had mutated into an invincible monstrosity that was ravaging more than half of Africa’s children. It was so notorious that it had aliases like Hunger, Dearth, Starvation, Barrenness, Malnutrition, and Deprivation, and it had a sidekick named Poverty. This ruthless antagonist knew that once Africa had fallen prey to its insatiable appetite, it would almost be inconceivable to free it from its clutches. Almost? The only thing that kept Africa’s children alive was a tiny glimmer of hope that they refused to discard. It resided deep down in the pits of their stomachs. It was so minuscule that it could easily be engulfed in their stomach – ripping hunger pangs and be forgotten for a while. But it was there nonetheless. It was this tiny spark of hope that initiated the revolution. To Famine’s future dismay, Africa’s children were able to dig deep and channel that glint of faith, just enough
to give them strength to ask for help one last time. All those millions of microscopic glimmers of hope put together created quite a formidable force. Gaunt, emaciated, and with hunger emblazoned in their eyes, they sent out a cry so loud that it drowned out the deafening sound of their collective rumbling stomachs. Gaya heard them. She felt their pure anguish and unadulterated sincerity, and her heart almost imploded. After extensive deliberation, she resolved to bequeath to them what she knew would undoubtedly redeem Africa from this scourge. If this failed, Africa would be doomed, for Gaya’s well of solutions had run dry. Africa’s children feared that their cries had fallen on deaf ears, as their calls hadn’t yet been heeded. Starvation was in its element as it forcibly lacerated every last atom of their hope while they wept. Their gushing tears felt like excruciating acid rolling down their dry, discoloured, paper cheeks. Little did they know that as each tear touched the scorched earth, a ripple effect was created. All their tears combined sent forth a colossal ripple that vibrated through the earth. The ground quaked vigorously. Thick black storm clouds rolled in from nowhere. Thunder exploded. Lightning slashed the sky. A gargantuan tornado approached from the horizon at the speed of thought. Yet, the most uncanny and inexplicable phenomenon was that during all this apocalyptic weather the children could have sworn that they heard the 70s Bee Gee hit “Staying Alive” blaring in the air. Psychedelic disco lights flashed everywhere. Glitter fell from the sky. Had the mind – numbing involuntary fasting forced their sanity to abandon them? Then, just as abruptly as it all began, it came to a screeching halt, except for the song, lights, and glitter. The dust finally settled. There he stood in all his glory, too bright to look at with the naked eye. The children couldn’t believe their eyes when they’d miraculously adjusted to the blinding shimmer. What in the entire universe was
Mbali Mtsweni continued
A 70s disco – king fairy godfather that spoke in rhyme wasn’t quite what they’d expected, but they were desperate.
The children of Africa were sceptical. This idealistic image that Marvin had described sounded like an unattainable Utopia. They asked him, “In a world where unemployment, poverty, and hunger are rife, How can you expect anything but hardships and strife?” Marvin replied, “Hey, if I can make you speak in rhyme,
this apparition before them? Posing in 10-inch platform shoes, glittery sky-blue bell-bottoms, multi-coloured polka-dot shirt, and electric pink, star shaped sunglasses, he held up the peace sign with his fingers above his awe-inspiring afro. After retrieving her jaw from the ground, one of the children mustered up the courage to ask, “What kind of angel are you?” The figure replied, “I ain’t no angel, child, or a pixie or an elf. I’m your fairy godfather, sent to help you by Gaya herself.” A 70s disco – king fairy godfather that spoke in rhyme wasn’t quite what they’d expected, but they were desperate. “What should we call you?” they asked. In his animated manner of singing and dancing to everything he said, he replied, “Well, I’m here to nullify Starving, So you can call me Marvin. For too long now, every African Nation Has suffered from hunger’s emasculation, I’m here to give you emancipation From goiter, kwashiorkor, and emaciation! With human kindness and education, We’ll declare an embargo on starvation. I promise to get rid of Famine, So we can all be carefree and jamming!”
I can do anything. You’ll soon see in time!” And before the children could open their mouths to retort, a whirl of purple wind suddenly engulfed Marvin, and he disappeared. All that could be heard was a fading voice in the distance singing, “By 2020, instead of an Africa that’s malnourished, We’ll see an Africa that will have flourished!” As the saying goes, charity begins at home. So Marvin entered the homes of billions of people around the world during breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack times. He made himself invisible and whispered little inspirations in people’s ears while they stuffed their faces. He’d whisper things like: “Listen up, dude. Here’s some food for thought. While you’re being fussy about your food. There are people without grub of any sort!” Or he’d say, “Dealing with having nothing to eat is one major feat. While you scoff down junk food in your comfy seat, Millions in Africa can’t afford meat, or even dry wheat!” He’d also whisper, “Just before you take that bite, Picture this unappetizing sight: A child with kwashiorkor is dying and its mother has no might To fix the situation because there’s no food (a basic human right).
Then companies started to do the same. NGOs admired this initiative and donated tons of staple foods.
So don’t just sit there with your heart closed up tight, Open it up to the less fortunate and to their lives add some light.” People all over the world suddenly had the impulse to rectify the Hunger crisis in Africa and in their own communities. It started small. People stopped throwing food away. Schools organized monthly non-perishable food drives, where each learner had to bring one food product every month. Then companies started to do the same. NGOs admired this initiative and donated tons of staple foods. The movement grew. Celebrities used their fame and status to hold fundraisers. It grew even more when the governments got involved. First world countries abolished the debts of the third world. They encouraged trade and invested in health, education, and agriculture. Medication was sent over to treat diseases like goiter, anemia, kwashiorkor, and AIDS, and the people were also educated about their prevention. Technological farming equipment was donated for commercial agriculture, and people were taught how to be self – sufficient through subsistence farming. A huge emphasis was put on education, especially for girls, so that the number of working professionals would increase, therefore enriching the economy.
was no longer nobody’s business. Everybody was concerned, and it became a priority of big news networks to report on the progress of the food drive. An International Food Council was established, which was responsible for organizing funds, research, giving aid, and ensuring that all donations were distributed accordingly. Although it was still a very controversial issue, people became a bit more susceptible to the idea of genetically modified food. And though it took some time, the warring countries finally reached mutual resolutions, and all refugees, who made up most of the world’s hungry, returned home and were incorporated into the new economies. Marvin’s course of action had produced phenomenal results. Famine, Dearth, Starvation, Deprivation, Hunger, Barrenness, Malnutrition, call it whatever you like, was now a former notorious invincible monstrosity. Even its sidekick, Poverty, was keeping a low profile. Gaunt flimsy skeletons usually seen roaming or vegetating aimlessly were no longer the norm. The words, “I’m FAMISHED!” which people would bellow in agony, had now been reduced to a mere “I’m feeling slightly peckish,” Marvin quietly disappeared back to where he came from and was soon forgotten or brushed off as a typical hallucination caused by extreme hunger. But what he accomplished was never forgotten, as they were faced with it every day. People’s generosity and selflessness, Was the unfaltering recipe for success. The world was once filled with doom and gloom, Now everywhere you look, a smile would bloom. And thus ends the story, ladies and gents, Africa’s children lived ever joyfully hence. The world was gorged with pure elation, As they’d acquired their emancipation!
African governments included fiscal policies for agriculture in their annual budgets. Famine
class of 2013
Nomamfengu Mbele Realising Holistic Development Nomamfengu Mbele is a young graduate with an Honours Degree in Urban & Regional Planning, who is engaging head on with the opportunities around sustainable precincts offered through her work experience at Solid Green.
orn and bred in Johannesburg, I attended Sacred Heart College before starting my studies at Wits in 2014. Upon my appointment to Solid Green in March 2018, I joined the team working on Sandton Gate where my main tasks included assisting with making the Green Star Sustainable Precinct Certification Tool applicable to the South African context; and assessing the Sandton Gate documentation for certification. Working on Sustainable Precincts was the ideal start for an urban planning graduate as it allowed for me to see progressive planning theories being implemented in real urban development projects. The everyday challenges and successes that came with the project opened my eyes to some of the great steps that the property sector is taking to restructure city development, and how far there is still to go. I am currently working on Wayneville, a Nairobibased masterplan design for a sustainable precinct. I am extremely excited about the lack of limitation placed on this development and its great potential to break down the norms of urban development in African cities. I feel that there is a space in which I can be innovative in the greater African context. This offers
the potential to guide precinct project members towards not only attaining sustainability in their core project objectives, but also challenging them to reach for Net Zero goals from the outset of a development. I am also working on a Sustainable Precinct framework for the firm â€“ a resource that will be used for sourcing ideas and supportive arguments in order to further the implementation of sustainable precinct development in the African context. I have also worked on assisting team members with submission documentation
for the certification of individual green buildings. These processes continuously place me outside my comfort zone and confront me with engineering concepts such as energy modelling, daylight glare measures and greenhouse gas emissions. As challenging as it has been, the team has been helpful and patient, and I don’t take for granted the magnitude of this opportunity to gain skills in other fields of expertise. As a young professional, growth is truly important to me and I hope to continue acquiring skills that will equip me in contributing towards the progression of the built environment. I am being given the freedom to figure out my direction while strengthening the skills and passions that I have already developed.
honestly a privilege to be an in an environment of young proactive professionals working towards a very specific goal of sustainable built development. There is a constant effort to learn and remain inquisitive – it is an energy you are constantly surrounded by. I hope this energy is instilled in me and remains in my work ethic going forward. “Text and images provided courtesy of Solid Green Consulting” https://www.solidgreen.co.za/nomamfengu-mbelerealising-holistic-development/
Working here has confirmed my desire to be a player in realising holistic development. It is
2018 Alumni Sport Events The Alumni challenged the Senior Sacred Heart College Basketball Boys, Netball Girls and the Soccer Boys teams. The final score was as follows: Basketball: Alumni
Sacred Heart College Boys 34
Sacred Heart College Girls 16
Alumni Boys 3 Sacred Heart College Boys 5 Great fun was had by all
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