First lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma under her BNZ Foundation visited in Ivory Park, Ekurhuleni, to give a motivational talk to pupils.
Madam Bongi Ngema-Zuma was invited by a youth organisation called Kuzondlula Motivators, to motivate pupils in the area as well as in Tembisa.
About her impressions of Eqinisweni Secondary School, the First Lady said the school looked beautiful from outside, but in a shocking state inside.
“I have been to rural schools, but I have never seen something like this,” she said.
“Children pulled me into one of their classes so I can see where they learn. They say they sit on the floor. I do not think the department is aware of this because I believe they would have done something about it.”
She told pupils the decisions they make today would determine their future.
“When things get tough, close your eyes and think of all the things we should be grateful for. Success requires hard work, but fear can stand in your way. Suicide is not an answer. Running away is not a solution. Failure is a good thing if you keep trying.”
Mrs Ngema-Zuma found hearts in the schools plagued by social problems such as pregnancies, suicide and drug abuse.
A Grade 12 pupil Lynn Nemaisa 19, related how she nearly committed suicide because of family problems.
Nemaisa told Sowetan the motivation she got made her realise she could still live to realise her dreams.
“There was a time where I felt that I do not belong in this world. I thought suicide was the only way out. I cope with my family problems by ignoring them,” she said.
“Today I learned I can still have a better life. I just need to have a different mindset, believe in myself and have character.”
Mokgomotsi Rapanyane, 17, said she also learned there was nothing beyond her reach.
“I am now ready for my exams because I was motivated by people who inspire me,” she said.
Deputy principal Samson Mokgalaka told Ngema-Zuma how pupils at his school fought over chairs every morning.
“We have several girls who are pregnant and one pupil committed suicide this year. Dropouts and substance abuse are also a problem,” he said.
Mokgalaka said despite the problems, the school’s matric class scored a 91% matric pass rate last year.
Source: Sowetan Newspaper