I think it is very safe to say that every child loves a birthday celebration and we had a very special birthday to celebrate serving the community for 25 years!

That is exactly what we did on Friday 2nd October starting from when the children arrived at school……

  1. A team of face painters got to work early and created beautiful art on all the children’s faces.
  2. The décor team was busy designing and converting ordinary tables and chairs into items of beauty and elegance.
  3. The aroma’s from the kitchen proved our cooking team was on track and that our lunch was going to be deeelicious.
  4. Our volunteer chief cake baker, Auntie Melissa, made 6 cakes, 1 for each class and iced in the colour of the class: green, blue, red and 3 x yellow.
  5. The staff were treated to cupcakes and this was displayed to make the number 25
  6. Each class presented 2 items, either a song, or a prayer or a poem and then performed the Jerusalema dance.

Our dance choreographer, volunteer Ms Christie, had done a sterling job with all the classes who were clearly enjoying doing their moves.

  1. The staff performance with everyone wearing their cobalt blue shirts looked stunning.  

If you interviewed each staff member, I have no doubt they would say with confidence and conviction. “It was a morning of fun, laughter, celebration and joy.”

This was a special day in more ways than just a birthday celebration.

The weather was gloomy and predicted to rain quite heavily.

I kept checking the forecast and it didn’t change – RAIN PREDICTED FOR FRIDAY 2nd October from 06h00 onwards!

At 03h00 I was praying and asking God to keep the rain away just until we finished our party.

The entire morning remained dry, we were ALL able to present our items, including the Jerusalema dance, enjoy a delicious lunch and fellowship, tidy up and pack away before the rain came down at 13h30.

That was our Makabongwe Miracle gift for our birthday.

Our founder member Liz Ross joined us with some friends, as well as committee members, family and the press.

Sunday Tribune posted an article on the 4th October and Berea Mail on Friday 9th October.

We were very happy to welcome them and share our celebration.

The pictures tell the best story even without words or sound.

Here’s to the next 25 years, uplifting and educating the children of the inner city of Durban



Today we hosted a special assembly at school – it was a thanksgiving assembly celebrating and thanking God for 25 years serving the community.

Our VIP guests were Bishop Linda Mandindi, Rev Ayanda Nyobole and Hazel from the Methodist Natal Coastal District Office, committee members, including one of our founder members, Mrs Elizabeth Ross – affectionately known to us as Auntie Lizzie, friends and family as well as the UKZN Speech and Language Therapy students.

The staff all read THANKS and PRAISE scriptures, the children said “Thank you Jesus for….”prayers, we sang, we danced, we thanked God for all His love and abundant blessings over our school.

Our Bishop presented a short children’s story and then led the children singing “We’re building up a temple”.

The staff performed “our fast becoming famous” Jerusalema dance with Coach Christie leading us.

A morning filled with thanks, love and appreciation ended with refreshments, fellowship, delicious eats and new found friends.

Enjoy the photos.



We are often described as an “oasis in the dessert” or a “jewel in the heart of town”.

Recently a visitor described us a “rainbow of hope and colour”

That is exactly how the school can be described on Wednesday.

It was all things bright and beautiful – a fusion of colour and culture – and possibly the happiest place to be on Wednesday 23rd September.

We were honoured to have one of our founder members, Mrs Elizabeth Ross – affectionately known to us as Auntie Lizzie – attend with a dear friend of hers, Annie Baylis.

Both ladies were treated as guest of honours should be and felt very welcome and special.

The Heritage Day team certainly outdid themselves with the organisation, décor, program, class items and meal.

Auntie Lizzie wrote to the staff and I thought this summed up the morning perfectly.

“You produced a slick and well run show, it was a beautiful and special time watching the precious children and the teachers and all they put together for our entertainment and enjoyment of celebrating Heritage Day. Well done – thank you, I am proud of you.”

It was also very evident that the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves showcasing their talents in the form or songs and dancing to music from different countries representing the rainbow cultures we have at Makabongwe.

The meal and cake was generously sponsored by Ms Portia and her late husband, Uncle Peter, who was our computer skills volunteer and dearly loved by the children.

It was an honour to remember our other founder member, Auntie Betty, and Uncle Peter with a moment’s silence.

Our chief cake baker and maker, Melissa, did a splendid job with three large cakes all decorated in the colours of the SA flag.

When these were brought out on display before cutting there were gasps of awe and wonder.

They were equally delicious to eat!


Enjoy our beautiful RAINBOW of colours, culture and creation photos

Yellow Butterflies with a colourful display of song and dance
Grade 00 – a beautiful Durban day for our beautiful children to celebrate their heritage.


I usually describe my days at school as “glorious organised chaos “ OR “a happy, busy place filled with laughter and the chitter chatter of children”

Not anymore……all this has been put on hold.

We have been on lockdown since Wednesday 18th March.

BUT this does not mean that things are not happening behind the scenes.

Let me tell you about some of the activities taking place since lockdown.

  1. 155 parents were blessed with a food parcel which they collected from school – thanks to the incredibly generous donations from family and friends.
  2. At the end of April we sent Checkers voucher to those parents not receiving SASSA grants or any other form of assistance.
  3. Both gestures were received with MUCH appreciation.
  4. We intend to repeat the vouchers again on Friday 15th May and every 2 weeks thereafter until we re-open given we have the funds.
  5. Many creative and fun hours have been spent preparing worksheets for the Grade R learners to complete at home with strict instructions and a supply of all the stationery needed.
  6. Of the 90 Grade R learners at Makabongwe, 85 have collected their work – 3 children are out of the province and 2 are not answering their phones.
  7. Communicating with our parents is an ongoing challenge as many change sim cards, phones get lost or stolen or they simply cannot afford airtime.
  8. We were so encouraged at the response of the parents which proves their eagerness to educate their children who are now getting bored and require additional stimulation.
  9. Parents will be invited back to school to collect more work on MONDAY 15th JUNE – all of which is THEME related and relevant – including some FUN and creative arts and crafts.
  10. The school and grounds are eerily quiet…….

We miss the children and know they miss us and we long for the day when Makabongwe will ring with laughter and be filled with the chitter, chatter of both staff and learners alike.

In the  meantime, take care and stay safe.

Principal Theresa

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As a result of a brain storming session with the staff, many innovative and creative ideas were formulated and presented for discussion and action.

Various staff members were mandated with specific tasks and encouraged to implement their ideas as soon as possible,

One of the ideas presented by Mrs Jamali, Ms Madlala and Ms Dada, was to host Parent’s Workshops once a term where parents could come to school and enjoy some networking, idea sharing and practical ways to assist their children with various learning and life skills.

We hosted our first workshop on FRIDAY 6th MARCH 2020

About 30 parents attended which was very encouraging – we even had some dads join in.


The workshop team made 3 groups of parents each focusing on a different skill.

I heard and saw some very animated and enthusiastic budding story tellers.

The parents making their own puzzles were clearly enjoying cutting and pasting from magazines choosing the pictures they wanted to convert into puzzles.

Some parents had themselves never grown up doing puzzles at home or school and enjoyed this new found activity eager to learn new skills to share with their children.

All in all it was a very successful workshop.

Thank you to the WORKSHOP team – Mrs Jamali, Ms Madlala ad Ms Dada – for their preparation and coaching.

Watch this space for the next workshop…….

Creating, learning and networking at the workshop
Story time with Mrs Jamali in the pink shirt.
Cutting, pasting and creating homemade puzzles from magazines.
Makabongwe parents “hard at work”


Whilst looking through my photo albums on my phone, I found these delightful pictures of Mrs Jamali – Grade R Yellow Bees teacher – welcoming the children in the morning and applying sanitiser to all learners and teachers alike.

We expect, and will be prepared for greater controls and precautions when school re-opens.

This could present some challenges but generally children are quite flexible and if we make the “controls and precautions” fun, they will no doubt buy in and be happy to oblige.


Makabongwe doesn’t just educate 175 learners.

Our children are fed 2 ½ healthy and nutritious meals every day.

They are loved and nurtured in a safe, caring environment and they enjoy a variety of stimulating and muscle building outdoor equipment.

AND then there’s MISS Christie…..

Miss Christie joined us in February as a volunteer coming to the school every Wednesday and Friday to assist with Ball Skills for all the classes.

This is fast becoming the activity of the week at Makabongwe as the children look forward to their time outdoors learning all new and relevant ball skills with the fun loving and always encouraging Miss Christie.

All the teachers and teacher assistants have been trained by Christie.

Every Wednesday the Green, Blue and Red groups do ball skills – each for 40 minutes – which actually replaces their outdoor play.

Every Friday the 3 x Grade R classes do ball skills – again each for 40 minutes replacing their outdoor play.

I’ve yet to see or hear 1 child object to missing out on playtime because they have to go to Ball Skills.

Miss Christie has such an endearing way with the children that they cannot help but love her.


Christie has prepared a full program of structured exercises and builds on these each week.

The classes are split into 4 groups and they all have SA sport’s teams names.

I’m convinced Makabongwe might be developing the next fast bowler for the Proteas, or lock for the Sharks, or striker for Kaiser Chiefs……

It’s a struggle for me to stay in my office and work. It would be so much more fun  doing Ball Skills with Miss Christie!!

We’ll keep you posted with what’s happening on the sports field at Makabongwe.

Miss Christie, Mbali and the Grade 00 Blue Group warming up.
Miss Christie is totally under control and the children obey every instruction.
Next its Ms Dada and the Grade 000 Green Group – our “littlelies”
Knees up boys and girls!



Aunty Ane and Uncle Jan from SA Guide Dog Association came to visit us today.

Ane brought some special visitors with her:- Daisy, a retired guide dog, Uncle Jan, a guide dog trainer, Harry, 5 months old puppy guide dog being trained by Uncle Jan and Joanne, a blind lady and her guide dog Enid

It turns out I know Joanne well – her mom and my mom were very good friends – so we shrieked with delight when we saw each other and enjoyed a good hug.

Aunty Ane told the children what a guide dog does and how important they are to their owners.

Uncle Jan showed the children some of the instructions the dogs must learn. These dogs only need to be told ONCE to sit down, or stand up or wait. AMAZING

Guide dogs are very clever. They are the eyes of their owners.


It costs R300 000.00 to provide 1 trained dog for a blind person

It only costs a blind person R5.00 to get a guide dog.

A guide dog only works for about 10 human years.

Never give a dog human food – only dog food

Bones are very dangerous for ALL dogs.

Always ask a blind person permission to stroke their dog.

Guide dogs are a blind person’s BEST FRIEND

We were very proud to give R1 953.60 to the SA Guide Dog Association who were extremely grateful.

Thank you Makabongwe parents and committee for your generosity.


I feel like I could be repeating the article from last year…….

In spite of visiting the pools and checking with the life guards on duty and the supervisor, when we arrived at Laguna Beach Pools, we found them closed for maintenance.

And so the journey began south to Addington beach to the pools where we landed up last year!

As always, children don’t sweat the small stuff and it turned out to be a wonderful day all rounds.

There was something new and different…….

This year we brought the Grade 000 learners as well (3 year olds)

We had MANY teachers, assistants and volunteers and EVERYONE knew exactly what was expected of them.

It can be stated with confidence that the day was a resounding success enjoyed by staff, volunteers and most important our learners.

No doubt this was for some of our children their first visit to the beach, a swim in the pools and definitely their first time feeling sand between their toes and waves gently washing over their feet.

The delicious and fresh hot dogs that Melissa made hardly touched sides. Clearly the fresh air had increased appetites all round.  

Our bus driver, Mandla, who has become a Makabongwe VIP friend, drove us safely there and back and was very patient on route whilst we looked for alternative pools.

The journey there is always much noisier than the ride back to school. Many children dosed off on the shoulders of their friends.

I’m never sure who has more fun – the teachers or learners – but maybe we could vote A TIE!

Like I always say, Makabongwe is a happy, busy school and once again we were complimented on the good behaviour of the children, the obvious pleasure they were experiencing and the well-disciplined and attentive teachers who ensured their continued safety.

It is a BIG responsibility taking the children on this excursion but with the commitment of dedicated staff and well behaved children who can deny them such an exciting adventure?

Ms Dada and Ms Nothile and some brave Makabongwe Gr 000 learners going just a little deeper.
Ms Dada and Ms Pinky with some Gr 000 children just testing the water.
Splashes and fun in the sun.
Talk about rainbow colours – such beautiful costumes.


Thursday 7th May was a VERY sad for us as we said our final goodbyes to Peter, Portia’s husband.

John Peter Kelly was born in Cockomouth, England and moved to South Africa in 2017.

Although he only spent a few years of his life in SA, this is where he wanted to be.

He loved the South African sun, the outdoors life and the people of this country.

Peter volunteered his time as our Balls Skills coach and Computer Skills training coach.

He was always keen to help and joined in various school festivities with enthusiasm.

Peter or “Uncle Peter” as the children called him was a salt of the earth, sincere and real man whose desire to help others was unlimited.

He loved the school and especially the children and affirmed and praised them regularly.

Uncle Peter always had the time and energy to find words of encouragement.

Peter will be sorely missed by staff, management and especially the children.

He was part of our team.

Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us every day.

Unseen, unheard, but always near,

Still loved, still missed and very dear.

Rest in peace Peter – Lala kahle uphumule

Peter & Portia
Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Makabongwe
Laguna Beach Pool Excursion
Heritage day celebration at Makabongwe.
Peter, Portia and Mark – Peters son.
Peter and Portia – happy days together.