Despite facing numerous challenges, the pupils at Sobambisana Primary School, in Khayelitsha, continue to make their school proud, having come in at fourth position at the ABC Motsepe School Choral and Traditional Music Eisteddfod held in Johannesburg, from Tuesday June 28 to Friday July 1.
The ABC Motsepe Schools Eisteddfod, formerly known as the South African Schools Eisteddfod (SASCE), is organised by the national Department of Basic Education.
School principal Mvuyisi Damba told Vukani that it was the fourth time the school had represented the province in this competition and even though they came fourth, they were still pleased with their performance.
He said in 2014 they had won a bronze medal when they achieved third position in the competition which was held in Durban that year.
Talking about their journey to Johannesburg, Mr Damba said the school first battled out with other schools in Kuils River at the Western Cape Education Department’s Metropole east offices last month where they came tops.
He described the trip to Johannesburg as one of the most memorable moments for the pupils as it was the first time for many of them to had been in an aeroplane. When they participated in previous competitions, they had travelled by bus, he said.
Grade 7 pupil Nosipho Sinyongo, 12, said she was thrilled that they had represented the province in Johannesburg even though they did not win.
Although it had not been the first time she travelled by plane, she said this time had been special as she had been with her school mates.
“Im proud to be part of the pupils who represented the school at the highest level when it comes to music and I want to pursue a career in music when I grow up,” she said.
Another Grade 7 pupil, Azile Salman, 12, said: “It was my first time in a plane and I had goosebumps because of the excitement. Music is the best form for me to express emotions and that is why I love to sing,”she said.
Mr Damba explained that the school was not just doing well in music, but it was also excelling in sport, particularly in rugby and athletics.
“We started to represent the province in (the choral competition in) 2013 and ever since then we never looked backed.
“In 2015, we obtained the third position and obtained the bronze medal.
“This competition plays a critical role in encouraging pupils to participate in music and in unearthing the abundance of talent the pupils have.
“Even though we did not win, we will bounce back and rectify our mistakes to ensure that next time we win. This was merely a learning experience to further sharpen our skills.”
He appealed to parents to show their unwavering support to their children and to encourage them not to take the music competition for granted as it also provides an extra mural activity for their children and it keeps them away from criminal activities.
Despite their successes in music and sport, said Mr Damba, the school faced a number of challenges, among them the number of break-ins at the school and the school’s poor performance in literacy and mathematics.
“The community is also doing very little to support the school as they are aware of these perpetrators who break in at the school. Just recently we found our computers stolen from our lab and other teaching material missing.
“How are we going to nurture our pupils to be better people in the future when the materials that we need are frequently stolen by the members of the same community we serve?” he asked.