In 2004 I was part of a group of tour operators in a Peer-Learning Programme run by the SA Institute for Advancement. The primary outcome was to weave new narratives around familiar people and places which contribute to popular tours of Cape Town.
One of the projects we had to do was to choose a topic, do the research and construct a tour. We then had to test the tour on ten high school learners.
Learners are also teachers.
In September 2004, I took ten Grade Ten Learners from Langa High School on this tour which was based on the little-known achievements of black people in the arts. My subject was Mr Johaar Mosaval, who was born in District Six and danced for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, London, for twenty five years!
The route took us to the District Six Museum, the Cape Town City Ballet, the Baxter theater and finally, Mr. Mosaval’s home in Lansdowne, Cape Town. Mr. Mosaval entertained and enlightened the learners, who realized the impact of his tremendous achievement despite tremendous adversity- like having to leave home for twenty five years, and being the first black dancer to dance at Covent Garden before the Queen. He did emphasise that it took dedication and very hard work- up to six hours of training per day!
A fun day with a serious result
The day ended with the learners having been deeply moved and inspired, to strive to be top of class. The day showed them that they can achieve anything if they set their minds to it and worked hard.
Through the Volunteer Placement Programme, ( click here) the learners from Langa High and other schools will benefit with tuition, life and communication skills and excursions.
Taking it forward
An incentive will be offered to students who finish high school with excellent results to be sponsored for a three year undergraduate degree course of study at any university in South Africa.
A non-profit trust will be established later this year, into which contributions may be made by the public, for the purposes of the study sponsorship. Watch this space.