Real Life Superhero! Township School Principal Makes Front Page Cover!
Photo Cred: Financial Mail | Supplied

Forte High School may not have a JSE Top 40 Index listing like many of Financial Mail’s cover stories, but its principal’s commitment to changing lives through education makes him deserving of the cover as any CEO.


Soweto, South Africa (28 June 2022) – The June 23rd edition of the Financial Mail (FM) celebrates one of South Africa’s greatest leaders and role models. Representing authentic and purposeful leadership is 47-year-old Mukosi Leonard Mudavhi, the principal of one of Gauteng’s top 5 no-fee paying township schools, Forte High School in Dobsonville, Soweto.

The cover story, entitled ‘Finding a winning formula’ and on shelf now, puts SA’s ailing public education system under the microscope. It shares the stories of pupils and schools which, despite all odds, are bucking the trend and producing top matric pass rates and distinctions. It demonstrates that with the right interventions, exemplary leadership, and solid school management, it really is possible to produce quality education outcomes in the public sector.

Forte High School may not have a JSE Top 40 Index listing like many of FM’s cover stories, but its principal’s commitment to changing lives through education makes him deserving of the cover as any CEO. Since his appointment at the school ten years ago, Mudavhi has transformed its Matric pass rate from just 52% in 2017 to 94% last year. Of the 447 learners who wrote matric last year, 61% achieved a bachelor’s pass, while the school obtained 196 distinctions.

“I feel excited about being on the front cover of FM and I would like to think that it’s every person’s wish to feature in it, especially with the type of readership it has,” says Mudhavi. “As to why they chose me, I would think it’s my leadership style and work ethic, and the results we are able to achieve year-on-year.”

Mudhavi hopes this story puts his school on the map, attracting sponsors who can further assist the children.

We hope to accommodate all learners and avoid overcrowding as well as be able to cater for learners who need support, with things like groceries or school uniforms,” he says. 

The feature is a widely-sourced story based on interviews with four principals from under-resourced schools and incorporating the views of various analysts, digging deep into the bigger issues facing this sector.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of the country’s economy hinges on how we educate and prepare our youth. This story illustrates that while resources are often a big constraint in public schools, there are some exemplary leaders who’re able to produce miracles because of their standout management abilities,” says Rob Rose, editor of the Financial Mail.

Forte High School is a beneficiary of the One school at a Time project, a non-profit organisation (NPO 074-191) and CSI initiative dedicated to uplifting and advancing high schools in Johannesburg. The initiative aims to create a highly functional, quality education system so that students have greater opportunities after matric when it comes to bursary applications, tertiary education, internships and employment. The project provides support for all grade 12 learners and extra lesson programmes over the weekends and during school holidays throughout the year.

Sources: Financial Mail 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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