An amazing South African good samaritan has offered to pay for the university education of two bright matric pupils from a rural KwaZulu-Natal school.
Peter Harvey, 71, said after he read about Amangwane High School principal Nhlanhla Dube and his two star pupils, he travelled to meet them on Friday morning.
Lindokuhle Mazibuko, 18, got nine As, and his best friend, Samukelo Nxumalo, 17, got seven in the 2015 matric exams, which they wrote at their quintile two school in Oliviershoek, Bergville.
The pair who met in Grade R, had both been accepted to study at the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.
Mazibuko was going to study medicine. He wanted to specialise in neurology and, once he had qualified, return to his area and open a clinic where the poor could receive free treatment.
Nxumalo was the eldest of four children and had been raised by a single mother. He wanted to study earth science and specialise in hydraulics.
In a bid to produce quality matriculants, their 52-year-old principal had developed a 6-4-6 turnaround strategy for his matrics. Pupils were in class from 06:00 until 14:00, then took a break until 16:00, when they attended class until 18:00.
Despite the enormous challenges he faced, and after using his own money to fix and maintain his school, Dube managed to get a 92% matric pass rate in 2015.
“He is really a great guy,” said Harvey said of Dube.
He offered to help the school with whatever it needed. “I told him that I was deeply inspired by him and the incredible work he was doing at the school. He and the boys are the kind of people that South Africans should be helping and making sure they succeed in life.”
Harvey told Mazibuko and Nxumalo he was willing to pay for their first-year residence, or about R50 000 for the both of them for books, transport, flights, and anything else they needed. He said the two had impressed him.
“Coincidentally, I will be in Cape Town for the next ten days and I will go there to make sure that they are okay,” he said.
Durban resident Kumarin Moodley and a group of people had been collecting money for charity and looking for a good cause to donate to.
“When I read the story, I knew that this was the right thing to do. The fact that Nhlanhla Dube uses his own salary to fix what is broken in the school is not fair and it needs to stop. If we can step in, then he can enjoy his salary with his family.”
Moodley said he would contact Dube to see how he could help.
“I was really inspired by him, people like him are hard to find,” he said.
Dube said he was overjoyed and had received calls from three people offering to help the school and the boys.
He said Harvey had told him he could ask for anything they wanted.
“I told him that we have always dreamt of building dorms for our female pupils who have been targeted in the area. He told me to bring him a plan and he will see what he can do.”
Dude said previously that his 6-4-6 programme suffered a setback in 2012 when a serial rapist started targeting young girls in the community.
“Initially the programme ended at 21:00, but we had to adjust it to end at 18:00 after three of our pupils were raped in a shack next to the school. I had to adjust the programme because of the safety concerns.” Despite this, the children had continued to work diligently and never missed a class.
“Sometimes I have to drive in every direction to make sure that they get home safely.”
Dube said he was humbled by the response to the story.
“I would like to thank News24. I have never been this excited. My school is known and this affirms that all the work we have been putting in over the years is worth it.”
Nxumalo said he was happy his results had a positive impact on readers. He had been praying for a miracle because he had no bursary and his family would not be able to afford his tuition.
“This gives me hope that I am going to be fine because I really didn’t know what was going to happen next week.”
Mazibuko added: “Two people have called and promised to help us. We are happy that we will be able to continue to work harder in university.”