Talking to a local

Whilst my collegue nursing students give first aid training to the caregivers I’ve taken up the task to run the schoolclinic on my own for now. The clinic is ran by caregivers and untrained parents that volunteer at the primary school in the township Booysens Park, Port Elizabeth. Children walk in and out with minor injuries and some more severe complaints. I treat the most on my own and is basically just basic first aid. The others I refer to the governmental clinic to see a doctor there. Hopefully they will be seen by a doctor.

In between the walk- in of hurt learners I meet Malinbongwe. Malibongwe is reporting on the schools activities in between his studies. He tells me he has to resit his subjects. He tells me he is 22 years old now. Just as old as I am. When he was younger Malibongwe failed his subjects. He tells me he was naughty and describes it in a way that would make your grandparents say: You piece of scum! However he tells me that he made a change, he abandoned his friends of which several are now in prison. He tells children about drugs and is reciting is his subjects that he failed on. Now he wants to become a teacher. He wrote an article in the newspaper The Herald in where he apologizes to his teachers which did their best to teach him the right things. The article is now being used as an inspiration to other learners by the teachers on this school. I can’t believe he really was a thief once. You can see he’s a black from the South African Townships but you can’t see he ever was robbing his own people. And even threatening them.

Malibongwe is being mentored by the principle of this school. I met the principle. He gave us the assignment we are working on now and delivered him one hell of a product. However, the principle is an inspiring man. He came out of the townships himself. However he is now working on his second or third Phd. I am not sure. Anyway, the man is inspiring talker. He makes me think of Mandela. He is the living proof you can get out of a township and get a proper job. Malibongwe meets the principle every now and then to listen to his inspiring words.

For me it was great to listen to Malibongwe, a guy that really wants to change is his life from being a thief to a teacher. I really enjoyed listening to his vision on life and changing yourself. And I regret I had to leave South Africa shortly after we finished our programme. I had the opportunity to meet him one more time and film a conversation and talk some more. After I put down the camera I asked him where he sees himself in 10 years. He tells me he will have a wife, helping his children out which his father didn’t because he didn’t have a father. A few  I believe he will get there where he wants to and get his ticket out of the townships. I believe this guy will inspire other people later on. I think it is these people that made a big change in their lives that will inspire the younger generation to do right. Because they are the living example that once was a bad guy and now is being a school teacher. How will you inspire the next generation? 

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Blog of Ewout Sanders
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