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Matric celebration

BY Casey Els

“Sometimes a short walk down memory lane is all it takes to appreciate where you are today.” The Matrics have certainly realized the accuracy of this statement whilst celebrating the annual 40 Days on 8 August. This year’s theme was “A trip down memory lane” and showed that the Grade 12s were still able to climb into their favourite childhood characters. Barney, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White and many other interesting costumes were worn in spirit of the theme. The ladies were given a break from their academic responsibilities to celebrate their 40 Days in the Student Centre. The decorations of old photographs of the matrics, cloud cut outs and doors embraced the theme of opening the doors to a trip down memory lane in the clouds. It was clear that the final countdown of school days left had made the matrics eager to reminisce of past memories and create as many memories in the short amount of time they had left.
The excitement started building during register when all the matrics worked together to help one another get dressed into their costumes; make-up brushes, hairbrushes and shoes being passed around was a common sight. This is a perfect example of the unity and sisterhood that is formed at Riebeek amongst learners. The first order of business was taking the perfect pictures because after all these would be memories to treasure in the future. The Grade 12s had arranged for a colourful jumping castle to be set up for the day. The matrics channelled their inner child as there where competitions of who could jump the highest and playing notorious junior school hand games. The girls then sat in groups and conversed about their favourite memory at Riebeek College whilst enjoying their snacks and cupcakes. Many stories about Mrs Ferreira’s famous fudge, the invisible ball and Science Mafia games were shared. The ladies then did what comes naturally to all Riebeek girls – Dance. Anesipho Malinga, Siphosethu Malinga (affectionately known as the Malinga Twins) and Genelleen Govender did not disappoint on the dance floor. The playlist was a mixture of old nostalgic songs with the inclusion of modern music. With the start of second break the matrics decided to share their happiness with the rest of the school by having a dance party just outside the Student Centre for a few minutes. Amee Exford, who dressed up as Cher from Clueless, said: “It was a blissful day. I am proud to be a part of an institutions that gives us the opportunity to celebrate this milestone whilst making valuable memories which will be treasured forever.”
A special mention must be made of Zeenat Lukie, Casey Els, Amy Schambril and Tara Wood who helped organise the decorations, cupcakes and jumping castle. The matrics would like to use this as a platform to sincerely thank Mrs Stear, Mrs Snyman and their teachers for granting them with this opportunity to celebrate their 40 Days. A special thanks also goes to Mrs Gerber for capturing beautiful moments on the camera that the matrics can look back on in the future. The matrics all agreed that this special day was a highlight in their school career. It was certainly pleasant to take a trip down memory lane for a while before having to solely focus on their future.

 August 13, 2019
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Casey Els

Eleanor house day

BY Mrs L. Stroebel

Eleanor girls and staff decided that for their annual house day, they wanted to raise funds for Dano Swart, a fellow Grade 12 learner from Brandwag, who was badly injured during a rugby match. Our guest speaker, Ms Nerine Loock, is well-known to all at Riebeek, as our school psychologist. She is also involved with Dano, as she is his rugby team’s physiotherapist. Ms. Loock gave an uplifting talk about living in the moment and not taking anything for granted. Eleanor house captain, Maceyla van Huyssteen, proudly handed over a cheque of R3 326 to Dano’s rugby coach, who joined our assembly on behalf of Dano and his family. The Eleanor matrics and staff worked tirelessly to raise as much as we possibly could in the two weeks we had before our house assembly. Our emoji favours were a huge success, and Maceyla van Huyssteen won the prize for buying the most, a whopping 150! Megan MacGorman and Gabriella Hardman won prizes for accumulating the second most favours. We also had a “guess the number of jellybeans in the jar” competition, and this was won by Liyabona Mgushelo, who was spot on with her guess of 789! Mrs Stroebel is extremely proud of all the hard work put in by all the Eleanor girls, and very thankful that everyone supported our house so generously. 

 August 06, 2019
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Mrs L. Stroebel

Creative Writing Workshop

BY Anda Mbola

Creativity is all in your senses.

The Creative Writing Workshop was led by Miss Mxoli on 30th July. It challenged the learners’ writing skills. Before the workshop started, the learners were told by Miss Mxoli to go outside and find any object. They had to them write a short piece about the object that they had found. An object that had definitely stood out was Lauren’s which was a tyre.
To challenge our writing skills even further, Miss Mxoli gave the students play dough to mould into anything they wanted. Yet again the learners had to create a short piece on what was on their minds when they moulded the dough, how the colour of the dough make them feel and what inspired them when we created their “masterpieces” using the dough. Then the unexpected happened. . . The girls were told to destroy their masterpieces. They had to again write about their feelings and thoughts on destroying something that they had just created moments ago.
To get all the learners to calm down after destroying their masterpieces, for the final piece we were told to write about something or someone or place that made us feel the most at rest. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to share our pieces due to the amount of passion we used when writing and sharing our previous creative writing pieces with the learners amongst us.
The grades: seven, eight and nine had a better perspective on how to write a piece in the senior phase and it was also great to see the Grade 10s and 11s challenged by Miss Mxoli. We also received great writing advice and tips to help us better our writing, whether it be for an essay or a poem. We learnt about “LCD” which means to Look, Compare and Describe. To conclude the workshop, Miss Mxoli ended exciting workshop perfectly— she performed her beautiful poem titled “Black.” This exquisite poem left all the students in awe as Miss Mxoli used senses in her poem which tied in perfectly to the theme of the creative writing workshop.

 August 02, 2019
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Anda Mbola

uplifting club assembly

BY Casey Els

“Adventure is out there so go and find it.” You can find multiple cultural adventures at Riebeek College that will allow you to climb up the cultural ladder. The annual Club Assembly was held on, 2 August, this is used as a platform to introduce the adventurous 2019/2020 committee’s. This year’s theme was inspired by the popular Disney movie, UP. The girls were encouraged not to be like Carl who had no memories to look back on but instead be as adventurous as Russel by taking part in school activities. 
The assembly started off on an uplifting note. The Cultural Board took the girls on a time warp into the future where wild and crazy adventure of taking part in all aspects of school life is a common thing. Interact stepped up and offered to be the gang that can take you up, up and away into the clouds. A special mention must be made of Alexandra Dennis who lifted up the spirts of many people with her flamboyant facial expressions and dance moves on the stage. The assembly certainly taught the girls that it is better to go on many cultural adventures so that one will have many memories in the future, instead of sitting by a fireplace in 2089 yearning for adventure and fun.
Behind every adventure there is a teacher guiding and supporting every step the girls at Riebeek take. The teachers of Riebeek continuously remind the ladies that the sky is the limit. It was only fitting to use this platform as an opportunity to thank the teachers for their hard work. The teachers were presented with a cake as a token of appreciation for their endless dedication and commitment. Unfortunately all adventures come to an end. A sombre mood filled the air as it came time to bid farewell to the matrics who served in cultural, leadership and service roles. The matrics have made many memories that will be treasured for a life time. These young ladies have been equipped with the skills to take on new and daunting adventures in the upcoming years. 
A sincere gratitude must be extended to Mrs Gerber for being part of the coordination team, Malakhiwe Hoffman and the technical team and the matrics who played a large role during the Club Assembly practise. We would like to encourage you to become more involved in the following year. Keep moving upwards and enjoy the journey. You will be rewarded with valuable memories, new friends and essential skills and values. Adventure is calling you.

 August 02, 2019
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Casey Els

Club Induction Party: A Wild West adventure

BY Candice Rossouw, Amy Schrambril and Kiara Brink

"As cowgirls we ride together" This message was evident in the unity displayed among the girls at the annual Club Induction Party held on 19 July 2019 where the new committees are announced after two weeks of voter education drives, voting, collating of votes and intense planning. The Club Induction was met with much enthusiasm and emotion as it was  memorable, especially for the matrics of the Cultural Board. The theme was “The Wild West,” and the clubs left no stone unturned in perfecting their decor and costumes. 
This year we deviated from using tables and chairs and instead used wooden pallets, unfolded trestle tables or the floor to create a unique picnic style theme. The groups used cushions and blankets and each head was assigned a colour to incorporate into their tables' decor.  The teacher's table, hall and foyer's decorations all deserve a tip of the cowboy hat as it was beautiful decorated with cowboy cut outs, cacti, bandanas, wagons, corn, peanuts. There was even real hay and scarecrows thanks to Jordan Oldham, Tarryn Barry and Amy Schambril.
Lisakhanya Daniels served as the master of ceremonies and did a fantastic job in keeping the crowd entertained, with her American accent as she got into character fully. She began the afternoon stating some important rules for everyone to follow. Thereafter, everyone waited with bated breath for the heads of each committee to announce the new committee members. The announcements were met with much excitement and congratulatory hugs. The outgoing heads gave fantastic and mature speeches, and ceremoniously handed over the club flag.  94 learners were announced into 151 positions.    
The country theme was kept alive with various well-known country songs being played and line dancing. The line dancing seemed quite complicated to some at the beginning, except for the Grade 11s who got a practice in before the start of the afternoon, and a few Grade 11s took charge of training the Hillbilly Girls in the steps to take. 
Each learner was charged R50 which included a meal, cooldrink and a treat. Despite the windy and rainy weather, the learners ventured to the rose garden where they were encouraged to interact with each other. The fires, braai and the aroma of the food tempted everybody’s taste buds where they were served a boerewors roll. A special mention and thanks goes to Mr Brink, Mr Bowles and Mr de Beer to being the braai masters for the day.
Amy Schrambril, the 2019 Head of Cultural Board, made a heartfelt and emotional speech. She made special mention of the encouragement and guidance of Mrs Gerber and Mrs Stark, which she is eternally grateful for. She thanked her executive board, Monique Balie as deputy and Casey Els as secretary, for making up a great team. She hands over the reins to the new Cultural Board Head, Lisakhanya Daniels. Soon after Amy’s speech, the current matrics were taken on a trip down memory lane. A slide show of photographs of the matrics throughout their years at Riebeek was displayed making the matrics reminisce about the years that flew by while the song “Always remember us this way” played. The matrics were led by Busisiwe Setlai and Sibabalwe Mene in singing Shallow embracing each other and holding hands in a performance that would make Lady Gaga herself proud.
They rounded off the tribute to them with a line dance to Cotton Eyed Joe, with the rest of the hall taking over the dance floor.
The prize for the Best Decor was awarded to three clubs namely Cultural Board, Debating and SPCA. Their tables were innovative and unique especially Cultural Board as they had the special Native American theme with feathers, candles, wooden decorations and their outfits would make Pocahontas jealous. The Best Spirit award went to the SCA  for their enthusiasm and keeping the crowd alive and engaged and the Matrics for bringing life to the dance floor . The best dressed award was presented to the Cultural Board who looked amazing in their indigenous American attire with many a Pocahontas in attendance. The Cultural Board matrics made the day memorable with their own traditions and dances during the free time.
The Leader’s Pledge was said by all the hall as in the world of clubs, one does not a badge or be on a committee to contribute and be a leader and announced as a committee member or not, there is a place for every person at Riebeek to contribute with excellence.
As the afternoon concluded, the learners stayed true to the cowboy rule of "we ride together" and helped each other clean up the hall.  It was remarkable that it was mainly matrics who stayed to clean up showing the youngsters still have some learning growth to experience.  The Wild West adventure was lively but the programme was fast paced so the behaviour during the announcement of committees was impressive. The event was a great success and a huge thank you to the Cultural Board, the Media team, Mrs Stark, Mrs Gerber, grade 8 waitresses, teachers, parents and the technical crew who supported and made this event possible.
A huge thank you to the Cultural Board, Mr Reynolds, the Kitchen staff, the Media team, Mrs Stark, Mrs Gerber, grade 8 waitresses, teachers, parents and  technical crew: Malakhiwe Hoffman, Zaraa Isaacs, Liyabona Mgushelo, Sitha Kondile, Yonela Cakhwebe, Naseehah Dolley, Joanne Miller, and photographers Tara Wood, Sara Gopal. Micarala Tee, Hasti Pansuriya, and Club Induction portfolio heads, Caitlin Peters and Kiara Brink who worked hard to make this event successful. Mrs Stark worked on the logistics, finances and planning while Kiara drew up countless checklists and Amy Schambril oversaw all the arrangements.  Much time was spent on drawing up a tight programme and schedule with videos and powerpoints prepared in advance so that technical practices could take place.  Casey Els worked hard to ensure all badges would be correctly handed out and that no errors would occur.  The teachers supported us whole heartedly and it was awesome to have the interns and student teachers to stay right to the end to help us wrap up the event with cleaning and organising.  It is also important to thank the unsung heroes like Liyabona who spent  the afternoon in the lighting room managing the visuals and the sound girls who calmly handled the sound feedback and saved the day!
Congratulations to the new committees. Our appreciation is extended to the outgoing committees and heads who served with pride and due diligence. 

 July 21, 2019
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Candice Rossouw, Amy...

Leadership seminar 2019

BY Amy Schambril with contribution by Lisakhanya Daniels and Romeesa Mohammed

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch. This quote best describes the wise words from the guest speaker for the 2019 leadership seminar, Mrs Swanepoel.
Eager young minds all joined in the school's hall to empower themselves with knowledge of leadership in order to take over the committees from next week at the annual Club Induction Party. The learners were asked to get into groups of ten and write ten things they all had in common. This ice breaker tested their ability to work in a team and to think quickly and creatively.
Riebeek Old Girl and past teacher, Mrs Swanepoel was the guest speaker for the seminar. Her speech was very relatable, informative and encouraging. Mrs Swanepoel touched on how birds fly in the "V" formation in order to maximize strength and quickness of their fight. She also mentioned how there are times when the bird, or in our case the leader, becomes tired and will have to swap out with the one right at the back who is more energized and ready to take on the task. Very importantly Mrs Swanepoel mentioned that one person's success is not your failure. Rather build each other up than tear each other down. The crowd really loved Mrs Swanepoel's bubbly nature.
Casey Els, Monique Balie, Malakhiwe Hoffman and Amy Schambril all spoke about their experience in leadership positions. Casey spoke about how asking for help is not a weakness but rather a strength and how asking for help molded her into the leader she is. Monique spoke about always expecting the unexpected and how being prepared enough is not enough and that having a back up plan for your back up plan is always essential. Have a goal, envision yourself reaching that goal and surround yourself with people who have the same mindset as you was what Malakhiwe spoke about. Last Amy spoke about the importance of learning from the people you lead as not everyone is born being good at everything therefore if someone is stronger in a skill than you are, ask them to advise and teach you.
The learners then watched a video that spoke about the importance of saying thank you to people who impacted your life positively. The audience was then allowed time to ask the Cultural Board Matrics questions that they could get their view on. One learner asked what has been the most important lesson being a leader and being in matric has taught them, which Gabrielle Ownhouse replied, saying that you should always be yourself and never force yourself into being something just because you are told to be that. Learners also learnt from the matrics to be assertive rather than aggressive and passive, to have a support system and to accept that there will be failure but it doesn't have to define you
Thank you to student teachers and interns for helping out. Thank you to Mr Reynolds and his team for getting the hall set up. A very big thank you to Mrs Gerber for all the work she and the Cultural Board Executive put in to making the day a success. We are hugely thankful to Mrs Swanepoel for joining us and inspiring us!
Lisakhanya Daniels added:
The 2019 leadership seminar that took place in Riebeek College Girls' High School was very helpful in preparing and educating young leaders for tomorrow.
The event kicked off with Mrs Swanepoel informing the young girls about what it means to be a leader. Throughout her speech, she emphasised that being a leader does not mean the people you are leading serve you but rather you serve them. She also emphasised that in order to be a great leader - you must a great impact in people's lives. She stated that, "Relationships are the greatest foundation of all important things" she later quoted "People do not care what you know but want to know if you care." From attending the 2019 leadership seminar we [the attendees] learned that being a leader does not mean being the loudest in the room but rather entails making collective decisions with your team and serving others. We also learned that someone else's success is not our failure; that life is not a competition and we learned that good leaders build each other up. Mrs Swanepoel said, "A good leader knows praising someone does not take away from them."
After Mrs Swanepoel very informative speech we watched a Ted Talk. The Ted Talk taught us that you do not have to change the world in order to be a leader. It taught us that leadership can the impact you have on people's lives with money. It displayed to us that "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, it is that we are powerful beyond our measures."
We then closed off with a Q and A from the floor to our [Riebeek's] very knowledgeable matrics. The shared with us the life lessons they gained from their high school experience. They taught us the significance of a balance in one's lifestyle. They taught us ways to effectively deal with hard situations and the importance of knowing where you want to be in life. They encouraged us to never undermine ourselves and to grab our opportunities as they come. Mrs Gerber said, "You can do anything if you put your mind to it."

Romeesa Mohammed added: “A good leader and a great leader are both lead by another leader,” said Mrs Swanepoel during her speech. This year’s Leadership Seminar was smoothly led by Amy Schambril and the Cultural Board executives with Mrs Swanepoel as the guest speaker.
The seminar started off with a fun ice breaker lead by Casey Els. All learners attending the event had to get into groups of ten members. They then had to come up with ten things that they all had in common.
Next, Mrs Swanepoel spoke about leadership and what makes a great leader. She taught us that a leader should know how to take charge but also know when to step back by comparing this to the birds' v-formation of flying. She also reminded us that a title does not make you a leader but how you treat others in your team.
All the leaders-in-training then eagerly listened to some of the matrics' experience of being a leader and what they learnt. Casey Els taught us that you should build a support system for yourself and you should never be afraid to ask for help. Monique Balie told us that being prepared and having a backup plan can make all the difference. Malakhiwe Hoffman instilled in us that your past or bad circumstances should not define you. She taught us that you should  have a vision and become a hard worker to be able to achieve that vision. Amy Schambril taught us the skills we need to be able to become a good leader such as prioritising, delegating, influencing others and being organised. She also helped us realise that even the most disorganised of us can become organised.
Finally, the attendees all got to ask the matrices and Mrs Gerber questions about leadership. When asked how to not let the pressure get to you- Mrs Gerber gave some useful and helpful tips such as to have some work done in advance and to keep all your work organised so that it is easy to find later on. Lisa Daniels asked what they [the matrics] their roles of being a leader. Amila Thys replied that you must never undermine yourself. What you say matters so never be afraid to speak up.
When asked what Casey Els liked about this year’s Leadership Seminar, she said, “I loved that the matrics were given a platform to share their experiences and advice with the lower grades.” Everyone definitely learnt valuable lessons. Lisa Daniels said, “ I learnt that leadership is based on the impact you have on other people’s lives.” Overall, the event was enlightening and amazing, thank you to all those who had a hand in making this event a great success.

 July 14, 2019
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Amy Schambril with c...


BY Kiara Brink

“Life is a journey and every journey has a destination. We can dream of where we want our destination to be, but without hard work and dedication, we will not reach those dreams.” – Chanté Potgieter (10C).
On 10 July 2019, Riebeek College hosted the 100 Days Smarter project where learners had the opportunity to dress up reflecting their future careers. The civvies day was open to all grades and there was no charge.
The focus of the event was to celebrate the learners and their bright future in a creative way. The girls dressed up as doctors, lawyers, nurses and even policewomen. They were very creative and looked amazing in their attire.
Learners were encouraged to hand in a written presentation detailing their plans for the future. This exercise gave the girls an opportunity to reflect on their future dreams and aspirations. The theme was inspired by the 2019 Founder’s Day guest speaker, Dr Lisa Dondashe. In her speech she highlighted the five elements to achieve success to a memorable career.
The first element focused on the people needed to make your journey a memorable one. They are referred to as the passengers. Taegan Jantjies (4C) wants to become a lawyer and the passengers she would take on her journey to success are her parents, guidance counsellor, spiritual leaders, family, role models, teacher and a career specialist.
The second element was the mode of transport. Mohiba Natha (9G) highlighted this by stating that to achieve her dream of becoming an air hostess, her mode of transport would be working hard, completing all her grades and getting into a sky aviation training programme.
Zaara Rockman (5R) had a map/GPS that showed her thorough research, plan and set everything out for the future. It is said that those who write down their goals and dreams are more likely to actually achieve them.
Goals give us focus and a way to measure our progress. Goals motivate us to stay on track and Kate-Lynn Forbes’ (8R) has a clear destination in mind. Her goal is to become a specialist medical doctor, be true to herself, humble and be the best at what she does.
There were many lawyers, politicians, doctors, nurses, Foundation Phase teachers, engineers and construction workers as choices for what to be one day. Tara Wood brought an animal plush toy along and indicated she wanted to be a zookeeper. Mrs Gerber dressed in a Harry Potter uniform as she would think teaching in the school of the book might have the same magic as Riebeek.
A huge thank you goes to Mrs Viljoen, the coordinator of the event, Dr Lisa Dondashe for the inspiration behind it, and to the learners and teachers who participated.

 July 14, 2019
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Kiara Brink

Inter house plays 2019

BY Kiara Brink

On 13 June 2019, the learners of Riebeek College were once again able to display the inner drama queen inside of them at this year’s annual Inter-house Plays. The plays were held straight after school in the Sholto McIntyre Hall. The productions have become a highlight of the year and the event was highly anticipated.
Malakhiwe Hoffman and Busisiwe Setlai were the MCs and did a sterling job in hosting the event.
Elton House kicked off the event with their satirical production titled “12 Angry Pigs.” In this play the Big Bad Wolf was on trial for the destruction of property with the 12 pigs as the jury. The jury had to deliberate the fate of the Wolf. The play director, Emihle Zweni, can be commended for the way she put the play together. The play was creative and the outfits were amazing. The play was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
Tamia Smith was the play director of the Eleanor House production, titled “Hairspray.” This play is set within the confines of Mavis’ Salon. The drama escalates as the cast encounter the realities of the hair business in South Africa. The play was very humorous and had the crowd in stitches as the audience could relate to everyday life in a township salon. The stage setting was amazing and made everything seem realistic.
Elizabeth House highlighted the comedy of errors of South African families while waiting for a flight at the airport. The play was appropriately titled “Boarding Call.” Noluntu Macanda, as the play director, displayed her creative ability by putting together the various elements in order to make the play work. The characters were diverse and the stage setting was very clever as everyone could be seen and heard.
The adjudicators for this year’s Inter-house Plays were Ms Barnard, Riebeek College’s much-loved English teacher, and Mrs Glenis Whitehead, an ex-teacher at Grey and a member of the Toastmasters Club. They had a difficult task of choosing the overall winner.
The various casts worked hard by putting in a huge amount of effort and time to perfect the stage productions. The casts displayed a huge amount of professionalism as they were well prepared and displayed excellent teamwork. Each play captured the audiences’ attention and kept them entertained. All the performances were of a high standard and were highly appreciated but at the end of the day Elizabeth House walked away with the prize for the best performance.
A huge thank you to Mrs Glenis Whitehead and Ms Barnard for adjudicating the performances, Busisiwe Setlai and the Cultural Board for all the effort put into the event to make sure it runs smoothly and Mr Calitz and his sound and lighting crew. Finally, thank you to Mrs Gerber for her support, Ms Barnard for supervising the Interhouse Plays, the cast and play directors for putting in the hard work.
The results were as follows:
1. The Riebeek College Old Girls’ Association Cup (for the best performance in a supporting role)
Winner: Oyisa Buso
2. The Amanda Frost Trophy (for dynamic cameo performance)
Winner: Kezley Rayners
3. The Margaret Bowes Second Cup (for the second-best actress)
Winner: Lisakhanya Maseti
4. The Hilton Preston Cup (for the best actress)
Winner: Fatima Mahouassa
5. The Erica Gilmer Cup (for the best lighting, stage effects and set arrangements)
Winner: ‘Hairspray’ Eleanor
6. The Edith Dovey Award (for teamwork)
Winner: ‘Boarding Call’ Elizabeth
7. The Edith Dovey and Sherril Chaplin Cup (for the best performance)
Winner: ‘Boarding Call’ Elizabeth

 June 17, 2019
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Kiara Brink

senior oratory 2019

BY Mrs A Peltason

The High School Oratory Competition this year was ably hosted by SihlumilE Majombozi and her team of Cultural Board members, among them Kesley Rayners and Tamia Smith who introduced the speakers.
Mrs Gerber opened the proceedings with a little talk to the girls about good audience response, highlighting that the Oratory Contest has always been one of the premier events on the school calendar. Mrs Gerber succeeded in adding a touch of gravitas to the event, and the girls rose to the occasion. It was a rare pleasure to see them all so wholly tuned in to the different speeches.
Sihlumile Majombozi introduced Miss Mxoli, the adjudicator. Miss Olwethu Mxoli, herself an Old Girl and an experienced and talented speaker, adjudicated the event with dignified professionalism.. In her adjudication Miss Mxoli mentioned the two things she rated most highly: passion and substance. She pointed out in her adjudication that even the best speeches failed for a lack of passion, and some of the most passionate speeches did not bring with them any evidence of research. Miss Mxoli, a published poet, won the Communicator’s Cup at Riebeek and is now a member of International Toastmasters. She is proposing to start a Toastmasters club in Uitenhage for school-going learners in the future.
Kesley Rayners introduced the first Junior speaker: Fatima Mahouassa, Elton House, who put her own personal slant on the expression “Disappearing Act”. Fatima’s angle was that the saddest people often hide behind the brightest of smiles. She warned the audience that this was stage one of ‘The Disappearing Act’ and if one were to allow oneself to reach stage two there was a chance of disappearing altogether.
Jihaad Ravat of Eleanor House then gave and intelligent and amusing talk about Cartoons. This was an intellectually challenging speech with lots of humour, much of it cleverly tongue-in-cheek. Jihaad taught us that those dear little characters from Winnie the Pooh were actually quite deceiving, as Rabbit had OCD, Tigger was most definitely ADHD and Piglet suffered from anxiety.
Sihlumile Mongo of Eleanor followed with a mature, well-rounded and clever speech from which we learned that ‘Chocolate never asks stupid questions’ , that chocolate can wipe away every tear and is cheaper than therapy. Her speech was short and sweet but packed a real punch. Miss Mxoli mentioned afterwards that ‘Chocolate’ had a great future in public speaking.
Kelsey Dinie spoke to us about what makes a hero. She took great pains to show that heroes are those who sometimes do little things like not giving up a seat on a bus, not for themselves but for others. She counted among her heroes Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jnr because the things they did had an impact upon the lives of others.
The winning speaker followed with her speech ‘She’. Musa Daweti from Elizabeth intrigued us with her emotionally charged speech about a woman’s struggle through puberty, relationships, and abuse, ultimately reaching a state of self-love. Musa’s speech was a real crowd-pleaser and the girls enjoyed her solemn warning that “if a woman can’t love herself, no one will”.
Mbazakazi Bantom of Elton spoke on ‘Black excellence’ explaining that this meant possessing qualities that would make people proud to be African. To her it meant uplifting others. She told the audience, “If you don’t like something change it; and if you can’t, live with it.
Nobuhle Moyo of Elizabeth House was next with her ‘Nike’ speech. Nike means ‘Just do it’ so it was important, she told everyone, not to ‘Adidas ‘ your dreams; ‘Nike’ your dreams and make your dreams a reality. Hers was an attractive speech with a lot of personality and clever analogies.
Siyavuya Moyake of Eleanor then spoke on the topic “Once upon a time” illustrating that many who live in dismal circumstances have dreams too, and sadly awaken to the bitter reality of the miserable lives they lead. She gave an impassioned speech that showed a tender sympathy for those less fortunate.
It was then the turn of the senior contestants, after a short break during which we were entertained with an innovative dance routine, a clip of the best of Britain’s Got Talent.
Casey Els , representing Elizabeth, spoke first , forcing us to imagine what it might be like to live in a country ripped apart by conflict. She showed herself to have an accurate and sympathetic view of those who live in conflict zones. She saw peace as a lifestyle choice, a serious indictment of the status quo. She implored the man in the street to get involved. As she said, “It starts with the individual”.
Lisakhanya Daniels of Eleanor then spoke about “Unity”, quoting Maya Angelou’s words, “no human being can be more human than another human being”. She cleverly showed how all people,irrespective of colour or creed , came from the earth and from the same source that made the rivers and the earth.
Alexandra Dennis , also of Eleanor House, showed us that nothing, not all, “is fair in love and war” She illustrated how people in war, in business and even in relationships cheat and lie and tell themselves that it is all right without taking into account the impact their words and actions have on others.
The speech “A Mirror” showed how the mirror often lies. Lisakhanya Maseti illustrated how a mirror can never reveal the inner person, and will often tell you that you are beautiful on one day and ugly the next. She warned us not to allow the mirror to determine who we are, and came up with a new mantra: Mirror, mirror on the wall, we are all the fairest after all.
Thimna Tshayana of Elizabeth proved to be another speaker mentioned by Miss Mxoli as promising. She spoke to us on her topic “Ekasi”, illustrating the often horrific qualities of township life, and mentioning how, for many, sitting on a street corner had become a career path. A township dweller herself, Thimna was able to give a convincing, realistic and sometimes terrifying image of ‘Ekasi’, finishing strongly with the statement: “I am not the township”.
Amy Schambril of Elizabeth House still aims to become a doctor, a dream she has nurtured since early childhood. She has remained faithful to her dream all along. She asked those listening to help make dreams possible by making choices in a country that would then provide safety and compassion and equality. Sadly, she reminded the listeners, reality suggests that the dream is impossible. Her plea to the audience: “I need all of you to give my dream some kind of hope of success.” Let us all hope that Amy realises her dream of becoming a doctor. She will be an excellent one!
The next young woman murdered a sixteen-year-old. Azraa Rockman of Elton gave the audience a retrospective view of her own life, as she said, not known by many. In it she was able to see the mistakes she had made and the changes she wanted to make. The changes she had undergone in the previous year were so radical it was like murdering the person she was ,the softer, gentler self. She confessed to having become tougher and harder. She finished with a nice touch, tearing up her eulogy , saying “No good ever comes of speaking ill of the dead.”
Romesa Muhammad of Elton spoke to us about “growing up”. Her delightful conversational tone added something special to her speech. She told us how, as children, we are told that we could tell them (adults) anything and everything, but that as we grew up we became disillusioned by adults whose concern seemed to dissipate. She finished with the realisation that, “We are all a work in progress”.
Lerise Johnson on “Murphy’s Law” represented Elton. She conversed with her audience on those things that are sometimes co-incidence and sometimes a pleasant reassurance that anything can happen. In her easy conversational manner she told us that we could blame the universe for “its infinite capacity to do whatever the heck it wants.”
Last to speak was Malakhiwe Hoffman of Eleanor who tackled the gender issue in her speech “Gender equality is a myth; women are superior” She showed how women functioned on so many levels, in so many different capacities. She commented on the notion that equality was meant to be entrenched into the laws of the universe, but that things are unequal when it came to women. She closed with Marilyn Monroe’s famous line that those women who aspire to be equal to men lack ambition.
Before the adjudication the audience watched another clip from the best of Britain’s Got Talent. Jodi, a blind, autistic singer, had the audience on its feet when he got the golden buzzer. It was very moving.
Miss Mxoli’s adjudication followed. Before announcing the winners she gave the girls one piece of valuable advice: “Remember your speech starts from the moment you stand up. Everyone is watching you!”
Miss Mxoli congratulated Musa Daweti, Junior Winner, mentioning her strong passion. Casey Els won the Senior section. Miss Mxoli congratulated her and pointed out that it was not enough to have an opinion; it was necessary to back opinions up with research. This Casey had done.
Sihlumile then thanked Miss Mxoli and presented her with flowers and a gift.

 June 17, 2019
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Mrs A Peltason

Journo Challenge – A Media Workshop

BY Siyamthanda Mbanga, Romesa Muhammad and Anda Mbola

On 11th June, the Journo Challenge, a Media Workshop presented by Romesa Muhammad with the help of Azraa Rockman, took place Students attending the workshop had to write an article about a made-up scenario that was acted out by some of the Media Club girls.
The made-up scenario was that the captain of Water High School's hockey team, Chwayita Hanabe, got injured while celebrating her victory against Darwin High School's hockey team. Mohiba Natha played the role of Chwayita's friend. Q-Lynn Davids was the suspected perpetrator in this made-up crime scene. Zoe Muller played the role of a confused but defensive friend of the suspected perpetrator. Bilqees Vawda was the referee who did not see this incident occur. Miacarla Tee played the incredible role of being the most reliable witness in this confusing set up. Whereas, Megan Potgieter played the dramatic role of being the bystander with a highly unrealistic view of what had taken place.
The workshop attendees had to write an article in a non-biased and objective manner after interviewing all those present at the “crime scene”. Their piece of work had to be factual and objective. After the short skit, the attendees interviewed the victim and her loyal friend, the suspected perpetrator and her confused but defensive friend, the bystanders and the referee. "How dare could they!" Chwayita had shouted out in outrage as she acted the role of the victim. Her incorrect use of grammar had definitely made everyone laugh. It was one of the highlights of the challenge. Mrs Gerber was surprised by the media girls' incredible acting skills when she found what drama queens the media club regulars were!
The purpose of the Journo Challenge was, "To see the journalists' ability to collect facts and their ability to keep their opinions to themselves as they write their articles." Those were the words of Miss Mxoli as the journalists handed their finished articles in. Aspiring journals and bloggers got some amazing tips on grabbing the audience’s attention like making a short title that summarizes the article or have a bold title that is easy to see, considering the effect of your article on the family of those your write about, checking for sensationalism and bias. The workshops give us a platform to share our views on all things related to media and integrity in what we say or write about others while keeping it enjoyable and educational!
The girls attending summed up the workshop with one word “interesting". We all learnt that there is always more than one side to a story and that we should always remain objective.
Special thanks goes to Mrs Gerber and Miss Mxoli for supervising the workshop and always teaching us aspects that can help even out of school, Romesa Muhammad for heading this wonderful workshop, Azraa Rockman for providing the script for the made-up scenario, the dramatic actresses and everyone who attended the workshop.

 June 17, 2019
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Siyamthanda Mbanga, ...

Algoa FM Youth Day Crew 2019

BY Azraa Rockman

Auditioning for the Algoa FM Youth Day Crew was truly a nerve-wrecking experience. I’d heard about the radio station’s youth search on the last day of name entries, and keeping my love for public speaking in mind, I was more than eager to put my name forward. By the next day, I’d received an email welcoming me to audition.
My arrival at the Algoa FM studio had opened my eyes to great competition, leaving 109 students--including myself--present for auditions. But this did little to my growing determination. I was aware that my individual audition had somewhat impressed the judges, as they seemed pleased by the fact that I’d mentioned my service in the Media Committee as well as my participation in Oratory Competitions as what had driven me to audition. And although I was willing to open room for disappointment after auditioning, it almost seemed unnecessary by the time that I’d received the email with word that I’d been accepted into the 2019 Youth Crew! It was almost unbelievable to me, especially with the fact that I’d been one of the 24 people who’d been accepted. But it had soon become reality when I’d received the follow-up email with the list of crew positions that needed to be filled.
Our first crew meeting was held on Thursday, 02 May, and thus far, I’ve learned so much about radio and producing. We were even given the opportunity to go on tour in the studio to pay a visit to Queenie from Algoa FM. Communicating with other students from different schools adds to the excitement of this process and hearing about their experiences always sparks up conversation amongst us. Positions for videographer, photographer, blogger and event co-ordinator have already been filled, leaving those for producer, sound engineer, presenter, as well as many others still open.
Although we are often reminded that this experience will require a lot of hard work to allow for the Youth Day programme to be made possible, I am more than ready to take on the challenge. I have great expectations for the outcome of our efforts and I am sure that we will make our fellow youth proud on this historic occasion.

 May 15, 2019
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Azraa Rockman


BY Administrator

The sea
By Buhle Ndumo
From afar you are peaceful
and asleep.
A closer look
shows your rough anger
exploding against the rocks.
I sit on your bed of sand
relaxed and calm.
I watch you argue
And smell your breeze.
All of this relaxes me.

The sea is beautiful and deceitful
By Ababalwe Mbambani
From a distance
you look calm and peaceful
but I watch your anger beat the rocks.
Like a god you give life
and take it away
with a snap, everything dies.
You are a woman
who opens her heart to all who visit
and cares for those who live deep inside her.
You let them think that you are innocent
but beneath the shimmering surface
is deceit.

The waves
By Tiffany Cloete
The waves draw me in
they welcome me with open arms
but one wrong step could mean the end.
The seagulls make a noise
little messengers for the waves
I want to go into the water
But the sand
holds me here
The sand holds me in peace and violence.

By Asavela Sikwebu
The great blue waves subside
And slowly recede from my feet
The sun spreads rays of light
On the surface of the deep blue sea
All its creatures make their way
Out to me
And the great blue waves subside
And recede from my feet

A poem at the beach
By Kay Esau
The waves crash over each other
In a crazy flood of emotions.
First anger, then joy
And then the fear of being alone.
All crashing after each other
Ridiculous and unmanageable.
The birds are life
taking off.
The breeze, a brand new start
reviving me.
And still the water cool and ever blue
lights my heart.
by Sibabalwe September
The soft and fragile sand
gives way to my feet.
The breeze hits my skin
and the waves crash in my ears.
The sun’s rays trace my dark skin.
Seagulls, scavengers of the sky
circle the beach
while surfers enjoy the wild waves.
Below students in maroon scatter
across the sand
relaxed and relieved.
Everyone forgets their hectic schedules
and leave their worries behind.

by Bernice Donker
You, ocean, move with the wind
you who roars and pounds
take me
teach me.
Your strength and power
chisels rocks
and yet they do no move
but you are unfazed.
I walk with you in my mind.
You call me.

 The ocean
by Gillian Nell
The ocean is a treasured home
that brings life into the world
with beauty and peace
but also death.
It crashes and thumps
and shows us fear.
Like a woman
beautiful and deadly.

A little poem by the sea
by Sara Gopal
Waves crash on the shore
a sight and sound that I adore.
Gritty sand between my toes
and I forget all worldly woes.
Life is dreamy by the sea.
I love the way I feel
so free.

Ocean. My home, my grave.
by Inganathi Konono
I fear this large body of water
that hides my predators and ancestors.
That crashes against rocks to get to me
I fear this body of water that possess
a never die spirit
that retreats only to return
after its defeat.
I fear this body of water that gives me peace.
I fear the thoughts.
The wanting to be one with it.

by Chanté Potgieter
The wave builds
trying to touch the sky as the seagulls do
but only crashes.
It is still a beautiful image.
We too are waves built by inspiration
only to have hardship
pull us down
We too are waves
who can make beauty
if we make the best of our situation.

The surface
by Siyamthanda Mbanga
From the shore
everything is shallow and calm.
In the distance everything is peaceful.
But when you dive deeper
far below
a school of fish is being devoured
by a great white shark
There is blood
Panic and hysteria

by Caitlin Peters
I sit on the sand
and see the ships sail by.
I hear the waves crash
and the seagulls cry.
The beach is not quiet
but it is serene.
And I wonder what secrets
these seas could hold.

The water’s flow
by Megan Clingen
Our lives are waves and the sea.
Sometimes rough and at other times calm.
Like the currents
we do not know where life will take us
or in what direction we will go.
There are many rocks in the water
altering the water’s flow.
In our lives there are things that will try to stop us
but we must overcome and carve and break
and choose which path our current will take.
And then flow.

by Lerisha De Kock
Like water I cannot hold you
yet you have control of my life
whether I live or die.
A gentle stream, a tsunami
You are unpredictable.

On this beach
by Lerisha De Kock
I am but a grain of sand
on this beach my life is insignificant
and alone.
But when we’re together
I feel better because I am
no longer a simple grain.
I am part of a powerful force.
A dune.
The waves
by Sarah Bagley
I sit on the hot dry sand
and look at the waves
crash against each other.
I feel at home.
At the beach
all my emotions fade away
and I feel nothing
but safe.
The waves crash
like my thoughts rearrange
and I let go
of all I feel.
I open my heart
to wonderful things.
I am at home with the waves.
by Kamvelihle Mgobo
Do not assume that letting you in
means that I will not swallow you.
The heaviest showers cannot fill
my burdens
I am already strong enough
and sustain life.
I can be as calm as the lightest breeze
and flow and light up your day.
But do not assume that letting you in
means I will not swallow you.
the beach
by Kiara Brink
Dancing waves
crash and splash towards the shore
as the sea softly sings.
My heart starts to soar.
The boats in the water
bob side to side.
The sparkling ocean
leaves me starry-eyed.
I sit on the sand
it is so serene.
I want to stay here forever
peaceful and unseen.

I sense
by Kwakho Bissett
         I.            I smell
The fresh scent of the ocean
that salty sensation accidently blesses my tongue.
The stench of the once proud
soaring high monster.
I smell it all, I smell the beach.
       II.            I hear
The seagull cruises the sky.
The ocean crashes onto the blockade.
The wind worries my hair
and swiftly enters my ear.
The silence of emptiness
I hear it all.
I hear the beach.
Called by the ocean
Wade-Lee Muller
I hear the voice of a woman
overpowered by the waves.
I hear the birds chirp and people click
their pens.
The sounds continuously repeat and compete
with each other.
Each wanting to be heard.
I smell the breeze coming from the sea.
It is salt, fresh and strong.
I put my hands in the sand.
Hesitantly and then deeper and deeper.
The rough, heat-hardened sand
becomes moist and smooth.
I am alone with my thoughts.
I am at peace.
I am part of the other world.

by Mumtaaz Jacobs
Soft waves hit hard
carving pieces of themselves into everything.
Shaping the world.
The sea never screams but whispers.
It is so beautiful
even the sky bows down to kiss it.
The sea, a mirror that reflects
all of beauty
brings what’s too far to reach
It is deceitful with its beauty
housing life and destruction.

 May 07, 2019
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Founder's Day address by guest speaker

BY Dr Lisa Dondashe

The Roadtrip
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I- I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference in the world.” Robert Frost.
Honoured guests, Riebeek girls, my dearest family, staff and to the class of 2009, especially, a glorious morning to you all. Thank you so much Mrs Stear for that introduction. In case you may have missed it, my name is Lisa Dondashe, head girl of 2009. It is an incredible honour and privilege to be standing here today. I used to joke about 2019 with my friends in matric because it seemed like it was a lifetime away. I always wondered who the guest speaker would be when we returned. Lo and behold, you are all stuck with me today.
Before I start, I would like to greet a special person, someone that inspires me everyday to show up even when I do not feel like it, someone who looks at me like I am a real-life hero. My dearest niece, Sibonile. I hope you know how proud I am of you. I hope I also get some cool aunt brownie points today because this is all for you.
The day I was asked to be the guest speaker I initially agreed to do it without hesitation but then I started having doubts and the Imposter Syndrome suddenly started to set in. Quick side-note, the imposter syndrome is a group of feelings or thoughts that makes someone doubt their accomplishments with this persistent fear of feeling like you’re not good enough or you do not belong. It affects almost everyone on a daily basis, and I am here to tell you that it is fake news. Anyway, I diverge, I couldn’t understand how someone as young as I am, yes girls 27 is young, could be asked to come and give a talk about life because, well, I don’t feel like I have lived enough. Then on discussion with one of my colleagues and a few friends I realized that maybe my story would be more relatable to the Riebeek girls. I set about trying to find a topic that would be as inclusive as possible. And this is how I chose the title of my speech.
In trying to plan my class’s reunion and in discussions with those who may or may have not attended their own reunions I discovered a commonality in the reasons given. In medicine this would be group of symptoms which together would lead me to a diagnosis. This diagnosis is this- people are afraid to go to their reunions out of fear of what other people may think about them or their lives. I too am one those people. The thing about life, though, is that the older I become the more I realise that life is a journey. Earlier on I started with a quote by Robert Frost and it may have seemed irrelevant at the time, but it is actually the core of my talk today. The journey to a fuller and happier life is this- taking the road less travelled and living intentionally. With that said I’d like you to all join me on a roadtrip- the roadtrip that is my life; the roadtrip each and every one of you will embark on after high school; the roadtrip the rest of the guests here today are currently on. This may seem slightly confusing at first but I promise you will each have clarity when I conclude. Because, much like life, every successful roadtrip requires planning and consequently it is also this similarity that needs one to be prepared for possible detours, potholes and stops along the way. I am about take you through the five elements that I consider to be essential for a successful and memorable roadtrip and how I have likened each of these elements to life. These are:
• (A) destination(s)
• A map/GPS
• Mode of transport
• Passengers 
• A driver
The destination
In our economy, unless you have money to waste which I am pretty certain no one does, you cannot just get into the car and drive aimlessly without an end destination. Not only is that futile but it is also a waste of resources. It works exactly the same in life- you can’t just be moving forward without an end goal in mind. Life, too much like a roadtrip, has a series of destinations and milestones along the way; reaching a new grade, getting to matric, getting into varsity, a job, a promotion, trips overseas, starting a family and the list is endless. Earlier I mentioned living intentionally and what does that mean you may ask. It means you need to set goals for yourself and you need to have a strategy in place that gets you to those goals. My strategy is simple; I speak things into existence. I tell myself I am going to do/achieve something and I work continuously at getting to that particular destination for that goal. My becoming a medical doctor was never a mistake; it is a goal I set when I was 8 years old. At that age my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up and I apparently said I wanted to be a doctor. In grade 4 we then had to do an oral in Mrs Ossher’s class on what we wanted to be in the future and that was the first time that Kumantha Naidoo and I discussed studying medicine at the university of Cape Town- and our 9 year old reasoning was simple, we liked the mountain and we liked the sea therefore we wanted to be closer to the sea that had the mountain. That was in 2001- 18 years later we are both medical doctors that graduated from, yes you guessed it, UCT.
On this journey called life, there are also many pitstops and detours that will happen; the final destination may change along the way or you may get there to find that you still have more petrol to keep going. It may take you longer than you expected to; you may have to take a long break to refuel. If you find that any of the above happens, I pray that you keep going. I think that many of us, in matric, thought that by 25 we would have the house, partner, family, degree and the money but unfortunately life doesn’t work like that. For the longest time I was anxious about the direction that my life was headed until I learnt to celebrate the circumstances I had found myself in as, in that very moment, that was where I was meant to be. Too often we compare our journeys to those of others without any idea of how it is they have found themselves on that road. There are things that are out of our control that are going to try and veer you off the road, change your direction, delay your estimated time of arrival, but no matter what happens, not only should you keep going but you should also never compare yourself to others. Upile Chisala once said, “get into the habit of celebrating yourself from skin to marrow; you are magic.” And when you do reach one of your destinations, because not everyone arrives safely, I hope you celebrate yourself loudly. In a world where women, black women especially, are still second-guessed, I hope that you don’t end up doing the same to yourselves.
The map/GPS
Now that you have your destination you need to know how to get there. I have always said that I don’t believe in chance happenings; I believe in intentional living. This is your map or your GPS- it gives you the option of choosing the best route for your trip. This includes the planning and the research you do, the people you talk to about what is needed to reach your destination. It is never too early or too late to start. From a young age, I taught myself to see every situation as an opportunity to learn and to grow from. Getting into the degree I wanted to study, although very blessed and fortunate to have done so, was not by chance- it was because, having done research years prior to applying, I knew the kind of candidate the university would be looking for. Once again, it is never too late or too early to start; “know that you can start late, look different, be uncertain and still succeed” – unknown. The correct directions for you will take you on the road you need to travel.
The passengers
What’s a memorable roadtrip without passengers? The passengers in life are the people you take along with you on your journey to reaching your goals; you need passengers that are going to help you drive when you fatigue; that are going to encourage you along the way; you need passengers that are going to give you directions when your life’s GPS is failing you; that are going to help you refuel. These passengers should be easy to identify in your earl life but other important ones you may only meet well into the trip. Of course you won’t take all of them with you to your destination because some people are only meant to be with you for a short journey and they get off at their own stop while others are meant to ride with you all the way. You also pick up new passengers along the way and you keep it moving. What I loved the most about my class was how supportive we were of each other and how we took care of each other. I remember how Abongile’s Njiyela’s phone rang in her blazer pocket in Matric in Dr Boucher’s class and how the entire class suddenly started coughing to mask the sound of the noise and the vibration so her phone would not get confiscated; my girl was also fast asleep so she didn’t even hear our coughing and eventually Dr Boucher heard and the phone was taken away but we really did try. Abongile was also the same person who introduced me to the people I call best friends now when we were at medical school and the same person who made sure I ate during exams because I picked up a bad habit of forgetting to eat when I am stressed.
These passengers also come in the form of friends that you keep- lifelong friends are what we made in high school; Kaylin Human’s inside blazer pocket was probably my favourite thing about high school because it contained every type of sweet the tuckshop had to offer. Kaylin used to feed me everyday, even when she swore it would be the last time she gave me food. I still don’t understand how Mrs Bean missed us eating smarties right under her nose; after all we did sit in the front row. Kaylin still feeds me every time she’s in town for a weekend and she still calls regularly to remind me who I am. I also think the general consensus about high school here is that if you are the friend that forgets to eat, find friends that feed you.
Ra-eesa Wicomb and I have been friends since grade R at College Hill. She also inspired me to pursue my dream of getting a Masters degree after she obtained hers in 2017. Once I started it though I became increasingly overwhelmed because not only was I one of the youngest people there but again this feeling of “you don’t belong here” overcame me. One of my friends and old classmates, Vuyolwethu Gxotiwe texted me something which changed my perspective on how I view myself- she said, “you always knew exactly what you wanted to do, let the universe know and did just that. That is something I wish to learn from you” and simply by those words she had encouraged me to keep going again. I don’t think she realized what those words meant to me. We also don’t realise the impact we have on others. Maybe what I have said today might inspire you to either find friends who stash sweets in the blazers or to do a Masters degree- the opportunities are endless.
These passengers exist in the form of your family because if they aren’t helping you get to your destination then who is. A supportive family is undoubtedly the most important thing in the world. Those who know me will know how much my mother means to me. If my mother says I can achieve something then I believe in myself even more. In grade 2 I lost a spelling competition because I could not spell the word uncle and that devastated me; my mom told me that the following year the spelling trophy would be mine. I did in fact win it the following year and I must say my spelling is still e-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t, excellent. My family has travelled everywhere for and with me to show their support; they’re even here today and that always gives me the strength to continue driving towards my goals. None of the goals I have ever set for myself have ever been too silly or too big for my family; for them it has always been a matter of asking “how do we help you get there?” I mean just last night my mother was helping me with name tags because she is still the headgirl’s mother 10 years later.
Be thankful, also, for the teachers we have here at Riebeek. They have groomed some of the best in the country. Their beliefs in our talents, skills and abilities is remarkable. I sometimes think teachers believe in us more than we believe in ourselves. In Grade 12 I was too lazy and afraid of entering the English Olympiad, because there goes that feeling again, ‘I felt like I would not do well enough” so Mrs Peltason entered on my behalf. I still did not want to write but we came to an agreement; I would at least attend the practice sessions and we could decide nearer to the Olympiad day if I would go through with it. I ended up writing and came 7th in the country. Imagine if she had actually given up on me. Mrs P clearly saw something in me that I couldn’t see myself. There are so many teachers that have touched each one of us tremendously. Mrs Woods taught us to be assertive but to always be kind; Mr Hoare taught us that tackling difficult situations requires you to “start at the very beginning; because that’s a very good place to start”; Mrs Gerber encouraged us all to join drama and unlocked leadership potential in all of us; Mrs Stevens’ brilliance motivated us to aim higher; Mr Jonas encouraged the development of problem solving skills through his famous statement which he would say when you forgot your homework and it went something like this, “my dear, don’t make your problems my problems; now sit down please”.
And then as you grow older too, you select your passengers in the form of mentors. I have found that not only is it useful to have mentors in the career you have chosen but to also have those outside of. This has helps create a network of people who are wiser, reliable, efficient and who are further along on their own journeys but are still willing to assist with directions. My consultant, boss, role model and mentor is the kindest most compassionate man and medical doctor I know. When community service was drowning me last year, he encouraged me to take a break and to try again when I had the strength to continue; he encouraged me to pursue my current position. He has also taken a genuine interest in each of the exams and courses that each of us are doing. And every morning we start the day off by finding out how each person in the unit is coping. In a world where parking your metaphorical car on the side of the road and resting is seen as a sign of weakness, my boss encouraged me to pause, reset and to start again. He also taught me the true meaning of what happens to be my favourite human quality, kindness; a quality that I actively try to improve on daily. And as you go out into the world you will find that no one else will prioritise your mental health for you, you have to do that on your own. But that one act of kindness could not only save someone’s day but it could also save their life. There is a quote by Mandy Hale that says, “be good to people; you will be remembered more for your kindness than any level of success you could possibly attain.” And I firmly stand by that- the kindness you put out into the world, the universe will reciprocate that ten-fold. I hope your passengers treat you with kindness and you the same to them.
The transport
For those who have been on roadtrips know the pre-trip full inspection to ensure that the transport carrying us to our destination is roadworthy. You need to check the tyres, the oil and water, ensure there is enough fuel and even if your car is brand new it is something that is done by almost everyone. Your journey to your goal destination is the same- you need to check your transport; in life this works in two ways- the first one is the actual physical work that goes into obtaining your dreams. This ranges from studying, to internships, to short courses, moving to different cities and countries, reducing or changing habits that do not support the life you’re trying to create. At its core, it involves making sacrifices. The other aspect of this transportation involves the spiritual realm or a higher power- whatever that may be for you. There is also a variation in how people approach this. It could be in the form of praying, fasting, meditating, singing praise and worship, taking a vow of silence, a special ritual, lucky item of clothing, whatever works for you. Let your spirituality meet your hard work and let magic happen. My form of transportation has always been this: I have never done a written or oral exam, interview or speech without talking to and praying with my mother. I could know the entire textbook cover to cover and my preparation would still be inadequate if I haven’t spoken to my mother. My final exam in final year of medical school was a paediatrics clinical examination (you had to examine a baby for a set number of minutes and then a specialist consultant would ask you for your diagnosis and question you further on what you found and how you proved that this is the right diagnosis- nerve- wrecking stuff). I had been suffering from severe headaches that made it difficult for me to study for the last two years of med school and before this particular exam they had become more frequent. Still, I was confident in my knowledge because despite the adversity I had put in sufficient work. As the time to go to the hospital for the exam approached my mother, who was busy when I initially called, still had not returned my call. I started to panic. My poor mom was stuck in town and was struggling to find a quiet place to call me so we could pray. But who are mothers if not god’s gift to humanity; she went into a dingy corner and called me so we could pray and off I went to do my exam. And I am certain you know how the rest goes because here I am today.
The driver
For any roadtrip one needs to have a driver; in this case that driver is you- each and every one of you. Excluding factors beyond your control, you determine the road you will travel and whether you will reach your destination or not. The preparation that goes into having a successful roadtrip is purposeless if the driver is not prepared for the journey at hand. As with any long distance travel, you will fatigue, get lost, you will doubt if you’re making any progress, you will need rest and recover but you cannot turn back. As the driver of your life, understand that you are an everchanging multifaceted being; the dreams you may have had at age 13 may be different to those you have at 18 and even further from those you’ll have at 28 and the older you get. You must be willing to accept that change. There is one quote that I have lived my life by since the first time I read it and each time I feel like I am no longer the one who is driving my life I go back to it and I pause, reset and restart my expedition. The quote is by F. Scott Fitzgerald and it goes, “for what it’s worth, it’s never too late or in my case too early to be whoever you want to be. There is no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things that you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of, and if you are not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” The world will try to put you in a box, to contain you so that they can limit your greatness. Don’t ever let them. You must be steady in pursuing your dreams and even when you or others doubt you. Your passengers can assist you as much as they humanly can but as the owner of the car the onus is on you to reach your destination.
I hope you also do not limit yourself, as the driver, to only one destination. The notion of not being able to have it all is untrue; please note that you can actually be a well-rounded woman who excels in all aspects of her life. Being at Riebeek College taught me a great deal about seeking to be an all-rounder in life, about how to carry oneself, how to see women in leadership roles as the norm and it helped me understand that this is in fact a woman’s world. Beyonce once said, “we need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.” I urge you all today to resume the driver position of your cars and to take the lead.
I hope that the next time I see some of these faces again, we all will have stories to exchange of we have lived some more and that our lives will be filled with intention. There is still so much more to do, see, dream and achieve. I still want to run a marathon before I turn 30 which is right around the corner and I am so incredibly unfit; I want to raise more awareness on mental health and gender-based violence, go and do my PhD overseas, come back and be a policy maker in the country, spend a summer in New York, an spring in Japan, and specialize in psychiatry one day. I want to be a world changer and I see world changers in this very room today.
I am so honoured to have been given the opportunity to be here today. I feel immense pride because I come from a school that is rich in tradition but still strives for change. I hope my short stint at life after high school has given everyone something to think about. I hope that when you choose the road you have to travel, you don’t merely follow the one that everyone is taking. May you indeed choose the one less travelled even it frightens you to do so. And because “life is not about who you once were but rather about who you are or have the potential to be”, should you find that you are not on the right road, I hope you always have the courage to start over.
To the class of 2009, I am so proud of the women you have all grown into. You are all ambitious and driven but most importantly, you have all always remained true to yourselves. To the Riebeek learners, I wish you all of the best in all your endeavours.
Thank you.

 May 05, 2019
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Dr Lisa Dondashe

Riebeek - place of dreams

BY Administrator

Following requests for the video that played at the start of the Founder's Day ceremony, narrated by Miss O. Mxoli, here is the link and the words of the video:
Following requests for the video that played at the start of the Founder's Day ceremony, narrated by Miss O. Mxoli, here is the link and the words of the video:
A school like Riebeek is a place of dreams. When the girls walk through the school gate, they bring with them hopes and goals. These dreams are nurtured by a passionate staff, dynamic leadership and a full programme. 
Dream making is evident in the hostel offering week-day accommodation, packages for exam times and a day care facility; the appointment of sports co-ordinator, Mr Selwyn Seale, intern, Miss Olwethu Mxoli, Riebeek Old Girl and a News24 Mandela of the Future and Miss Sanelisiwe Klass, Staff Development Seminars by Mr August and Dr Ally of NMU and Miss Nerine Looke, Riebeek’s consulting psychologist, on Cultural Competence and Sensitivity Empowerment, well being and team-building; and the Class of 2018’s 100% pass rate: Sinovuyo Madlavu with 7 distinctions and Kyla Van Deventer and Valentina Longari with 6 distinctions each realised their dreams.
Riebeek’s mission statement has proved timeless: “To prepare our learners to meet the challenges of a changing world by providing relevant education of a high standard and instilling sound values in a stimulating and happy environment.” 
Mrs Kieran Stear, principal of Riebeek, said, “Education faces challenges. We need to be steadfast in pursuing our mission with the right blend of a sense of belonging, tradition and transformation. I have a dream of our school maintaining its reputation as a prestige school. We live in negative times. That should not make us angry, but should inspire bold dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” The school has beautiful dreams and a wonderful future because, when a million dreams converge on the school each year, Riebeek embraces the opportunities to design the world according to the dreams of the girls who pass through her doors. Since 1877, Riebeek prides itself as being the maker of designer dreams.
A school like Riebeek is a place of dreams. When the girls walk through the school gate, they bring with them hopes and goals. These dreams are nurtured by a passionate staff, dynamic leadership and a full programme. 
Dream making is evident in the hostel offering week-day accommodation, packages for exam times and a day care facility; the appointment of sports co-ordinator, Mr Selwyn Seale, intern, Miss Olwethu Mxoli, Riebeek Old Girl and a News24 Mandela of the Future and Miss Sanelisiwe Klass, Staff Development Seminars by Mr August and Dr Ally of NMU and Miss Nerine Looke, Riebeek’s consulting psychologist, on Cultural Competence and Sensitivity Empowerment, well being and team-building; and the Class of 2018’s 100% pass rate: Sinovuyo Madlavu with 7 distinctions and Kyla Van Deventer and Valentina Longari with 6 distinctions each realised their dreams.
Riebeek’s mission statement has proved timeless: “To prepare our learners to meet the challenges of a changing world by providing relevant education of a high standard and instilling sound values in a stimulating and happy environment.” 
Mrs Kieran Stear, principal of Riebeek, said, “Education faces challenges. We need to be steadfast in pursuing our mission with the right blend of a sense of belonging, tradition and transformation. I have a dream of our school maintaining its reputation as a prestige school. We live in negative times. That should not make us angry, but should inspire bold dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” The school has beautiful dreams and a wonderful future because, when a million dreams converge on the school each year, Riebeek embraces the opportunities to design the world according to the dreams of the girls who pass through her doors. Since 1877, Riebeek prides itself as being the maker of designer dreams.

 May 05, 2019
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Introduction of Reunion Groups 2019

BY Administrator

Riebeek has a reputation of being a place of stars; and today is more Hollywood than Uitenhage. The movie A Star is Born resonates with the reputation of Riebeek producing stars. Jackson says in the film “All you’ve got is you and what you have to say to people.” and today the volume and excitement in the corridors have proved you have a lot to say, reunion groups. We are pleased to introduce you as you have gone out into the world with what you have to say and made positive, awesome contributions.
Introducing and welcoming our reunion groups is a bit like a movie. It’s “lights, camera and action” in that we will shine a light, metaphorically, on each reunion group. The camera moment is them standing as we gawk at them like fans of movie stars. The action part is where we give them a round of applause.
Our most mature group is the Class of 1969 who celebrate their golden 50th reunion. The reunion co-ordinators are Denise Mowatt du Plooy and Bev Serfontein Fourie and 10 ladies join us with Jenny Inggs Elliot from Australia. They remember humming in Afrikaans class and telling the confused teacher that it was bees. If this group were to be a movie, you might think Driving Miss Daisy, but they are Fast and Furious as they are not your typical retirees with class get togethers, an active Facebook group page and much spirit with Denise Mowatt du Plooy, who travelled from Johannesburg arranging a reunion for Gauteng ladies later this month.
Class of 1969, please stand.
The Class of 1979’s perfect movie fit would be Lost in Translation or Finding Nemo without the finding part as we have searched for them for their 30th and 40th year reunions. If you find them, tell them the hall was rebuilt after it burnt down in their matric year and let them know to find us here for their 50th.
The Class of 1989 celebrate their 30 year reunion with Lauren Gouws Frueholz serving as reunion co-ordinator of the 11 ladies. Natalie Bright Wilmot joins us and will be back soon as Elizabeth House Day guest speaker as an autism awareness advocate. Hendrin Hamilton Germishuys’ self named nickname was DUMB BLONDE – we are pleased to report that career-wise she is a high ranking supervisor and the nickname was not self-fulfilling. She was the cover girl of the 1989 school magazine, and admits she is still a social butterfly. Lauren and Hendrin remember that it was a challenge to pinch extra sarmies from the boarder girls sandwich box when they felt they had not packed in enough. If we were to give this lively group a movie title, it would be Dirty Dancing encapsulating some of their school antics and the nostalgia they carry about their school days. Like Baby in the film, nobody puts the members of the class of 1989 in a corner. They are too active for that! They have, however, in spite of their Dirty Dancing label, cleaned up their act well.
Class of 1989, please stand.
The Class of 1994 celebrate their 25 year reunion with Suzanne Rudman Dixie as head girl and reunion co-ordinator with a function last night for 10 and 4 attending today. In her first year at Riebeek, Miss Krohn, newly appointed English teacher, took on the editorship of the school magazine and as proof that she survived this horror, we are pleased to welcome her from New Zealand on her first visit back after 20 years. Sharing their anniversary of leaving school with the anniversary of the 1994 elections probably makes Long Walk to Freedom their movie. But for the first time in 22 years after long years of swimming, in 1994, Eleanor finally won a gala.
Class of 1994, please stand
Celebrating their 20 year reunion is the 18 ladies of the Class of 1999. Reunion co-ordinator Dr Janelle Vermaak is a lecturer at NMU and recently presented a workshop to our media girls on fanship. The school motto was Great Expectations so the did great as expected. This class is no Silence of the Lambs movie as they are horrifically good at remembering the gossip and low down of their teachers at school.
Class of 1999, please stand.
The Class of 2004 celebrate their 15 year reunion with Cindy Rabie Emmett as head girl and reunion co-ordinator and 6 ladies in attendance. Cindy van Deemter Watson is the daughter of our loyal Governing Body chairman Danie van Deemter and a farmer’s wife having settled somewhere near the middle of nowhere. Cherise Louw Swanepoel is our former English teacher spreading love in pastor work and as mom to her precious one year daughter. Anthea du Preez Wepener is mom to a Riebeek grade 4. Ma-asha Ismail switched recently from a successful career in journalism with its bad news crime reporting to the good news creating of being a school teacher. This group’s movie would have to be Dead Poet’s Society as so many of them were inspired by Old Girl, journalist and a Riebeek teacher, Beth Cooper Howell; and because of their dramatic school antics.
Class of 2004, please stand.
The Class of 2009 celebrate their 10 year reunion with Dr Lisa Dondashe, head girl, reunion co-ordinator and guest speaker, and 19 ladies in attendance. This group is a bit like the movie Titanic – larger than life, doing things on a grand scale, heading off on grand adventures, defying things the way they were done before and filled with eccentricity. Unlike the doomed Titanic, with global warming we feel confident no iceberg will get in their way. From this class comes the warm Miss Caryn van der Westhuizen, our Grade 6 teacher. In their matric year, they took part in the drama production Take Me Home complete with an impressive airport scene and a big plane. It is good to have them home today.
Class of 2009, please stand.
Also attending today are Old Girls not in official reunion groups.
Seventy years later, Mrs Rose Minty Young from the Class of 1949 is back at school, brought here by her son, Mr Dave Emslie.
Four ladies from the Class of 1984 are here including head girl Dennise Mattioda Shaberg and deputy head girl Penny Lithauer. Cathy Simpson, one of our most loyal Founder’s Day supporters, was driven here by “hart se punt” Mrs Myburg, our well travelled LO teacher. It must have been quite a trip this morning! There are a number of shy staff who are Old Girls reluctant to stand when we ask in case the girls research their age. And there some Old Girls here as guests or moms. This motley crew can collectively be thought of as the Braveheart movie cast, as they loyally support us.
We ask all Old Girls here today who have not already stood to be recognized to please stand now.
Susan Gale said, “Life should be like a good movie, a little drama, a little romance and a lot of laughter.” May today, reunion groups, feel like a 5 star feel good movie. Whatever role you play, remember your alma mater believes in your bright stardom as you are part of our star studded cast.

 May 05, 2019
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Principal's Address at Founder's Day 2019

BY Mrs K. Stear

• Our guest of honour, guest speaker Dr Lisa Dondashe,
• Those who hold the premier award of the school, the Freedom of Riebeek College,
• Special guests, 
• especially our reunion groups and 
• two past Principals, Mrs Natalie Stear and Mrs Marilyn Dodd Woods 
• Ladies and Gentlemen
• and young Ladies of Riebeek College.
I welcome you all to this 32nd Founders Day Service and the anniversary of the founding of our school 142 years ago.
As I look out onto the audience, I am aware that I am about to address our Old Girls as well as the present learners who all come from different generations and life experiences. What do you say to a mixture of the young and the old, the learners and the learned, who come from different generations with different life paths and cultures? The one thing you all have in common is an all-girls education.
Going back in time to 1877, Dominee Braam Steytler, the founder of our school, established a quality school for girls only. He saw fit to fight for his belief in establishing a school for young girls. Today I want to look at exactly why this struggle for a single sex school was so revolutionary at the time and so beneficial over time. 
Recently, one of my friends asked for my opinion on where her daughter should go to high school. It makes sense; you ask a mechanic about a car, so ask an educator about a school. However, she added, “I want to know what is the best option for a girl in this day and age?” This led me to think about the successful woman I know and what immediately sprang to mind was our Founder’s Day. We hear the success stories of our Old Girls and our present learners are inspired by these ladies. It is a powerhouse day of women demonstrating present power and potential power. As Emily Taft Douglas wrote: “If women understood and exercised their power they could remake the world”.
Boys take risks far more than girls. An example of this is, if a project to build a bridge is given to groups, boys will experiment, build and fail, and go on until they get it right. Girls tend to plan first, think the problem through and then build. They also get it right, but by a different route. Both methods are correct and our world needs both types of thinkers. Research shows that girls learn differently from boys, which means you are advantaged attending a school that teaches you according to how your gender functions best. Margaret Thatcher said, and I apologise in advance to the men in the hall today: “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” 
At a girls’ school, there are fewer distractions. Teenage girls just do better when there is no boy in a nearby desk causing hormonal distractions. Fewer distractions mean a girl can focus on being herself, finding out who she is, exploring new lines of thinking and can think outside the box with relative impunity. A certain woman I know who attended an all-girls’ school was asked what the best part of the experience was and she answered, only half-joking, “I rarely had to shave my legs.”
When a school does not have to accommodate both sexes, it simplifies the running and organisation of the school. The only focus is girls and their needs. A Riebeek girl benefits from teachers who understand how girls learn. They provide the kind of nurturing and encouragement a girl needs to become all that she can and wants to be. One of our teachers remembers reading a novel to Riebeek Grade 9s. While reading, she noticed that the girls were in tears. She was horrified that something terrible must have happened. It turned out that the girls were crying about the sadness of the story. At a co-ed school the boys would have laughed. The girls would have stayed detached because crying about a book would not have been cool. A teacher at a co-ed school can really shout at her class and call them losers and insult them, and the reaction from the boys would be laughter and agreement. But in a girls’ school, just telling a learner that you are …. Disappointed … is enough to traumatize the class.
Career aspirations will no longer be limited if there was more single sex education. Women in politics and at the top of the corporate ladder are still somewhat of a novelty in this country. Imagine how much different our world would be if there were more women at the top of all these careers? The thinking skills which women bring to the table would be a refreshing counter to all those years of stubborn, egomaniacal males who have done a less than stellar job of running just about everything. Girls need to be told and made to believe that they can run things. They can be a president or a Hollywood star or the breadwinner in the family or an astronaut – if they can dream it, they can be it without gender bias. Girls’ schools are designers of dreams.
When girls go to single-sex schools, they stop being the audience and become the players. This is the bottom line and one of the most compelling reasons why girls benefit from a single sex school setting. A Bristol University study found that girls’ schools encourage “improved self-esteem and psychological and social well-being in adolescent girls”. Girls in coed schools suffer lower self-esteem and greater pressure to be thin.
Girls at girls’ schools are taught not to sit back and be passive. Girls are given the courage and the experience in school to face the challenges ahead with equanimity and aplomb. Leadership and strengths blossom in a girls’ school environment. The opportunities for student leadership positions are doubled for girls in a single-sex school. In a co-ed school, there is an equal division of leadership positions between girls and boys. 
I personally love girls’ schools because they are aspirational. They focus on teaching girls what they can achieve in the world and the difference they can make. They are noisy places. There is a tone, a volume, a pitch that speaks to self-confidence and exuberance. It is a noise that can do your head in as a teacher, but it is a noise I like. It sounds like girls becoming women with something to say and the confidence to choose a life they’ll love. 
The thing about an all-girls school is that it’s a sisterhood. It is great not to feel the pressures of a co-ed school, where girls dread being left out or noticed. Girls are entitled to feel secure, safe, and confident in a single gender school. 
Girls are more comfortable to be seen as academic in the absence of boys. In fact, girls’ schools tend towards a culture where academic achievement is highly valued. Girls also take greater learning risks in the absence of boys. They are more inclined to ask questions and be creative in their thinking. Therefore, they thrive. Girls’ schools do very well academically. I just want to drop something in here – remember that Riebeek has a 100% pass rate and learners who obtain 6 to 7 distinctions in the matric exams. Just saying! Girls are three times more likely to take pure mathematics and science in an all-girls school. In a co-ed class, boys receive up to eight times as much teacher time as girls. Girls are called on less often and they are asked their opinion less often. When teachers ask boys question, they give them a longer time to answer than they do for girls. There are also more behaviour issues among boys that take up the teachers’ focus and time. 
Girls are more likely to participate in sport in girls’ schools. Many teenage girls stop playing sport in coed schools. They also limit which sporting activities they will participate in. In a co-ed school, factors such as distractions, uneven skill levels, uneven strength levels, self-consciousness, embarrassment, peer pressure, and intimidation were identified as negatively influencing girls’ participation and performance in Phys Ed. While at a girls’ school, the biggest phys ed challenge is to convince the male phys ed teacher that you and the whole class are all on the same cycle every time there is phys ed. 
We are brought up in a culture that indirectly promotes male chauvinism. But not at Riebeek! They say it’s natural for men to show superiority, dominance and aggression and for women to be weak and servile. Really? The truth is, these stereotypes can all be changed and are changed at Riebeek. The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself and shine in a world where it is sometimes believed that she cannot.
Our founders did well to choose the feminine queen bee as the school emblem. The Bee is one of our important traditions and it has become a tradition to read, at Founder's Day, Mrs Rose Loggenberg Hartman’s letter written in 1999 recounting the origin of the Silver Riebeek Bee Pin motif. She wrote: “Miss Brehm, who was a staff member of the school, while on a visit to London, commissioned a jeweler to fashion the “Bee” into a brooch, intending that it be worn as part of the school uniform. This idea proved to be non-feasible and she contented herself that only one be made for her. One day, while on a visit to our home, she presented this to my sister, Dorothy, who treasured it as a gift from a valued family friend. Subsequently, Dorothy handed “The Bee” to Miss Bartlett, intending it should be held in trust for each succeeding Headmistress of Riebeek College to be worn when the occasion deemed it fitting. I think this was a happy gesture lending an added charm to the tradition. It only remains for me to wish you a most successful, memorable and joyous linking of hands with the past on this day, and that Riebeek College continues its successful path into the future.”
Diane Mariechild said: A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. Thus, Riebeek was born in 1877 and over the years has created, nurtured and transformed through balancing old and new, tradition and transformation, conformity and change, history and adaptions, and all of that with a belief in the importance of girls’ dreams. We salute this school for her strong actions in women empowerment.

 May 05, 2019
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Mrs K. Stear

miss riebeek 2019

BY Kiara Brink

Leaners of Riebeek College were once again granted the opportunity to showcase their talent and personality during this year’s Miss Riebeek pageant. The event took place on the 29th of April 2019 and was hosted by the Dance Committee. The popular event took place at the Sholto McIntyre Hall on the school premises. The theme for this year was “A League of their own.”
The event was opened by Miss Mxoli and Miss Klaas who doubled up as the MC’s. The dance group consisting of Siyavuya Moyake and Hlumela Mijikwa was the opening performance for the evening.
The beauty pageant was divided into three categories. The juniors (grade 4-6) had an opportunity to showcase their talent and were dressed as beautiful princesses. They looked adorable in their dresses and tiaras. For some of the girls it was their first time on the runway. The second category was the Teens (grade 7-9) who effortlessly dressed according to the theme of, “Thrift old is Gold.” The girls were innovative in putting their outfits together. The last category and highlight of the evening was the Senior (grade 10-12) category. They started off wearing casual wear. The formal wear category did not disappoint. All the girls looked elegant and gorgeous. They were truly well-prepared and confident whilst walking the ramp.
The dance committee was very privileged to showcase the beautiful designs by Andre Cloete and Su-Ann’s creations.
Kayleigh Peters, Louis Swart and Tania Snyman were the adjudicators who did an excellent yet difficult task in adjudicating the pageant. They all have extensive experience and exposure to modelling. The girls are indeed fortunate to have walked the ramp for them. All the contestants were made to feel special by the cheering and support from the audience while they were on stage.
Various performers kept the crowd entertained and consisted of a dance duo, two solo singers, two solo performances by Mr Calitz and a performance by the Dance Committee. The two solo singers were Musa Daweti and Avery Kayster (both Riebeek girls). Lastly, the Dance Committee performed a dance routine choreographed by them.
Miss Riebeek 2019 was well-attended and a huge success. The Dance Committee would like to thank the adjudicators, fashion designers, the MCs and the photographers who played a part in the success of the event. They would also would also like to thank the lighting, sound and media crew, the entertainers; sponsors, the matric escorts, contestants, staff, girls who made the everything possible and those who attended the event.

 May 01, 2019
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Kiara Brink

Farewell, Miss Mintoor

BY Administrator

In 2016, we welcomed our new Arts and Culture teacher, Miss Mintoor.  Miss Mintoor took over the role of Choir teacher for the junior and senior choirs, a role which she felt honoured and privileged to hold.
Miss Mintoor recalls, “Before joining the Riebeek team, I didn't know what to expect and was quite nervous until I met Mrs Woods who was a delight and immediately I knew that I was meant to be part of this group. Mrs Woods told me that she had been waiting a long time for me! I still have a special connection with her as we are each other's fans."
On arrival, she felt at home at Riebeek, and she hoped that musical activity would grow in the school and that her love and knowledge of music would impact the lives of the girls so they could shine. She believes that, “Being a teacher is a special gift as there is no other profession, in my opinion, that requires you to have so much patience, determination and motivation with the reward of making a difference.”
Despite having such an obvious love for teaching, Miss Mintoor did not always intend to become a teacher.  This all changed when she received the offer to work and further her studies at the Drakensburg Boys’ Choir School in Kwa-zulu Natal. She spent 7 years there.  This experience shaped her love and passion for teaching, especially teaching music. Returning to the Eastern Cape was quite special as she could once again be reunited with her family.
Miss Mintoor recalls meeting the Senior Choir after a week of settling in at Riebeek.  She recalls being amazed that a group of girls who come from different backgrounds had one special thing in common, and that was the love of singing. She writes, “Having heard about the accolades of the choir under the direction of Mrs Rene Zietsman, I knew that I had my work cut out for me to continue the legacy that she has left behind. I will always remember the beautiful singing, the heart and soul of their voices and the electrifying atmosphere that they create when they sing in front of an audience. The musical journey I had with these girls has truly been magical.”

The Junior Choir have always been Miss Mintoor’s "babies" are her "hart se punt".  The amazing growth of these girls is something that cherishes and she enjoyed the pride and joy of these girls when they could finally sing in two-part voices. She loved their angelic voices and their performance on national television.

Miss Mintoor’s obvious love, knowledge and passion for teaching and her passionate soul will be missed. We will remember what we call the Mandela Mintoor Marathon, where she energetically marched the senior choir up all the flights of the Uitenhage Provincial Hospital to march them down again floor by floor with performances on each level.  She conducted them with patients and staff passing and bumping but without her missing a note.  We will remember her role as Staff Christmas Party elf.  We will reflect on her diagnosis of diabetes and how she showed resilience and fortitude, quickly learning the ropes of managing her condition and advocating for the condition.  We will remember watching the junior choir and Miss Mintoor on the big screen in the Applous competition. Then there is the Mintoor Muscle effect, the after-effects of the gumboot dancing workshop Miss Mintoor arranged for the Senior Choir Camp of 2018.  Miss Mintoor found herself in a youtube tutorial style workshop as we made a video so that classes could practice for our secret Operation Love project of performing “All you need is Love” for the September farewell assembly for Mrs Woods Senior with flash mobs of learners and staff playing instruments.  She wowed audiences at the Junior School concert, From Marilyn, with Love, and at Mrs Woods’ farewell cocktail function at the end of 2016.
Miss Mintoor’s school work was neat, her ability to multi-task profound and her talent extra-ordinary.  Fiesty, determined, ambitious and goal orientated; there was never a dull moment with Miss Mintoor around.  Willing to laugh at herself and to enjoy a good laugh with others showed her lovely personality while her serious take on hard work and self-discipline motivated the learners in her care.
Miss Mintoor loved travelling to work with Mrs Shelver. There was not a thing that they didn't talk about. The white BMW was a secret haven. Miss Mintoor appreciated the words of encouragement of Miss Meyers and the common ground they found as colleagues and friends. Miss Mintoor truly believes that the choirs at Riebeek are the best girls’ choirs on the planet. She loved the fun in the classroom, especially with the juniors, where singing, dancing and noisy dramatic activities were fun.

Miss Mintoor writes, “My chapter at Riebeek has now come to an end and I will now locate to Cape Town where I accepted a full time music post at Western Province Preparatory School in Claremont. This is a great opportunity for me as I will be going back to my first love, and that is to teach and make music. I'm excited for this new adventure and I am thankful to our Heavenly Father for granting me this opportunity. What's also pretty cool is that I will also be closer to my boyfriend after a year in a long distance relationship. 
I don't even know where to begin to say thank you, but first and foremost all praise and honour goes to God, my Lord and Saviour for allowing me this time at Riebeek. It is only through His grace that I have made it through. I appreciate my family who continuously support me in all my ventures. Without their blessing and prayers, I would never have been where I am today. Mrs Stear, Mrs Snyman, Mrs Woods Senior and the Riebeek staff are thanked for  the role that each and every one has played in my time at Riebeek. You guys totally rock.”

"Ora et labora, will always stand the test" are words that Miss Mintoor will keep in her heart. At times when things were tough, Miss Mintoor reveals she would sing the last line of the special school song and know that things would work out.

 April 28, 2019
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cultural civvies day 2019

BY Azraa Rockman

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. Audre Lorde
This year’s Cultural Civvies Day was unforgettablee. With Lisakhanya Maseti as Chief Executive of the day, we were able to see everyone in their dissimilar cultures, while embracing the rich diversity of the different cultures around the world. 
Members of the Cultural Board were assigned to different entrances at the beginning of the school day to hand sweets out to all learners who had dressed up in their stunning attires. It was very interesting to see how some girls had gone out of their way to dress up in someone else’s culture instead of their own, while embracing that culture to the fullest. Yonela Qoqo in Grade 11 was definitely one of the many who stood out with her decision to wear an Indian saree with beautiful glitter details. What made her stand out is that, besides looking absolutely stunning in her outfit, she had spent the whole day inquiring about the Indian culture, and had made an attempt at practicing the traditional Indian dances when she had the chance. Others who stood out immensely were Sinesipo Gadu in her traditional Xhosa attire, Thaakirah Dolley in a traditional Korean hanbok and Kyla Harvey in her Catholic nun outfit. 
Lisakhanya Maseti was extremely happy to see how the efforts she’d put into the day had paid off. She said, “Knowing that everyone made such a great effort in a day that I have organised brings me immense joy.” She went on by saying that she was extremely happy to have been given the opportunity of putting such an important event on the Cultural Calendar together. 
Each junior received a certificate and sweet in class to commend them on their involvement. 
The civvies day was complemented by a cultural assembly organised by Miss Meyers and presented by the Grade 8s as their grade assembly. Proverbs from around the world were read out and we enjoyed watching an Indian dance and Zulu dance. 
Thank you to the prefects of Cultural Board for helping to advertise the day during register periods, to Mrs Stark, who organised a budget for the day and to Amy Schambril for purchasing the gifts and sweets that everyone enjoyed. Lastly, thank you to all who participated in dressing up for this year’s Cultural Civvies Day. The day was truly made exciting because of the vibrancy and enthusiasm displayed through each individual. We hope to see even more show-stopping outfits at our next Cultural Civvies Day and that we continue to embrace each other’s cultures in the best way possible.

 April 27, 2019
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Azraa Rockman

poetry competition

BY Ms O. Mxoli

Poetry competition results Junior winners: 3rd Place Ra-eesa Abrahams, 2nd Place Nerisha Ramsamy and 1st place Iman Liberty. Intermediate winners: 3rd Place Bilqees Vawda, 2nd place Poshika Ramsamy and 1st Place Candice Rossouw
Senior winners: 3rd Place Entle Matyumza, 2nd Place Romesa Muhammad and 1st Place Liyabona Mgushelo.

Family Features (Junior Winner)
by Iman Liberty
My family is nice.
We like to eat curry and rice.
The girls dress up
The men drink coffee from mugs
and we all give very big hugs!
We are smart
and speak from the heart.
There are ladies
and there are babies with rattles
that make a lovely sound.
I have a cat
that doesn’t like my hat
because there is a dog on it!
My family is always sunny
and I want a bunny!
Alone (Junior runner up)
by Nerisha Ramsamy
I see the beach.
I hear the waves.
I smell the salty water that is full of grainy sand
as it flows through my bare hands.
I sit on the beach
with nobody in sight
and I enjoy the sunlight.
I see a strand of seaweed
as I wander my way into the bay.
I see the sun sink into the sky
and I drift away
with still no one in sight.
Death (Junior 2nd runner up)
by Raeesa Abrahams
The death of a loved one
is an unfortunate knock
at your door.
A knock that no one expects
that no one wants.
But death is a life lesson
meant to be experienced by everyone
and it will change
your whole world.
Abuse (Intermediate winner)
by Candice Rossouw
Tears stain her face
adding salt to her wounds.
She stares at her reflection.
The rainbow of bruises
spread out;
a butterfly effect of pain and sorrow.
She regrets the chances she missed
as she watches her life flash by
“what if?”
Her wounds run deeper than the Nile
and inside she is filled with emptiness.
But she is a phoenix
and from the ashes she will rise.
To the boys (Intermediate 2nd runner up)
by Bilqees Vawda
I sit on the floor of the cricket field
and listen to the sound
of the boys shouting.
The wind blows and my pages fly
as I write to the boys of the field.
As I write
I hear them cheer in delight
when one hits a four
but also, there, a faint echo of defeat
as one gives up his bat.
The last run bids us all farewell.
The game is done.
And I say goodbye to the boys of the field.
A rose in a field of daisies (Intermediate runner up)
by Poshika Ramsamy
They can’t keep their eyes off me.
They stare at me as if saying
“Look at her!”
I hate it when they stare.
I feel like an alien
walking in the shops.
When they stare, my heart cracks
and my legs stop.
My whole body freezes
and I wish I could sink
and be swallowed by the earth
beneath my feet.
I don’t (Senior winner)
by Liyabona Mgushelo
Hollow bones and lonely skins
blood pounds and throbs
rushing through my veins.
My hearts beasts stronger, harder
as I feed myself with lingering thoughts of you.
I could have other hands, but I don’t.
I could hold other hearts, but I don’t.
I could love other bodies, but I don’t.
You could haunt other minds, but you don’t.
I tug at the trails of swollen memories
and I recall the countless ways you broke me.
I could mend my heart and move on
but I don’t.
Behind closed doors (Senior runner up)
by Romesa Muhhamad
Smile and laugh here
and wave there.
Don’t drop the cheerful mask
or it might break the façade.
She hopes no one sees
the bruises on her neck
hidden beneath make-up
or the jagged, angry lines
covered with hair ties and a watch.
No or needs to know
that her father, her blood
does what he does
every day and every night.
He shouts and taunts
and then shoves and hurts.
He evokes her broken past
just to watch her fall apart.
She smiles trying to keep the tears at bay
because no one need to know
what happens behind closed doors.
Maybe love is not meant for me (Senior 2nd runner up)
by Entle Matyumza
Maybe I should take my love
and put it between my thighs
or in my pocket
and keep it there
until another comes and claims
to love me
Crying is becoming an everyday thing
my pillow is soaked
in salt water.
My mind is confusion.
Maybe I should just quit love
because it is clear
that it is not meant for me.
The attachment, the deep attachment
always breaks
my heart.
Maybe I should take my love
and put it between my thighs
or in my pocket
and keep it there
until another comes and claims
to love me

 April 23, 2019
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Ms O. Mxoli


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