eleanor house day 2018

BY Aton de Vos

The guest speaker for the Eleanor house assembly was Olwethu Mxoli, Riebeek College Old Girl of the Class of 2013. MIss Mxoli was recently announced as 1 of 100 Mandelas of the Future by News24. Olwethu is a published poet who also works with the Helenvale Poets and New Generation Poets Project is a creative writing project run by SADRAT (South African Development, Research And Training Institute) and the Bay Creative Writing Development Project. She works with under privileged children in the poverty and gang ridden Helenvale area of Port Elizabeth. The group meets once a week to write poetry about their lives, the hardships they are experiencing and their hopes and dreams. Sometimes under gunfire. She is involved in trying to put together a poetry anthology of their work and fundraising to get them to the Mac Gregor Poetry Festival in August. This will give people who do not know the hardships of the Helenvale community a small glimpse into the lives of these bright, funny and beautiful young lives. In 2017 Olwethu co-facilitated writing workshops for the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi. The workshops were offered to schools in under privileged arrears in Port Elizabeth including Helenvale Primer, Hillcrest Primary and Jarvis Gqamlana Primary. The workshop culminated in a book The Cold Sea (Mendi Poems). Olwethu was a co-facilitator of the School @home Chatty Winter School Program, the project run by the Nelson Mandela University offers extra classes during the school’s winter break. She wrote “I think if people took the opportunity to look beyond their circumstance, if for a moment they paused to see the people in Helenvale and other disadvantage communities instead of seeing the gangs and the violence, they would be surprised by the humanity and the kindness there. I chose to do my bit with writing because it’s what I’ve always done best but also because poetry is the true expression of the what it is to be human.” Olwethu has offered poetry workshops at her alma mater too. Her own writing is thought provoking and opens individual’s hearts as she touches on contemporary issues such as women abuse in her writing.
Olwethu thrilled the audience with one of her poems during her speech at assembly. She encouraged the audience to find their more and find it now. She encouraged the audience to write as there is a writer in everyone. Her speech was well delivered, passionate and exceptionally well received by the audience who hung on to her wise words and advice.
Eleanor house had a variety of fundraisers - They had a coffee bar and sold delicious treats such as caramel pancakes, hot chocolate and coffee. Rotis were also sold. Karaoke sessions were held during second breaks, thanks to Olwethu Dlutu's organisational skills. Learners were also given the opportunity to show off their artistic skills with the colouring-in competition. Winners of the colouring-in competition were Valentina Longari (12R) and Kamvalethu Xego (7R). Favours were sold and Mpumelelo Mpshe received the price for most favours. Our last fundraiser was the movie afternoon for Juniors.
Aton de Vos read the bible reading and Aziwe Booi said the prayer. Thank you to Head of Eleanor, Aton de Vos and Junior Head of Eleanor, Jiyaad Ravat, for arranging the fundraisers. Thank you to everyone who contributed and made it all possible.

 August 07, 2018
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