family fun festival

BY Kiara Brink and Candice Rossouw

"Today has been an eventful day full of colours and everyone has been so enthusiastic,” said Eesha Naidoo Riebeek learner.
Family Day could not have been more accurately described. It was a lively day with eccentric colours, stalls and food trucks. There was almost everything you could think of!
On 9 August, Riebeek held the Family Fun Festival. This was one of the first of many new initiatives at Riebeek and the school could not have asked for a better turnout. Our bright and varied marketing campaign, the newspaper exposure and the mention on Radio Algoa helped bring the community out in their droves to visit our school. The Riebeek College Family Day aimed to bring families together with a day of relaxation, enjoyable activities, mounds of food and sports. As the day progressed, the crowds started streaming in and became a hive of activity with learners and families, both young and old.
“Women’s natural role is to be a pillar of the family,” said Grace Kelly. With this in mind, Riebeek College Girls’ High School established in 1877 with the aim of providing quality education for girls only; set about creating a day dedicated to women and their role in the family. It was originally intended for 20 July as a Family Day with a focus on celebrating children for Mandela Day on 18 July, but rain and a cold front meant the event was postponed. When it came to choosing a new day, we realised what better day than Women’s Day to celebrate what empowerment a school like Riebeek engenders in girls and women of South Africa. After all, no woman deserves to be stuck in the kitchen cooking for the family!
Mrs Kieran Stear, principal of Riebeek College, said, “Our vision in planning this day was to create a sense of community among our parents, learners, teachers and those who live and work around us. In an increasing negative world, we wanted to have one day dedicated to fun and positive vibes. We are increasingly aware of a need to provide youngsters with alternatives to boredom, the cyber world, negative influences and to have one day dedicated to quality time with friends, teachers and, most importantly, family. We are so excited to see our learners with their families, to meet their brothers and sisters and to chat to their moms and dads informally in a fun, setting. We are looking forward to our girls meeting our families and seeing that we have more in common than what divides us. We are holding this event without any profits in mind but with a desire to spread some happiness and good memories. For one day, we would like to see our youth look up from their phones and to experience life in the moment filled with hope and an awareness of that which binds us together in a common humanity.”
A unique and special feature of this event was that each grade is involved in an aspect of the day involving learners, teachers and parents of that grade working together to create a fun day and getting to know each other better. This meant that the work was so shared out that everyone felt relaxed and able to enjoy the day fully as many hands make light work. Grade 4s ran the white elephant stall; the Grade 5s ran the marshmallow braai; the Grade 6s ran the Throwing Sponges at Teachers stall; the Grade 7s run a variety of games; the Grade 8s offered henna, face painting, hair spraying and braiding; the Grade 9s ran a tombola store; the Grade 10s manned the gates; the Grade 11s organised the netball and hockey and the Grade 12s ran the play zone.
The festivities started off with a netball match between the Riebeek juniors and their parents with the parents winning the match. The second match was played between the Riebeek seniors and juniors with the seniors winning the match. Mrs Jack did an excellent job as referee and co-ordinator. Mrs Kruger said, “The girls showed the moms how to have fun on the netball court, but the moms with some extra experience were the winners for this match. The second match were seniors against juniors, with the seniors also showing the juniors their skills. It was a lovely morning in the sun, with families enjoying the matches. Thanks, Mrs Jack, for giving up your time and being a referee as well.”
Everyone then gathered to watch the hockey match between the parents and the Riebeek girls. The parents won 3-0 to the Riebeek girls. When asked what she thought about the match, Miss Potgieter replied, "Today has proved that sometimes experience triumphs youth." The hockey players who ensured experience triumphed over youth in the Family Match: Anthea Wepener, Daniel Wepener, Charmaine Clarke, Bernard Moyo, Lance Labercensie, Ralph Meintjies , Clint Langford, Ms De Beer, Mr De Beer, Mr Seale and Danny Klaasen.
People strolled around to explore Family Day in all its glory with the diverse stalls available. People had the opportunity to spray or braid their hair, get a henna tattoo and horse rides were provided by Riebeek's own star horse rider, Lynn-Marie Nel. The horse even had the Riebeek badge on! Farzana Peters said of her work as a henna artist, “It was a busy and heart-warming day.” The tombola stall had a treasure trove of items. The white elephant stall, arranged by Mrs Armoed and her helpers, was well supported and the prices ranged from R5-R10. There were many activities to keep the little ones busy such as a jumping castle, play zone and much more. The Riebeek girls were granted an opportunity to throw wet sponges at their teachers. This provided much fun for the Riebeek girls. Mr Jonas, Mr de Beer and Mr Mashaka were some of the teachers who volunteered as targets. Mrs Skeates commented on how brave the male staff were to have sponges thrown at them and how enthusiastic the little ones were to hit the target. There was also A Wild West photobooth, music, good company, a mechanical bull, laughter, shopping, and good food!
The play zone had the Grade 12s as baby sitters. Mrs Stroebel and Mrs Jones filled the tennis court with bikes, games and fun! The Grade 12s were Gailynn Nolands, Meaghan Botha, Razaan Baderoon, Anovuyo Singeni, Busisiwe Setlai, Aphiwe Ngona, Sihlumile Majombozi, Sibabalwe Nogompula, Sibabalo Mene, Angelique Finnis, Anesipho Malinga, Siphosethu Malinga, Entle Menze, Natheerah Sataar, Tara Wood and Nuraan Kasmed.
Mr Anton Calitz, a teacher at Riebeek, performed in a mid-day live music performance. He has performed internationally and released 5 albums. The crowd was entertained by the lovely voice of Mr Calitz as he sang a couple of songs accompanied by his guitar. The crowd sang along with many swaying to the music. The response to Mr Calitz’s performance was heart-warming. Towards the end of the day, Musa Daweti, a learner at Riebeek, along with Mr Macshaka, entertained the crowd with Musa's rendition of Hello by Adele.
There was a relaxed and festive ambience at Family Day which provided families to bond and spend quality time together. One of the highlights was Mrs Stear speeding around in the train with fellow Grade 8 passengers. The Grade 8s were Aeryn Ferreira, Teagan Brown and Zoe Craill. Mrs Skeates also enjoyed a train ride.
The presence of our two little bee mascots from Grade 4 and our new Bee Mascot added to the spirit of the day. Some of the volunteers who dressed up in the bee outfits were: Achumile Daniels, Chelsea-Lee Hurn, Aayat Shaikh, Thaaniya Shungking, Tara-Leigh Nel, Gizelle Dennis, Tamia Smith, Casey Els and Natheerah Sataar. This was arranged by Mrs Snyman.
The Media Club were on their feet all day capturing 752 photographs of the day and interviewing festival goers while posting live videos and posting on Instagram to capture the vibe of the moment. The Media Club volunteers were Kiara Brink, Romesa Muhammad, Anda Mbola, Azraa Rockman, Babalwa Kefile, Bilqees Vawda, Candice Rossouw, Hasti Pansuriya, Inganathi Konono, Megan Potgieter, Jordan Oldham, Miacarla Tee, Sara Gopal, Mohiba Natha, Siyamthanda Mbanga, Fatima Mahouassa, Siyanda Makalima, Mahmoodah Sataar, Tara Wood and Malakhiwe Hoffman.
Mrs Viljoen co-ordinated the food trucks and stalls and spent loads of time on her phone and on emails ensuring that there would be a variety on offer on the day. She expressed her gratitude to the stall holders and food truck owners and said, “It was truly a fun filled day with lots of excitement in the air. We acknowledge and appreciate the role that you played in making this day a great success.”
The Ground Staff of Riebeek were amazing and were there from very early to long after the end time. They were so obliging and willing to work hard to meet the requirements. They assisted with the pre-planning too such as laying out white markers for where stalls would go, taking required equipment and furniture where it needed to go, making sure our grounds were clean and setting up various areas.
Comments of the day included great, wonderful vibe, creative, great way to spend time with your family, great start to something new, chilled, spectacular, exquisite, best way to spend a public holiday, great socialising in a safe environment, a blast, unique.
We look forward to Family Day becoming an annual event. A huge thank you to all the staff and learners who volunteered, the owners of the stalls and food trucks and the Riebeek girls and their families who attended the afternoon. Miss Potgieter was the winner of the potato and spoon race! Summing it up was a comment on our facebook page by Tracey Matthews McEwan; “This looks FANTASTIC!! The Mascot is gorgeous! Well done everyone X.”
“Today was money well spent.” – Alexandra Dennis
“It makes me happy seeing all of our school’s learners and families coming together for an eventful day.”  - Ms Barnard
“The day has been lovely and relaxed.” – Jaime Kayser
“It has been great. What a lovely day.” – Mrs Peltason
“Very exciting. I enjoyed it immensely.” – John Potgieter
“It has been busy. My heart is bursting with joy.” – Mrs Viljoen
“It has been good. The atmosphere is heart-warming.” – Caitlin Whitebooi
“I had a chance to spoil my mother at Family Day.” –  said by many Riebeek girls
“Fun and it is the beginning of many more Family Days” – Unathi Butsaka
“Friendly services. It is a great way to celebrate women. Thank you Riebeek College for celebrating women!” – Riebeek learners Aunt
“Actually enjoyed it.” Millie van der Berg
“It started off empty but lots of people came by and there was a great vibe.” – Iviwe Majweti
“Exciting and exhilarating.” – Mrs du Plessis
“It has been fantastic seeing all families come together.” – Kay-Leigh Wilmot
“Today has been fabulous.” – Mr Maschaka
“It has been amazing. The turnout was excellent.” – Amuhle Ntabeni
“Today has been an eventful day full of colours and everyone has been so enthusiastic.” – Eesha Naidoo
“It has been a busy and heart-warming day.” – Farzana Peters

 September 21, 2019
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