Head Girl's address: Valedictory 2019

BY Zeenat Lukie

Head Girls' Address: Valedictory 2019
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”- Dr Seuss
Good morning parents, special guests, teachers, Riebeek girls and to the ladies of the hour –my fellow matrics.
When we were younger we couldn’t wait for this last day, but now that it has finally arrived it feels bittersweet. People always told me this last year of school goes by so quickly and I never believed them. The realisation won’t hit you when you wake up for your last “first day of school”. It won’t hit you as you walk in the corridors or sit at your favourite spot during breaks. It won’t hit you when you’re dancing at your matric farewell or cheering for your house in interhouse events for the last time. But you realise it today as you look around and realize that you might never see half of these people again. After spending 9 years together, all we’ll be left with are memories. So instead of focussing on this bitter goodbye, today we’ll celebrate our sweet memories.
Our first year at Riebeek was filled with excitement as we always found any excuse to have a party. We realised that if it was a ‘surprise’ party, the teachers simply couldn’t shut us down.
A year went by and we learnt about the importance of personal space as implemented by crocodiles at Miss Arthur’s desk. We also learnt that the number one rule for eating in class was: don’t get caught. Melissa Lemley learnt this the hard way when Miss Arthur caught her eating a sweet. Melissa denied it of course, but her case fell apart when she tilted her head and the sweet fell on her shoulder. When you’re in grade 5 your imagination knows no bounds. A few of us played Pac Man on the hockey stands and it was all fun and games until Britney literally fell on her face. After that day no one played Pac Man. Taryn De Klerk, Genelleen Govender and I then shifted our focus to our juice business which we ran from the tennis hut. Our magical juice was basically just a mixture of the juice our parents had packed for that day, so the recipe changed frequently, but the customers remained loyal.
Our motivating force in grade 6 was the famous “your marks are dangerously low” line coined by Miss Johnson and who could forget her daily instructions to cut and paste 8 pages in 3 minutes. The highlight of our grade 6 year was definitely our excursion to the Addo Wildlife Sanctuary, especially when Andisiwe Dobo turned into a human windmill when the meercats came a little too close for comfort. Our animal encounters continued in Grade 7 when Miss Inggs brought a baby monkey to class. We also had 2 classroom pets, Cosmo and Turbo, the large African snails.
The most important lesson learnt in grade 7 was: never open a packet of zour bomb sweets in public. Because before you know it, those zour bombs were no longer yours, they became “our” zour bombs.
Mr Jonas also taught us some unforgettable life lessons such as personal responsibility because you dared not make your problems Mr Jonas’s problems. He was also very passionate about his grass which never seemed to grow because people were constantly walking on it. A very annoyed Mr Jonas would then shout, “The grass is saying eina! But you don’t listen.”
The start of Grade 8 was a rocky experience, particularly for the new girls as everyone tried finding their feet in high school. However Cleopatra Munyoro seemed to have a plan. In the first week of school she overheard a girl using the word “confiscated”. So Cleopatra told herself that she was going to use this word during a conversation with her register class, so she would also sound cool and fit in with the Riebeek girls. However, instead of saying the word correctly, Cleopatra said “confisticated” and instead of becoming the cool new kid on the block she became the clown of the day. Nangamso Matiwani on the other hand was not fazed by the whole “new school” thing and spent most of her lessons catching up on sleep. Unfortunately this did not end well when she woke up from one of her naps and shouted “Page?” in an EMS lesson and immediately got sent out.
Busisiwe Setlai, Thalitha Ngcanga and Zezethu Mtirara also got the bitter end of Mrs Fereirra’s spoon when they got sent out of class for talking. They decided to take revenge by locking Mrs Fereirra and the rest of the class in the room. If you ask any matric, the sweetest part about high school was definitely Mrs Ferreira’s fudge. It was so delicious it could turn anyone into a smooth criminal, just ask any girl who’s ever been accused of stealing Mrs Ferreira’s fudge.
Now although we weren’t really criminals, we became the “mafia” in our science lessons. The number one rule of the game was to trust no one. Kezley Rayners had to learn this the hard way when everyone else was chosen as the mafia besides her and we were determined to make Kezley look guilty. The only toxic chemical we ever encountered in science was when Amee Exford sat down on a farting cushion. Science taught us many things, such as Naytuan’s Law of Subtraction. This is the velocity at which Naytuan Matill could cut Rethabile Maselwa’s braids and the time taken for the class to place the braids in an envelope and pass it around as “evidence” which equals to one angry Rethabile.
Rethabile Maselwa however used this anger to fuel her dancing passion. One day Mrs Gunter let the G class watch a you tube video and left the class. Autoplay was on, so one thing led to another and the gangnam style song stared playing. The class went wild but soon everyone ran back to their desk, besides Rethabile of course, who was determined to show everyone her violent dance moves, until Mr Jonas walked into the class and shut the whole operation down.
Rethabile wasn’t the only one with violent dance moves though. Casey Els' violent vosho earned her a ripped skirt which she then attempted to sew during Afrikaans. This was some great content for our reality show featuring Cardi Zee, Daneille Bieber, Stormpie Jenner, Klara Wood, and Sibrina Mene. Afrikaans lessons with Miss Meyers AKA our “Mammy” really were unforgettable, especially with all the pranks, jokes, life lessons and our trip to watch Fiela Se Kind.
On the English side of things, Mrs Shelver’s 11G class held a surprise farewell party for her. Tamia Smith took this opportunity to throw cake at Amy Higgins and Britney Ruiters' faces and then shouted “We need to make memories for valedictory!” Thank you for your contribution to this day Tamia. The 11G’s will also never forget Callaghn Marais' iconic oral on “how to drown a fish” using a pencil bag to demonstrate the whole process.
Before we knew it, we were drowning in matric and #SMILEWEEK certainly gave us some motivation for the first term. It was one of the highlights of the year and since that week, we have not been that happy again. After all, singing and dancing is our speciality, especially with Anesipho Malinga and Siphosethu Malinga who always manage to steal the show with their back breaking dance moves.
Mr Maschaka’s piano sessions were also great mood boosters. It’s not very often that you get to listen to songs such as “Talk” and “Sister Bettina” randomly throughout the school day. On that note, we’re still waiting for the business girls to drop their album, with new songs being produced every lesson.
Miss Du Preez’ Life Sciences class was always a ball…literally. The class threw an imaginary ball around, until Miss Du Preez’ asked to pop it as it was too distracting. The class simply blew the imaginary ball up again and the game continued into the Geography lesson in which Genelleen Govender stood on the table, caught the ball, dribbled it and then dunked it.
On the other side of the building Miss De Beer’s Life Sciences class was always working. Whether it was Casey Els working on Miss De Beer’s nerves to play “a song one” for any video we watched or whether we were actually working, we were always working. Fun was for the weekends and holidays and even then Miss De Beer’s sound words of advice were key.
In a last attempt to make memories, our maths class decided to prank Mrs James. We hid away in the gallery and that’s where we developed the second part of our plan. We sent our best actress, Daneille Van Rensburg, to call Mrs James and tell her that Kezley Rayners had fallen over the gallery wall. Naytuan Matill and I were already in position in the hall, with Kezley laying “unconscious” on the floor. Everything was going according to plan until Naytuan saw Mrs James' reaction and burst out laughing, creating a chain reaction with Kezley and I and the rest of the class in the gallery. We really we’re determined to make these last few days count.
Although today is about us, I have to take a moment to mention the people that got us here: firstly to our school parents, the teachers: you have groomed most of us from grade 4 and the rest from Grade 8, until now. You have endured all the drama, the noise and the random outbursts of singing. You’ve been patient, caring and kind as we navigated our way through life and we shall carry your words of wisdom with us wherever we go. Thank you for going the extra mile, even though we did not always deserve it. We cannot express enough gratitude for every contribution you have made in grooming us into the ladies we have become.
I would like to thank Mrs Stear and Mrs Snyman for their support and guidance which has been invaluable. Mrs Stear and Mrs Snyman, your faith in me has instilled a sense of confidence in me that I never knew I had. Knowing that your doors were open when I needed help was always comforting.
I would also like to thank the people who made all of this possible for me, my parents. Mom and Dad, thank you for your sacrifices, your unconditional support and belief in me and for the little notes left in my lunchbox. Thank you for teaching me that it’s okay to not always be the best. This year has not been easy but you’ve always gone the extra mile to ensure that I’m happy, comfortable and most importantly sane. All I ever want to do is make you proud, because for now that’s the only way I can thank you for everything you’ve done for me.
Prefect body of 2019, I would like to say thank you for being such passionate, hardworking and light hearted individuals. Your support and faith in my ability to lead you has been an indispensable motivating force throughout the year. It is said that “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who, who have her back”. Thank you for being the greatest tribe.
On that note I would also like to say thank you to Malakhiwe Hoffman. This year would not have been the same without you by my side. Thank you for giving me a little nudge whenever I needed it. I appreciate you so much.
Matric class of 2019, my wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to be and so much more. May your dreams stay big and your worries stay small and may you never be burdened with more than you can hold. May your light continue to shine bright and guide you through this new adventure.
If I have forgotten anyone, please forgive me. Thank you to everyone who has influenced and shaped us into the ladies we leave as today. Thank you for helping us through this chapter of our lives; no matter how big or small, your efforts are not left unnoticed. We truly appreciate you.
It’s still hard to believe that we’ve reached the end. I have found comfort in the familiar faces within these walls and I never imagined the day to say goodbye would come so soon…
In closing, matrics, let’s say hello to a new adventure. Hello to new opportunities, growth and happiness. It’s time for us to follow our dreams and become who and what we’ve always wanted to be. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Never settle for less and trust the timing of your life. Stay patient, stay determined, stay focused, and most of all trust your journey.
Thank you and farewell.

 October 13, 2019
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Zeenat Lukie

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