This ISIbalo Capacity Building Programme is a fitting tribute to three senior citizens of South Africa who worked tireless with Stats SA in the winter years of their lives to reverse the aftermath of apartheid education in South Africa. Theirs are and were stories of victory against all odds, determined to see the youth of South Africa benefit from a different fate than theirs and the peers at the time
Professor Thamsanqa Kambule (1921 – 2009)
Accompanied here by Mr Risenga Maluleke, Professor Kambule was a renowned mathematician in South Africa and the first Black Mathematics Professor in South Africa. He only enrolled in Grade 1 at the age of 11, became a prominent Maths teacher of many eminent persons including former President Thabo Mbeki, and was a dear friend of the late former president Nelson Mandela. Professor Kambule also became the first Black Professor to form part of an all-white Faculty at Wits University. He authored numerous Mathematics textbooks and worked with Stats SA on numeracy projects 2006 until his death at the ripe age of 88. He believed no child is incapable of learning mathematics: the first step is to break the fear and build the confidence.
Mr Frans Jenneker (1926 – 2009)
Accompanied by a Stats SA official, one of the few Coloured Mathematics teachers of his time in Cape Town, Mr Frans Jenneker was forbidden by the Apartheid government to discontinue teaching Mathematics because of the colour of his skin. Jenneker continued to secretly teach mathematics from his home, was pursued by apartheid forces for doing so, but still continued in his vision and produced several doctors, engineers and scientists. Till his death he continued teaching mathematics in church, community halls and in his home. Always the perfect gentleman, he worked with Stats SA on numeracy projects till he met his death in 2006 at the age of 83. Mr Jenneker believed that no human being is any less than another, and that all children must be assisted to reach their full potential.
Mrs Nontsikelelo Qwelane (1920 – )
Mrs Qwelane is currently South African’s oldest serving teacher. She has been the recipient of Batho Pele Award for being the country’s longest serving public servant; recipient of the Presidential Baobab Award and th Presidential Mapungubwe Award for excellent service in education; and has served on South Africa’s Statistics Council. To this day Mrs Qwelane still teaches Geography at Metropolitan College in White River in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. She has authored many education articles; continues to mentor teachers and has worked with Stats SA on numeracy and geography projects since 2006. Mrs Qwelane believes that we should never give up on any child because they are all gifted, with most of them their gifts are simply misunderstood because they are gifted differently and neglected because of their “otherness”