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The Power of Education

TAG Talk Issue 1 2020

We were astounded to read that 61% of young South African children grow up in fatherless homes. This is quite simply a terrible statistic of our country and it makes the role of women that much more important in the fabric of South African Society.

The TAG Foundation believes in the power of education. We have seen the difference it can make and have proof of this through many of the lads we have supported over the years.

We have been very keen to add young ladies to the programme for a while and our first TAG Girl is young Jessica Shaku who Traci and I are personally sponsoring. At our fundraising event last year, we spoke about Jessica and how excited we were to include girls into our foundation. We were subsequently approached by a few people who said they too would like to get involved in sponsoring girls through TAG Foundation.

Based on those approaches and the news of the 61% fatherless homes we decided to embark on a new journey and who better to partner with than Parktown girls? Their recent matric results were outstanding and our visit to the school was an eye opener. What a fabulous institution.

And now thanks to Afrihost and the Gush family we can add more girls than just Jessica. We have included another six young ladies on the program, making seven in total. We are thrilled to introduce them to you in this newsletter. It is still early days, but we are confident that Parktown Girls is the right fit for TAG Foundation and our donors. They take education seriously and do an excellent job preparing young ladies for life and not just for matric.

We really do look forward to this new addition to the programme and can honestly say that we now partner with the two finest government, monastic schools in the Gauteng Province.

We will certainly keep sharing our stories and experiences as they unfold. But for now, we are extremely grateful and confident that this will be a great addition to the TAG Foundation.

TAG Foundation

Class of 2019

tag-talk-class-of-2020

Our ‘Class of 2019’ matriculants did us very proud! With a total of 5 ‘A’s’ and 12 ‘B’s’ amongst our 7 young men, we are delighted with their matric results!

The TAG Foundation matriculants represented their school, country, the foundation and most importantly themselves with distinction and valour – we salute you all and so look forward to you all contributing positively and enthusiastically to your families, communities and country as great King Edward men! Strenue.

Welcome

Megan De Leo

We are delighted to introduce Mrs Megan De Leo. Megan is the Assistant Manager and Head of Marketing for the King Edward Educational Trust and the Strenue Trust. She has also been appointed Custodian of our TAG Foundation Scholarship recipients and will be acting as a liaison between the school and our TAG Foundation boys

“I am passionate about education and the development of the boys and am looking forward to meeting them, celebrating their achievements with them and standing with them when they face challenges,” she said. “My role will be as a link between the TAG Foundation and the school and between our donors and the boys they are supporting. I am really looking forward to it.”

Megan has already been of great assistance to us in getting the year off to a good start.

Welcome to the TAG family Megan.

Meet the new

TAG Foundation Boys

Grade 8

Damien Groenewald

Damien joins us from Polokwane where he attended Pietersburg Oos Laerskool.

An outstanding ‘all-rounder’ with a very sound 75% average achieved at the end of a very busy Grade 7 year. With fantastic accolades achieved in many codes – athletics, cricket and rugby, this young talent has a very promising and exciting future ahead of him.

Representing Limpopo Primary Schools in rugby, cricket and athletics, shows his dedication, diligence and hard-working spirit. He has shown wonderful leadership skills, also captaining the Limpopo u12 XI in 2018 and then again being selected to represent the u13 XI and Limpopo Blue Bulls u13 Craven Week Teams in 2019. He also participated in the SA Primary Schools Athletics Championships in 2018 and placed 8th in the shotput event.

Boarding School is an adjustment and although he is naturally a little ‘homesick’, Damien is settling in well and enjoying his summer sport code cricket, where he is playing for the u14A XI.

“I’ve made friends in the hostel and the cricket team and I already feel at home here,” he said excitedly as he settles into a new routine and environment.

Grade 8

Olunje Mehlomakulu

Olunje Mehlomakulu is from Cape Town. His father works in Johannesburg, but Olunje chose to stay in Cape Town to finish his primary schooling. He has an older brother who is in Grade 11 at KES.

His father applied for a TAG Foundation scholarship because he wanted him to join his brother and Olunje was delighted when it was granted. “This school is very different to my last one, but I’m getting used to it,” he said. “The schoolwork is tough, and we have to carry all our books around with us, but I’m settling in.” “I am grateful for the opportunity to come to a prestigious school like this. It is a huge steppingstone towards my goals.”

He says the hostel is a lot of fun. “We have had some enjoyable nights and I am making friends that I know I am going to keep for a long time,” he said

Olunje is a strong academic averaging 80% throughout primary school. He hopes to eventually attend university to study Actuarial Science. He played A team rugby and cricket in primary school.

Grade 8

Sandile Manyana

Sandile comes to us from Welkom where he attended Laerskool Dagbreek.

In Welkom he lives with his mother and two siblings, but he is now a boarder in the hostel at KES. “I’m enjoying hostel life, he told us. “I’ve made lots of new friends and the food is really good.”

The schoolwork so far has also been good. “I am finding that I understand what is going on and I am going to work hard at it. I’m hoping to be among the top academics in the grade.”

He is playing cricket for the under-14 C’s and D’s now and is enjoying it. “I’m not a good cricketer, but it’s good to be part of a team and I have met a different set of friends through cricket,” he said.

Rugby is his real passion and he can’t wait for the season to begin. “I played eighth man in primary school and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can make the A team here. I obviously want to make the Reds team one day.”

He is an all-round talented sportsman who achieved SA Primary School Colours for Athletics and played for the Griffons at the under-13 Craven Week and was selected for the SA national under-13 Sevens team.

Grade 8

Simphiwe Moyo

Simphiwe joins us from Monument Primary School on the West Rand.

Being awarded a TAG Foundation scholarship is very important to him as he says it has given him the opportunity to attend a “prestigious English school. “

He has found high school very different to primary school. “We get lots of homework here and the teachers are strict,” he said. “It’s going to be hard work, but I’m looking forward to it.” The hostel has been fun. “We are very well looked after there and I have made lots of friends already and we have had some good times together.”

He is in the D cricket team now and enjoying it, but he can’t wait for rugby season to start. “My dream is to make the Grant Khomo team and then the Reds and the Craven Week and I think I can do it.” Simphiwe was named player of the tournament at the King Edward VII Festival last year and he represented the Golden Lions at the under-13 Craven Week for two years in a row.

Simphiwe is delighted to attend a school that so many sporting greats have attended before him and he hopes being at King Edward will help him to achieve his dream of becoming a professional player one day.

Grade 8

Siphosethu Mnebelele

Siphosethu Mnebelele attended Fochville Primary School and first got to know about King Edward VII School when he played rugby for the Invitation XV at the Easter Festival last year.

Siphosethu has been living with his aunt since his mother passed away. He said being awarded a TAG Foundation scholarship means a great deal to him as he now can receive a good education, improve on his rugby skills and hopefully go to university one day. His dream is to become a professional rugby player. Siphosethu was selected for the Golden Lions at the under-13 Craven Week.

He is enjoying life in the hostel so far and says a lot is being done to make the new boys feel welcome at the school. “There is no bullying or initiation at this school and we are encouraged to become part of the school brotherhood,” he said. “I am enjoying the school spirit and feel motivated by it.”

Grade 8

Siphosethu Mnebelele

Mbuso attended Monument Primary School on the West Rand where he averaged 80% in the classroom and was the school’s top try scorer.

He lives with his parents in Cosmo City and would not have been able to attend King Edward VII school if it were not for the TAG Foundation scholarship. “This scholarship can lead to a bright future,” he said. “It’s an investment in me that I hope to repay.”

One of the things that has struck him about the school is how quickly the boys have built a loyalty to each other. “We come from a lot of different primary schools, but we have quickly become brothers,” he said. “That is especially so for the boys in the hostel with me. “They treat us very well in the hostel and I can see that I am going to love being a boarder.”

Rugby is his favourite sport having made the Golden Lions U13 Craven Week and Sevens rugby teams, but in the meantime he is playing basketball. “I am in the under-14B team at the moment, but I am training hard and I hope to go up to the A,” he said.

Welcome to the Family

Park Town Girls

Grade 10

Relive Nkole

Relive Nkole is in Grade 10 and attended Blairgowrie Primary School. She is active in the school’s hip hop society and in the Feda (Drama) Club. Building firm relationships and friendships are important to Relive. She hopes that one day, she will look back on her school days with fondness on the firm bonds created and made during her time at Parktown Girls’ High School.

Grade 9

Sima Komane

Sima Komane is in Grade 9 and attended Crawford Sandton Prep School. A talented sportswoman who represented the A soccer, touch rugby and hockey teams in 2019. “When I leave Parktown I want to have achieved as well as I can in sport, but more importantly I want to be remembered as someone who did all she could to help those in need.

Grade 9

Ntombi Langa

Ntombi Langa hails from Diepkloof in Soweto and travels a long distance to school every day. In Grade 9 this year, she plays netball for the School’s team and takes part in hip hop. “When I reflect back on my school career, I want to see that in everything I did I made my mother proud,” she said. “That’s what is important to me.”

Grade 10

Lesedi Maepa

Lesedi Maepa is from Emmarentia and is in Grade 10. She is very aware that she is the first girl in her family to have broken free from poverty and negative circumstances. “I want to use this opportunity to show I am worthy of that,” she said. She plays tennis at the school and is also involved in drama.

Grade 10

Lebo Nkosi

Lebo Nkosi in Grade 10 and already feels quite strongly about making ‘acting’ her future career. She came to Parktown Girls from Hyde Park High School this year and describes herself as a sound academic who also plays and enjoys her participation in sport. “I want my school to provide me with a sound foundation that I can build my acting career on,” she said. “So, I’ll be going for a part in every production staged while I’m here.”

Grade 8

Aisha Latiff

Aisha Latiff attended Leicester Road Primary School and chose to come to Parktown Girls in Grade 8 this year because she believes the education provided at the school suits her personality. She will be playing hockey and touch rugby this year and when she leaves Parktown Girls at the end of matric, she hopes that she will have used every opportunity that came her way and built sound friendships and relationships along the way.

Grade 8

Jessica Shaku

Jessica Shaku is in Grade 8 and attended Rosebank Primary School. She plays netball and was in the 1st team in primary school. She also enjoys swimming. Jessica will be participating in dance and drama this year. By the time she finishes matric she hopes her results will be good enough to study medicine at university.

158-Run Third Wicket Partnership

Mickey Copeland

The Imperial Lions Cubs’ side, without their SA under-19 players (who were preparing for the World Cup) won CSA Cubs Week tournament in Stellenbosch during the December holidays.

Our Mickey Copeland played a big role in that, scoring 98 in the final against the Knights. He deserved a century for his impressive knock but fell to the bowling of Reeza Alexander two runs short of the milestone. He hit six fours and six sixes as he took the game away from the Knights with some aggressive batting.

His 158-run third wicket partnership with Nick Halstead-Cleak (73 not out) was the key one of the game.

The Lions won all five of their matches against some of the best players in the country. Well done Mickey, we are very proud of you.

VII School 1st Cricket Team Captain

Keegan Janse van Rensburg

Proudly Keegan Janse van Rensburg is our second TAG Foundation scholar in a row to captain the King Edward VII School 1st cricket team, following in the footsteps of Bryce Parsons during the 2018/2019 season.

It’s been a great experience so far, he said, although not always an easy one. “I enjoy the leadership role, thinking about how to approach the different situations in the game. But we have some real stars in our team, and I have to be sharp to keep them focused and working within our team goals and as a unit.”

So far so good, the team has had much success, despite the narrow loss to St Stithians in the Johnny Waite Final. “We lost to Maritzburg College in a pre-season festival, but apart from those two defeats we have won all our matches,” he said. “There is a good work ethic in this team, and we work very hard in training, four times a week.”

Keegan is aware that he is following in the footsteps of some famous cricketers who were once the KES captain. “I don’t regard myself as being at their level,” he said. “It’s an honour and a privilege to be in this position and I will do my best to live up to it.”

He doesn’t think the captaincy has negatively affected his own personal form and he showed that to be true on the Johnny Waite finals weekend when he shone with bat and ball. “If anything, my batting has been a bit off, but I’m in pretty good form with the ball.”

Keegan was in the Central Gauteng Lions under-19B team at the end of last year and he had a good inter-provincial week. “I’m hoping to make the A team this year, although that is still far away and I’m focused on leading the KES team for now,” he said.

He is spending a lot of time on cricket at the moment, but is fully aware of the fact that he is in matric now and that schoolwork is very important. “I am coping, getting marks that are average and slightly above. I know that I can do better and I will be concentrating on my books as well this year.”

It’s a massively exciting year for Keegan – know your TAG family is rooting for you and wishes continued success in and out of the classroom. Strenue Keegs – Give it Horns!

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