Samkelo Ngubane is a cultured person. While he is a proud as any KES boys of the schools sporting achievements, and enjoys playing and supporting the first rugby team, what he really enjoys about school life is the opportunity to be in the music society, to participate in drama, and to play in the pipe band.
He is a talented musician and the flute is his instrument. He studies music and passed the Associate Board of the Royal Music Society exams grade 4 exams and plays flute in the school’s music society.
“I practice every day,” he said, “for at least half an hour, sometimes longer. It takes up a lot of my time, but I love doing it.” He was a member of the pipe band in grade 8 but left because it was taking up so much of his time. He has been persuaded to go back now because they need pipers and he is looking forward to being part of it again.
“The bagpipes are a woodwind instrument, like the flute, so I am good at making them sound, but the keys are totally different and so the fingering is a challenge, but I am keen to master it.”
Although, by his own admission, he is not a great sportsman, he does participate. He plays basketball in one of the lower teams in the summer and, in the winter he plays rugby, currently for the under15E and F teams.
Samkelo was at Pridwin Prep school on a bursary and one of his friends told him he was coming to King Edward in grade 8. He lives in Alex with his mother and she could never have afforded to send him to the school. “Luckily, someone saw potential in me and I was offered financial support though the TAG Foundation,” he said. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I love it here, I have made good friends and I think I am getting a great education.
When pushed on what makes the school great, he named three things: the teachers, the discipline and the traditions.
“The teachers really care about us. I am doing quite well in class, averaging between 60 and 70%, and that’s due to them,” he said. The discipline is good because it is preparing us for life beyond school. You need to be punctual, and have good manners if you want to succeed, and those things are insisted on here.”
He loves the tradition, he said, because it gives everyone a sense of where they fit in in the school’s history, and reinforces the brotherhood that makes KES so special.
A perceptive analysis from a cultured young man.