Facilitator Training

Saturday 20 January 2018, pupils from Xolani SSS and St Matthews High School completed Sifunda Kunye facilitator training at our literacy centre in Keiskammahoek, based at St Matthews High School.

At Sifunda Kunye reading clubs we give exciting opportunity for your child to develop a love of reading and to get support to her/ his literacy learning. It will also contribute success in his/her whole educational career.

Sifunda Kunye Reading club goals:

  • To expose children to many types of storytelling and story-reading in isiXhosa and English
  • Help children to grow to love reading and writing
  • Inspire children to want to read and write for themselves
  • Get children reading and writing

What happens at the reading club?

  • Big group storytelling
  • Games and songs
  • Small groups reading and writing
  • Creative activities

Learner facilitators are chosen by their schools and volunteer.

Learner facilitators train on how to assist young minds at our reading clubs. Through the learner facilitator program, we are enabling learner facilitators to develop leadership, creativity, self-growth, team work, literacy skills.

We have weekly reading club meetings on Saturday mornings during the school term at our literacy centre that is based at St Matthews High school in Keiskammahoek.

In 2017 we started monthly reading clubs at Xolani SSS for the children of Zwelistha at Xolani SSS.

Well done to all our learner facilitators of 2018 for completing training and wishing you well during your journey this year.



Sifunda Kunye Educational Project

Sifunda Kunye reading club facilitators and volunteers from our Reading clubs at Xolani SSS and St Matthews High School celebrated the end of the year. We are looking forward to continue impacting many more through our Reading club initiatives in 2018.


St Matthews Prize Giving 2017

On the 20th of September 2017 we celebrated our annual prize giving in our school hall. Well done to all our prize winners for all your have achieved during this year.

Thank you to all who took time out of their busy schedules to attend this event. Thank you to St Andrews college and Sifunda Kunye Educational project for handing out of prizes and attending our award ceremony.

View the gallery


St Matthews Drama Club 2017

During the June holidays the drama club members form Keiskammahoek attended a dance workshop at Steve Biko centre in Ginsberg, King Williams Town, Eastern Cape. Sanga our drama coach/facilitator attended this workshop with learners, we did how to do sign language, how to create a dance, how to improvise and how to work with disabled people. The learners learned a lot from this workshop, the workshop was 2 weeks and on the last day our learners performed with Andile Villem from Unmute Dance company which is based in Cape Town. This was such an enriching experience for our learners learnt that no matter what your challenges are you are able to reach for your dreams.

Written by: Sanga Mabulu – Sifunda Kunye Literacy department


Partner Schools Conference

On the 15th of August 2017, Sifunda Kunye Educational Project hosted a conference for all partner schools in the King Williams Town District. We had a very productive conference with principals, teachers, SGB members and staff of Sifunda Kunye working together to better impact education in our schools. Sifunda Kunye would like to thank all our partner schools in the King Williams Town District for working together to better impact the life’s of all our learners. Sifunda Kunye partner schools in the King Williams Town District include, Xolani Senior Secondary School, St Matthews High School, Richard Varha Senior Secondary school and Toise Senior Secondary School.


Innovative Writing Camp Empowers Learners

Seventy learners from four area schools explored creativity, learning, and self-expression in an intense writing camp over the weekend. The camp was sponsored and hosted by the Sifunda Kunye Educational Project, a local public benefit organization that has been active in the King Williams Town district since 2008.

Sifunda Kunye invites 10 to 15 learners from each of its partner schools in the King William’s Town District and Grahamstown district participate in these camps. This past weekend, learners from St. Matthew’s, Xolani, Richard Varha, Toise and Hendrik Kanise combined Schools spent an intense 3 days (Friday-Sunday) focusing on a specific theme, completing personal works, and submitting them for peer critique. This session’s theme was “Dreams are made of…” and learners were encouraged to express what dreams and ambitions  means to them in essays, poems, and group discussions and drama. Participants received guidance from a talented group of volunteer facilitators, student leaders, and the Sifunda Kunye staff. Participants submit their work for inclusion into a published student journal at the end of the camp. The journal is a unique opportunity for many to see their work in print.

Learners and teachers are continually impressed with the writing camps. Participants relish the opportunity to engage in an in-depth weekend of imaginative learning. They enjoy improving their language and writing skills in a fun and creative venue outside of the classroom. Teacher’s enjoy witnessing the progress these young writers make over the course of a weekend.

The Sifunda Kunye Literacy Project’s writing camps have been successfully running since they first launched in August 2014. Sifunda Kunye supports literacy and technology programs in Eastern Cape schools.


St Matthews High School welcomes our new principal Mr. Ngqoba

Mr. Ngqoba is the Principal of St Matthwes High as from towards the end of the year 2016 after final exams. He is replacing our Acting Principal Mr. Adekponye who was the former Deputy of Mr Gquma as from last year July until the era of new our Principal Mr Ngqoba end of November 2016.

Mr. Ngqoba have an experience of this position as a school Principal, he was the principal at East London District at at one of the high schools of MooiPlus. He is very happy to be part of the staff of St. Matthews and as a school Principal because he is already sharing Ideas and experience with the School teaching staff and school staff in different categories. Because he want to build the school in all structures e.g Best learners, best school with best quality results in all classes especial grade 12 as from this year upwards and best leadership skills in all categories e.g. there is several leadership workshops and trainings, St. Matthews most of the time is the part of those trainings and workshops.

He continue to build a strong bond with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (St. Matthews Mission Parish) the founder of St. Matthews high school, he already had an official meeting that was include Diocesan Bishop, Bishop E.S. Ntlali, St. Matthews Mission Parish Archdeacon L.M. Ntshingwa, Principal of our twin school St. Andrews College of Grahamstown the purpose of the meeting was discussion for future planning’s. He also meets with the school donor from America MR. Andrew Summers he is the founder and CEO of Calaber Foundation and South African Project that is called SIFUNDA KUNYE LITARECY PROJECT (He is working hand to hand with Zander, Jolande and also Lux as a link communicator)

Written by LUX


Sifunda Kunye Literacy Centre

Dedicated student Volunteers with guidance and mentoring of full time staff from Sifunda Kunye run a impactful, successful, educational, caring, fun reading club every Saturday during school terms at St Matthews High School. If you have not yet visit our club, don't miss out on term 3 Saturday Reading clubs.

We would like to thank the dedicated St Matthews High School volunteers and the Staff members from Sifunda Kunye Educational Project for the uplifting reading clubs during this past term.

A big thank you goes out to Sifunda Kunye for our toilet facilities that was build and added during term 2. Read more about it.


Andrew Summers Visit

Sifunda Kunye Educational projects founder and Director Mr Andrew Summers visited our School during this term. Thank you Mr Summers for taking the time to visit our school and for the continues support you provide our school, Mr Summers you are truly making an impact in the lives of all our learners and our community in Keiskammahoek, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Enkosi Tata


Sifunda Kunye Sports Tournament - 6 May 2017.

6 May 2017 - our school attended the Sifunda Kunye Soccer Tournament in Zwelitsha, Eastern Cape. Sporting codes were Soccer Boys and Girls. All SifundaKunye partner school in the King Williams Town area competed against each other in a friendly tournament.

We would like to thank the organisers of this tournament and congratulate our pupils for 3de position in Boys soccer and 4th position in Girls soccer.

Overall we had a lovely day, and enjoyed spending time with our partners schools.


Career Exhibition

On the 3rd of March 2017 students from Grade 9 & 10 visited Briedbach Secondary School in King William’s Town. Universities that did presented the career exhibition were Fort Hare University, Walter Sisulu University. The career day assisted us all to gain knowledge of how to plan for our future studies and careers…. One important lesson we all learned and many forget or forgotten in South Africa -- ”Education is the key to a successful future.”

Written by Ziyanda and Siima


St Matthews High School visits Addo, Port Elizabeth – Columba Leadership Academy.

During this past term on the 12th of February 2017, twelve learners from St Matthews High School visited Addo, Port Elizabeth. The twelve learners were chosen based on their essay that was written about “What would I like to change about my school, community and themselves”.

The 12 learners visited Columba Leadership Academy, learners learned about awareness, focus, creativity, integrity, perseverance and service as a leader. Quote of the day “Sharing resources selfishly and effectively, using your strength and experience to take meaningful action, let  all contribute to the greater good”

Let us all activate the inner leader in ourselves as individuals, and remember we all have the potential to be a leader you just need to push in the right direction.

By Mbalentle Mafai Grade 11


Bronze Award Winners

Well done to St Matthews High School learners who completed The Presidents Awards bronze awards, we are very proud of all of you. Thank you to Sifunda Kunye Educational project for supporting our Initiatives.



Presidents Award

The Presidents Awards visit to St Matthews High School on 19th of April 2017. Thank you Phakhama for visiting our school today.



Grade 12 Farewell

On the 31st of March 2017, grade 12's celebrated their farewell at Skhenjana Hall in Bisho, Eastern Cape.


Deputy Principal Mr Eman Adekponya Retires

Sifunda Kunye Educational Project wishes Deputy Principal Mr Eman Adekponya a well-deserved retirement.

Mr Adekponya is a well-respected physical science teacher based at one of our partner schools, St Matthews High School in Keiskammahoek, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Mr Adekponya is a focused, straightforward man with integrity.

Thank you Mr Adekponya, today we wish you well, your inspiration and difference you made in so many lives has been inspirational. You might be leaving teaching, but lesson learnt will forever remain.

Enkosi Tata from all pupils past and present, teachers at St Matthews High School, and Sifunda Kunye Educational Project.


St Matthews High School visits Addo, Port Elizabeth - Columba Leadership Academy

During this past term on the 12th of February 2017, twelve learners from St Matthews High School visited Addo, Port Elizabeth. The twelve learners were chosen based on their essay that was written about “What would I like to change about my school, community and themselves.”

The 12 learners visited Columba Leadership Academy, learners learned about awareness, focus, creativity, integrity, perseverance and service as a leader. Quote of the day “Sharing resources selfishly and effectively, using your strength and experience to take meaningful action, let  all contribute  to the greater good”

Let us all activate the inner leader in ourselves as individuals, and remember we all have the potential to be a leader you just need to push in the right direction.

By Mbalentle Mafai Grade 11


St Matthews Debating team visits Bhisho Parliament. “SOPA 2017”

On the 11 of March 2017 the debate team represented St Matthews in Bhisho parliament. St Matthews was invited to the Eastern Cape Legislature in Bhisho to observe The State Of The Province Address Schools Debate 2017.We were very honoured to be one of the schools amongst the other schools to be chosen for the SOPA debate 2017.

There were four categories and in each category our learners participated, and delivered a speech. Overall winner of 2016 delivered a message of support, and then the premier “Mr Pumullo Musualle” delivered his speech. After the speech of the premier, the winners were announced from each category.

Thank you to our supportive principal and teachers for always supporting our debating team.



Drama Club

Well done to the drama club at St Matthews and Sanga, Sifunda Kunye facilitator for winning a drama competition for a second year in a row hosted by the liquor board of South Africa. We are very proud of all of you.


Sifunda Kunye Student Volunteers 2017

Book Club 2017

Reading is fun !!!

Sifunda Kunye’s book club at St Matthews High School reopened for 2017 on the 21st of January, with Sifunda Kunyes Facilitator Sanga, and all the student volunteers from St Matthews High School. We had a fun time with storytelling, song and dance and reading. Sifunda Kunye has a weakly book club for all the children that want to join on a Saturday, at St Matthews High School, in Keiskammahoek.



Sifunda Kunye Literacy Project

Literacy advancement is a founding tenet of the Sifunda Kunye Educational Project. Though it started small, the Literacy Project is now a robust portfolio of various programs and truly one of our most valuable endeavors. The Literacy Project began in 2009 as a small Saturday morning book club, conceived by our original project manager and run by student leaders in the President’s Award program at St. Matthew’s High School. Instilling a love of reading and the personal pursuit of knowledge is a crucial aspect to education success no matter where you are. The book club was our first attempt to help foster those traits in our learners. The goal was to get students and leaders together to enjoy reading and learning outside of the classroom.

In the early days of the program, as we explored ways to positively impact literacy, we reached out to two Cape Town-based programs – PRAESA and Nal’ibali. Both support book clubs for learners in poor areas around Cape Town. They also produce isiXhosa and English primary school books to help young learners develop language skills. We were very impressed by their model and we soon invited two PRAESA employees, Xolisa Guzulu and Ntombi Mahobe, to visit the St. Matthew’s book club and train some of the St. Matthew’s students to lead the clubs in storytelling, drama, and English/isiXhosa reading.

The Sifunda Kunye Literacy Center at St. Matthew’s

As the programs have grown, so has the need for a dedicated space and resource center. In August 2015, the Sifunda Kunye Literacy Center opened on campus at St. Matthew’s. The building was an unused classroom block from the old part of campus. In May 2015, Sifunda Kunye launched a large project to refurbish the building, creating a beautiful resource room for all of the Literacy Project’s activities, including the popular Saturday morning book clubs. The entire renovation cost approximately $22,000USD and took three months to complete. Sifunda Kunye Project Manager Zander Hampson led the effort with tremendous results.

The Center now houses a small primary-level reading library filled with isiXhosa and English books, a reading corner, and a larger multi-purpose auditorium space used for drama and music. Students, teachers, and staff now enjoy the space regularly. We continue adding resources and improvements to the building. One of the improvements for which we are currently pursuing funding is the renovation of the toilet block nearest the Literacy Center. Currently the kids and leaders do not have access to any form of indoor plumbing at the center. We hope to have that project funded and completed by the end of 2016.

Sifunda Kunye - Who We Are

The Sifunda Kunye Educational Project was officially founded in February of 2010 in East London, South Africa. Prior to its establishment as a registered South African Public Benefit Organization (PBO), Sifunda Kunye’s activities were carried out under the Calabar Foundation’s Africa Project, which began supporting rural schools with technology and basic-needs resources in early 2008. As the Africa Project grew and added more and more partner schools (eventually reaching the six that we support today) Sifunda Kunye was created to ensure full-time operational and managerial support. Sifunda Kunye now employees 9 full-time staff members as managers and facilitators at our partner schools, as well as two interns and assistants who help with our various outreach programs. Our programs impact the lives of over 3600 primary and secondary school students on the Eastern Cape. With plans to expand to 15 partner schools over the next two years, our programs have the potential to impact thousands more.

What We Do

The goal of Sifunda Kunye is to combat many of the historical, systemic, geographical, and cultural challenges faced by certain communities and learners through unique, dynamic, and hands-on educational development programs. Sifunda Kunye focuses on three separate program categories: 1. Technology 2. Literacy, and 3. Basic Needs, which can take the form of special programs and capital projects. These programs are implemented at each of our partner schools; of which we currently have six: St. Matthew’s High School, Xolani High School, Richard Varha High School, Toise High School, Good Shepherd Primary School, and Hendrik Kanise Combined School

The mission of Sifunda Kunye is to have a positive impact on education and the individual lives of learners of all ages through the implementation of technology programs, literacy programs, and capital projects at deserving schools across South Africa.

Our Partner Schools


Chess committee

President: Nkomo Siphesihle
Vice President: Moss Babalwa
Organizer: Roqo Avuyile
Secretary: Pase Hlonela
Committee Member: Adams Achumile

At the moment the club has 21 active members and a standing committee comprising of five members. We meet every Wednesdays during sports time that is from 12pm to 2pm.For now, since we still awaiting equipment we meet in the computer lab but as soon as the equipment arrives we will split our meetings between the lab for theory lessons and the library for practice.

As it stands we are left with the tournaments scheduled for the 28th of May 2016 and the two day tournament on the 29th and 30th of July 2016.Attending these remaining tournaments would be a good confidence booster for the learners in the sense that the players at this level are very competitive and goal oriented, this on its own plus the added exposure is a plus for the learners in the club.

In terms of tournaments we usually take a total number of 12 players chosen from the pool of players we have in the club. The learners play against themselves and the top 12 are the ones that represent the school.

Mine shaft head gear

What is a mine shaft?

A mine shaft is a structure used to carry miners and minerals to/from the work level. A mine shaft has structural members that work in different ways. Mine shafts are made out of steel and iron to make them strong.

Members of the mine shaft

Members of the mine shaft have different characteristics. The members are as follows:

Pulley-is used to pull the elevators that carry miners and minerals to/from the work level. In a mine shaft, two pulleys are required. Crank-it’s a pole used to keep a pulley in place whilst the pulley rotates. Rope-this kind of steel rope must be strong in order for it should be able to withstand heavy loads.

Kinds of bracing used in a mine shaft

In order for a mine shaft to remain rigid, the bracing must be cross bracing. This kind of bracing makes the mine shaft rigid.

How important are mine shaft

Mine shafts are important because they bring minerals to the surface which help build up the economy. They carry important minerals to the surface which help sustain the economy.

Where are mine shafts situated?

Mine shafts occur in places which are high in minerals, for example Gauteng and Kimberly. Sometimes they can be seen in television soapies such as Isidingo and Gold diggers.

How do we make the model?

We first make investigations that contain design brief, specifications and constraints. Then we do initial ideas and freehand sketches. Then we make designs that include First Angle Orthographic Projection and Isometric Drawing. It is only then we go to collect the materials and tools to make the model.

By:  Liselihle Majola

2015/2016 Annual Matric Oral Presentation

Six of our industrious learners taking part in the 2015/2016 annual matric Oral presentation were outstanding in public speaking and were adjudged the best school amongst the 16 school in the circuit. The garland performance of learners like Gcilitshana Sibonise , Luyolo Maweza, Lulama Maweza and Likhona Mkiva, to mention but a few, were just remarkable. They came up with distinction in paper 4 which is constitutes to their final continuous assessment. To the class of St. Matthews Matric 2015, we say Kudos and wish them all the best in their final exam.


St Matthew's Literacy Centre Launch!

Why are Literacy Centers vital in our lifetime?

For young children, the world is filled with wonder. Everywhere they look, there is something new to discover, and each discovery gives rise to new questions. Children use what teachers in Reggio Emilia, Italy, refer to as “one hundred languages” to share their wonder and their questions with us. In addition to the words of their language(s), young children use gestures, manipulation, drawing, sculpting, dance, pretend play, music, and even misbehavior to tell us what they know and what they wonder about. As they get older, spoken and written words become more important. The other “languages” feed into and support emergent literacy. An environment that enhances emergent literacy gives children a sense of trust and assurance even as it excites their wonder and invites them to explore. Whether it is in a home, a school, or a community setting such as a library or play space, an environment that supports emergent literacy is full of possibilities for imagining and opportunities for pretend play. It provides children with not only a wealth of spoken and written words but also many opportunities to engage in reading, writing, singing, and storytelling activities. It is on these convictions that the Sifunda Kunye Literacy Project was founded and now the Literacy Center, which is a space to make all these possibilities a reality!


By: M. Khumalo

Miss St. Matthew's Pageant!! Where the hottest contest are hosted

Beauty pageants are where we get our learners to embrace their talents also encouraging them to continue showing off their beauty in the future. On the 21st of August we held Miss St.Matthew's Pageant/Bash at the Tebera hall where we had 3 categories of which were *School Uniform,Short and Jeans*. Everyone had a blissful night, we all had fun everything went according to plan the presents were beautiful.

All thanks to our lovely teachers for their patience, support and commitment, Miss Blom and Mr Solombela without them the pageant wouldn't be epic. The event was indeed a massive success

By: Gotyana N and Yiwani B

Environmental Awards Competition

On 13 August 2015 Gcilitshana, Mahola, Hangana, Makhuzeni, Gladile, Tyali and Mpana took part in the Environmental Awards Competition representing St. Matthews High School Geography Learners.

The results were announced at 16H15(Regent Hotel) that we managed to place second in the Regional phase 2015 and won R15000 for our school. When I first heard the news, I was very ecstatic, my hands were shaking and my heart was beating faster than usual.

East London offered us a great time and I truly admire the beauty and kindness of the Department of Environmental Affairs who served us.

This for us has been an incredible achievement, as learners of St. Matt, we are grateful for this opportunity. We hope to take first place next year.

By: Sisonke Makhuzeni

Targeting Talent Programme 2015 Graduation

It has been a “long” two years filled with whines of the intensity, of a programme my fellow Matts would describe as for the “smarties”, which I argue with on some degree. But nonetheless everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The programme aims to target talent and polish it. I couldn’t agree more with the prior sentence. Prime example is myself. I have indeed discovered a “new me”, which I never thought existed in me. It pushed me to my breaking point, which is where the true being, traits and potential of a person is evident.

Waking up at 5am and going to bed at 21:30, every contact session. Walking in the cold corridors leading to the showers. That was indeed the hardest because my fellow matts, waking up isn’t nice at all. Eating breakfast in early morn to ready ourselves of the nothing else but over productive day. 80 minute lectures were highly effective because of lecturers who didn’t lecture us, but rather taught us.

“A healthy mind in a healthy body”, that one is to be attributed to the interchanging sport and hip hop sessions.

Building trebuchets and rockets that aims beyond the stars, steam propelled cars that propel us to our success in engineering. Questioning the norms with critical thinking in philosophy. Mastering the language to afford us remarkable power in language (English). Computing programmes of encryptions like the Caesar cypher in computer science, and so on the list the classes we had. 

It essentially exposes and prepares one to a world that awaits us all (12th graders) next year. The horrifying transition we weren’t, some still aren’t ready for, tertiary education level.

 But finally being able to graduate was the ultimate goal. The sweat and tears, backaches and blisters and all the whining has finally come to an end. Bidding farewell to our friends we have shared moments to be cherished was the epitome of sadness. Only one thing consoled us, that some of us will attend the same universities in a very few months. In essence, some goodbyes were temporary. It was a very sombre moment.

All in all, it has been a wonderful journey of life experiences and being prepared for the transition to varsity.  I am forever grateful for being selected to participate in such a prestigious initiative.

By: Sibonise Gcilitshana

The Presidents Awards Silver Hike

It is said that if one wants to find solutions to one’s problems, the answer always lays in nature. It is therefore through the exploring of nature that we come back from these hikes more informed about life and equipped to face its impediments.

These hikes have always provided formidable platforms for life lessons. Life does not necessarily give second chances, one always has to work around what he/she has in order to survive. Grocery packs that have to sustain us for the duration of the hike can be metaphorically described as life giving an individual something and how you use it is entirely up to the individual.

“Adapt or be destroyed” is a commonly used quote that can be ascribed to this kind hike. One that is not only adventurous, but also a lifelong lesson as how life works and how to survive.  The greater the intensity, the greater the life lesson.

Fatigue, was a word that was mutual to us all. But that gleaming moment in destiny, the dilemma of having to decide between moving forward and going back. Trust me, it can be a very dreary moment in the course. With blisters under the feet and knee injuries to some, compounded by lassitude can indeed cloud one’s decision in the dilemma. But nonetheless entertainment along the way provided much needed distraction from the whole negative thought of surrender. Rugby along the way to our next destination (in this case being the next camping site). And music after the evening meal, guitar jams complemented with harmonic voices of a Capella, rapping and rhyming to the sound of the jam and not forgetting, providing respectability to poetry as well.

Waking up from an uneasy slumber and having to pack up our tents to ready ourselves of the day ahead of us (normally about an 18km hike). The smiles, laughter and bliss that yet plagues us from the prior night is what kept us moving. The whole journey, of only 3 days, which often felt like3 weeks to most of us, was nothing but a compilation of life lessons. 

By: Sibonise Gcilitshana


St. Matthews Presidents Awards Participants Celebrate June 16

June 16, every year, is celebrated across Africa as the “Day of the African Child” and it is in observance of the 1976, South African-Soweto uprising. During the event, hundreds of black school children in the Soweto Apartheid regime then gather to use the means of advocacy through protesting the inferior quality of their education and demanding their rights to be taught in their own language. While seeking for equal rights opportunity they were unmercifully and brutally gunned down. In doleful measure of the atrocious act against the black school pupils, the heads of states of the African Union met in Abuja Nigeria, and took into consideration the UN Resolution 1290, adopted in 1990 declaring June 16, each year as the Day of the African Child and should be observed by all signatory to the convention annually specially by all member states.

This year’s celebration is intended to gain Government’s commitment in allocating appropriate funding for children’s related programs and activities for their protection, participation, growth and development taking into consideration the Children’s Law. based on the above background St. Matthews Presidents Awards participants are embarking in an Initiative “Africa Child Make a Change” under the theme “Educating the Mind, Heart and Hand to its maximum potential” where will be having the bellow activities:

Parade from St. Matthews to Sinenjongo Edu Care and Guzana Family

Painting, Cleaning campaign & Award Leader Bursary hand over

Sporting Activities – Soccer & Rugby

The sporting activities are to boost and motivate young people to be active in their society and leave a healthy life style by understanding their critical role which they should play in developing their community. Thanks to Sifunda Kunye for and other stakeholders to make this day a success.

District Director visits St. Matthews High School

On the 13 April 2015 St Matthews High was fortunate to be visited by the District Director ,who was  accompanied by Mr Mudau,  the Acting Ces for special schools ,together with Mr Gidi-Gidi  Deputy Director for ScM.The purpose of visit was a response to an invitation from BEN Paulun who is a representative of Calabour  Foundation. Calabour foundation is a partner to St Matthews High School. Their concern is the slow progress of the Hostel renovation, and they were therefore interested in finding out where the problem lies, as well as how they could be of assistance, in trying to speed up the whole process.

The meeting was very fruitful in the sense that even the Departmental officials got first-hand information about the situation by visiting the hostels, and even supplied Ben with the names of the relevant people to contact regarding the hostel renovation challenges. This also gave them an opportunity to see where they have failed in delivering services to the school.

The visit was concluded with a tour by all present, to the hostels.

By: X. Nangu


LRC Leadership Training Session

Leaders are said to be nurtured  not born. With that said, it is alright for leaders or should I say future leaders who holds so much power unto their hands must be trained, given techniques and ways on how to lead the flock.

When the University of Fort Hare facilitators came for the leadership training session which was held at St. Matthews High School organized by Mr. Lwazi Mbambo and Mr. Siyanda Mqalo. We knew little about what leadership was and how to lead others. Mr. Thando Rulashe from UFH came with so much gravity, in a way He left everyone who attended the session “wowed” with a perspective that said, how much of a true leader am I and we must believe in our leadership skills, have morals, be honest to those who we lead and not forget that their input and voices needs to be heard. Leadership is not measured monetary but by the smiles that the leader leaves behind when they passes through. In these words I believe.

By: Maweza Luyolo

St. Matthew’s Grade10 learners visited ST Andrew’s & DSG high school

On the 6 May 2015, as ST Matthew’s Grade10 learners visited ST Andrew’s & DSG high school. This was part of  our annual learner day exchanged programme for all of us, this was an opportunity of a life time, a day we will never  forget, having to spend a day and share a class with someone from a different racial group. St Andrew’s is a totally different school, with many opportunities that one can benefit from, besides studying

There is quite a lot of learning areas to choose from, e.g Biology, drama, music, design, French and Afrikaans. The learners at ST Andrew’s and DSG were very friendly to us and we felt so welcomed. The atmosphere there really inspire us to study hard in order to reach our own personal goals and dreams. The food was very delicious, infect, everything was just perfect. We would not even hesitate going back there, as we really had great time.


Physical Sciences Laboratory Equipment sponsored by Sifunda Kunye

St. Matthews Science learners would like to thank Sifunda Kunye for sponsoring 14 laboratory coats and 10 Gas cans. We greatly appreciate this gift because we were not carrying out experiments consisted of strong acids and bases as it was not safe without Lab Coats.

By: Magijima Sanelisiwe, Tyhali Ncuthukazi & Mkoyi Liyabona


Journal Launch

Mr & Miss Freshette

Children's Program Auditions

Nonceba Mahola and Siyabona Ngangelizwe will be children's show presenters in Izwi Lethemba FM every Saturday. We thank Iziwi Lethemba for giving our learners such opportunity.

By: Cebo Solombela


The Presidents Awards Visit St. Matthews Bronze Participants

Mr Brett Malila visited us as the president's award group for St. Matthew's high school. We had a great session because we asked questions then Mr. Brett Malila and Mr. Lwazi Mbambo answered our question which gave us a deeper understanding of the whole programme.

We were also asked questions and we got pens for rewards, we got a lot of motivation to go on further to other levels of the President's award and to do community service and gaining skills.


My Achievement as the Best Learner of the Year

When I was announced as the best learner of the year 2014, I was overwhelmed with happiness and joy because I made my family proud. What made me more happier was that most of the learners in my school were complaining about how hard grade 9 was and that few people pass, but I showed them that there is nothing impossible in this world. It is said that, firm determination can move heaven and earth, so if you put your mind and heart to what you are doing, surely you may achieve greatness.

By: Zenande Makehle

The Presidents Awards Fun Run in Grahamstown

We arrived on time at The Presidents Awards Offices where we were welcomed with warm hands. As we arrived, the Presidents Awards team from Grahamstown were heading to the Albany Sports Fields to arrange the event and we were fortunately available and prepared to assist them. As Presidents Awards participants, it was a privilege to be able to assist people during the event.

The Fun-Run was about to start, all participants were getting ready at the starting line, it was a tough 5KM run, but at the same time was a good experience. We were taught that competition isn’t always about winning, but trying your best and participate with determination. Perseverance also assisted us during the competition.

We were accompanied by our caring leader, Mr L Mbambo, who is always encouraging us. We would like to thank Mr Mbambo for his hard work throughout the year.

By: Yamkela Netjies, Asive Simetu, Baphelele Mqikela and Nokwazi Maketi


St. Matthews Heritage Fest 2014

By: Mqikela Baphelele

The fun run was a success, everything was perfect. The winners received medals which really motivated all the participants.

During the heritage celebrations, everyone was happy. This made me proud of my culture, especially when the Chulu traditional group took the stage. They drew a picture to everyone about how funny it used to be in the olden days.

Mrs. Shweni also told us more about traditional clothes and what they symbolise/mean.

There were traditional foods such as Umfino, Umxhaxha and Irhewu. From my observation, most meals are made from mealies, which means that back in the olden days people lived by farming and making their own food. This made me to see how easy life was in olden days compared to now.

After this day I learnt that it’s important to know your roots, identity and to be proud of your culture.

After the celebrations, we played games, obviously to enjoy your childhood you have to play as a result that every learner took part happily.

Heritage Day and Book Launch Programme

On the 25th of September, St. Matthews High together with Sifunda Kunye Literacy Project hosted the Heritage Day and Book Launch Programme.

There were many activities that took place to accompany and entertain the attendees. These activities were carried out by St. Matthews High School learners and a few still growing artists from Mdantsane.

We can mention a few entertainments that were held such as watching our two school drama groups performing live two plays, namely: Imimoya (The Spirits), written by Xolela Kenene, and Cinderella in Africa, by Cebo Solombela; and poems recited by St. Matthews High School learners. Music, hip hop, and traditional dance were also an entertainment and book club members were reviewing the books that they have been reading throughout the year, namely: Jelous in Jozi, Broken Promises, etc.

Four books written by St. Matthews High School learners were launched. The first two story books were the second addition, namely: Umlingo and Ndamkele Ndinje, with two different stories in each book. The other books are: Food for Soul (Anthology) and Poetry for Kids.

The event was a great success after all the hard work, we give thanks to the Sifunda Kunye Team for their support.

By: Somila Tyobela, Sivuyisiwe Olota, Bavuyile Mamayo, Buhle Yiwani, Aphiwe Botha, Sisipho Bashman, Sisanda Makuzeni.


Book Exchange Cements Schools’ Bond

Real-life Stories: Somila Tyobela, from St Matthews School in Keiskammahoek, shows excited St Andrews Preparatory School pupils the Xhosa books she wrote and illustrated with her friends, during a handover ceremony in Grahamstown yesterday. Picture: David MacGregor

Three heart-warming Xhosa books written and illustrated by pupils from a rural Eastern Cape school have been donated to a posh Grahamstown primary school.

Handed over on the manicured lawns of St Andrew’s Preparatory School yesterday by St Matthew’s Mission School students from rural Keiskammahoek, the books -- which now occupy pride and place in the library -- are a symbol of the deep roots the schools share.

Explaining the unique relationship between the schools -- both opened in 1855 by the Anglican Church -- St Andrew’s community engagement head, Tim Barnard, said although they drifted apart under apartheid, they had reconnected and were working together to enrich each other.
“In the last 15 years, St Andrew’s and St Matthew’s have drawn closer together, and whilst there are huge discrepancies between the cultures of a small-town traditional independent boys’ boarding school, and a rural, former Ciskei state school -- which was once one of the great mission schools systematically destroyed by the Bantu Education Act -- we are seeing a genuine partnership growing.”

Written and illustrated by 15 St Matthew’s students during Saturday reading classes, the stories detail the dynamics of everyday rural life and cover topics like love, subsistence farming, thieving children and the unique bonds people share with their animals. Besides the St Andrew’s handover, library copies were also given to Grahamstown no fees school The Good Shepherd -- which shares the same Anglican roots. Barnard said the unique relationship between the schools was not just about handouts.

“Too often the ‘haves’ perpetuated differences by maintaining a donor-beneficiary relationship.

“The plain truth is schools like St Andrew’s need schools like St Matthew’s in their lives far more than the other way round.”

He said the real beneficiaries were pupils and teachers from St Andrew’s and Diocesan School for Girls who worked at St Matthew’s for a week during school holidays to experience the challenges of teaching classes of 75 children.

Every year two top students from Keiskammahoek are given academic scholarships in Grahamstown.

“Being able to offer pupils from the same area scholarships to our schools also enriches us.”

The books were published in partnership with Sifunda Kunye – that has been helping empower rural schools in the Amatholas for years – and St Chad’s College in England, and are aimed at addressing a shortage of Xhosa story books for primary school pupils.

Literacy project manager Mihlalikazi Kumalo said the books took four months to complete and would also be turned into audio books and played on community radio stations. Bavuyile Mamayo, who wrote about a farmer and a child who stole his fruit -- said she was inspired by real-life experiences. “We all enjoy the interaction with St Andrew’s, it is great when they come visit our school -- for many it is the first time they have been to a village.”

Model UN Debate (Partnering with St. Thomas Private School)

St Matthews High School, in conjunction with St. Thomas Private School, has been taking part in the Model United Nations Debate for the past six years. This is part of the extra-curricular activities initiated by Mr. Adabla. The following learners are representing the school and are mandated to represent Russia in the National Assembly: Khanya Sebone, Sibonise Gcilitshana, Sichumiso Sidzatane, Zikhona Gladile, Aphelele Michael Jaceni and Nonceba Mahola. They have been tasked to finding a resolution to the Syrian crisis by deducing an amicable means of resolving the war through peaceful dialogue. Richie, Dave and Isabelle from St Chad’s College in the UK are assisting with the collection of data and preparation towards the competition.

St. Thomas has been constantly visiting St. Matthews School in order to brainstorm the setup of the speeches etc. And St. Chad’s volunteers helping the learners out with everything and taking them throughout the whole process. It’s a very interesting form of debate which is highly educative; it takes the format of the proceedings in the National Assembly and held in the provincial legislature in Bhisho. About 260 schools representing 65 countries are expected to participate in this year’s competition and St. Matthew’s partnering with St. Thomas Private School are keen in making headway in this year’s competition. We wish them all the best in all their endeavours.

By: Sibonise Gcilitshana, Nonceba Mahola & Zikhona Gladile

2014 National Science Week

On the 4th to 8th of August, we participated in the national science week which is held every year at different universities nationally. We were competing against many different schools, with lots of learners. We participated in 3 competitions: poster presentation, bridge building and maths quiz, two of which we managed to win (poster presentation and bridge building) both second place. Unfortunately we did not win the maths quiz, but this year has been an improvement because we were not so lucky the past 4 years. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! We are winners; the atmosphere was very exciting with the house cheering for the winning schools. The NSW was a success.

By: Nyovane Zanele


2014 Presidents Award Youth Dialogue Hosted by St. Matthews High School

The President Award Club organised its maiden programme for the year. It started off with a cultural display and poetic rendition. Melodious songs were performed by St Matthews’s pupils (Sibonise Gcilitshana, Luyolo Maweza, Sisipho Bashman and Buhle Yiwani). The singing was climaxed with a beautiful Xhosa poem presented by Luyolo Maweza to welcome the DSG and St Andrews college pupils.

Learners were separated into 7 groups whereby they had different topics to discuss regarding social and political issues in our country, as well as the world. This exercise brought the students together – building friendships, and getting to know one-another.

It was great to hear everyone’s opinion and gather different views on everyday-life issues which dealt with teenage-life. We thank St Andrews and DSG for the visit in our school, We had so much fun, and we would be so happy if we could do this some other time.

By: Bathandwa Mkiva, Sinazo Mgqobele, Sibonise Gcilitshana, Tim Paton


2014 Environmental Affairs Global Warming and Climate Change competition

Mr. Mzikayise Sohena, a Geography teacher, and 12 learners from St. Matthews High School did it again at the Environmental Affairs competition, which was conducted by Amatole Municipality on “Global Warming and Climate Change.”

St. Matthews High School team managed to secure a second place in the competition which awarded them a Cup and R15,000.00 for the school. All learners who participated were very happy and singing SAINTS! SAINTS! SAINTS! SAINTS!


The First Aid Kit

St Matthews was invited to the Nkonkobe pharmacy in Alice.

Four students were invited, myself, two grade 11 learners and one grade 10 learner, along with a trio of our teachers, Mr. Sohena, Miss Ncokazi and Mr. Mbambo and our four matrons.

On our way there we were not sure why exactly we were invited. When we got there, we got a very warm welcome from Mrs. Mjiwu, the pharmacist. Everything there was very tenderising, their service and everything.

We were then told what we were actually there for; we were surprised when we learned that we were being sponsored by the Nkonkobe pharmacy.

Apparently Mr. Mbambo has had a conversation with Mrs. Mjiwu since we have been having some health problems in the hostel. That has led to the pharmacy deciding to sponsor us with the first aid kit. It is known that St Matthews High School has been facing some problems with the boarders: stomach aches, headaches and so on. The teachers together with us lLearners) and matrons were very pleased and happy with the great deed of the Nkonkobe pharmacy.

This was such a great matter to an extent that one of the the Dikelethu newspaper pupil was there to observe and even took pictures of what was taking place.

All the teachers, matrons and one learner (me) on behalf of the others, gave a word of thanks to the pharmacist, Mrs. Mjiwu, for seeing to it that St Matthews should have a first aid kit to at least decrease or ease the concern of St Matthews hostel residents, teachers and matrons on the little sicknesses that can be home cured. One would go to the clinic or hospital just for headache or a wound now that will no longer carry on with the first aid kit around.

A great thanks to the pharmacy. It is indeed a great privilege to us.

By: Nyovane Zanele

Environmental Affairs

On the 13th of august, Sibonise Gcilitshana, Somila Dyabuza, Olwethu Nciza and Avile Mbenya went on a competition in East London to compete against several schools. The main objective for the competition was to propose renewable energy solutions for the lack of electricity and climate change factors affecting the Eastern Cape Province. The competition was really tough. Many schools presented other alternatives that posed a threat to us, but we were able to come up with one of the best solutions in the whole competition, which enableed us to win 2nd place and bring back home a prize of R15,000. We lost to St Christopher’s, but we did the best we could to uplift the name of our school and market it.