She spent her birthday improving her former school

The Qhakazana native from Willowvale, Andiswa Nosiphiwo Siwela, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro because she is making efforts to improve her former primary school, Qakazana S.P.S. Siwela celebrated her birthday in this school.

Andiswa Siwela at her former primary school’s playground

She says that she grew up underprivileged, and she would not like to see another child struggling like her when she was a student, while she has an opportunity to change that situation. She says that when she was growing up there were no such opportunities.

Her efforts to improve this school started last year. She started by renovating the school’s toilets and negotiated with the government who ended up helping after difficulties.

After that, she got a fence for the school as it was not fenced, and livestock used to enter the school premises.

She continued with her efforts and asked for sports kits and a sports field from relevant departments where she says, she was given the run around and did not get assistance. However, she says she will not give up and will extend her requests for assistance to private businesses because what she wants is progress in this school.

On her birthday, she donated playground equipment made possible by a collaboration with people who supported her.

“I will not lose strength even if I find it difficult getting support, because what I want is for the children to get a better education and not see these things on television,” said Siwela.

“I believe that I, Andiswa, am a gift, so I will share this gift with the children as I am also a person who loves children,” she said.

She thanked her peers for supporting her campaign. Like her manager who came all the way from Cape Town, who is also an artist who painted the school, Themba Mkhangeli.

The Principal of Qakazana, Mandisi Mkhwenkwe, says that the children will return to school because of the beautiful playground equipment.

“We are grateful and shocked; we did not expect something like this to happen. When Andiswa said she would come and see us on her birthday, we did not know she was going to do something like this,” said Mkhwenkwe.

Christina Nombewu, who is an executive on the school board, says that the work done in Qakazana will help them a lot and education will improve because there are numbers and names drawn on the wall that are the same things the children are taught.

Nombewu says that even the children will point to their school with pride because of its beauty.