I wouldn’t blame you for not knowing about the KwaThintwa School for the Deaf; it’s not a very big school and it’s in an area in the west of eThekwini that isn’t popular or upmarket. But this Inchanga-based Catholic school deserves to be known. Amid the doom and gloom of the Matric results [and plenty of doom and gloom there is], KwaThintwa shines bright.
Established in 1981 by Achbishop Denis Hurley [himself a man with a fascinating history], KwaThintwa continues to produce excellent Matric results year after year — and this despite, as the name would suggest, it being a special needs school catering for the deaf. Every year since 2011, the school has achieved a 100% Matric pass rate. Yes, they might only have had 10 Matrics in 2011, seven in 2012 and five in each of the last three years, but when you consider what those kids are up against it is a remarkable feat. Oh, and every single Matric got at least one distinction.
One of those youngsters is S’thembiso Thabethe. He’s the school’s headboy. I’ve never met him, but I want to; he seems like a remarkable young man.
Thabethe is from Bhobhonono, a rural village in Cato Ridge. In 2002, when he was 9-years-old, he was enrolled at KwaThintwa after losing his hearing. Despite the challenges he faced outside of his lack of hearing [he was an orphaned at a young age], teachers felt he had “outstanding intelligence” and dedication inside and outside the classroom. But his challenges didn’t end there — he fell sick soon after and spent a long period in hospital, before re-enrolling at the school four years later.
He was quickly back at it, though! He’d lost some learning time because of his illness, but made up for it by reading, researching watching the news [this dude rocks!] and “generally always searching for more”. Now, he wants to become a teacher.
Oh, I forgot one thing: he didn’t just pass…HE SMASHED IT! Thabethe got 3 As.
To Thabethe and his classmates at KwaThintwa School for the Deaf, all I can say is:
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