Kuyasa 2023 class up for the challenge

School celebrates 100% matric pass rate, extends open door to others to share winning formula

PRESTIGIOUS CELEBRATION: VIP guests at Kuyasa’s 30 years celebration included, PAHS headmaster, Nigel Adams, guest speaker, Professor Kenneth Ngcoza accompanied by Dr Chris Motawi, Ndlambe mayor, Khululwa Ncamiso, headmaster, Xolani MAyana, Ndlambe municipal manager, Advocate Rolly Dumezweni and religious leader, reverend Michael Dama. Picture: FAITH QINGA

Respected academic and educator Professor Kenneth Ngcoza cleared his diary to offer inspiration as guest speaker at  Kuyasa Combined School’s 30th anniversary celebrations recently. Meanwhile, the top-achieving school’s head has declared their door open to colleagues at neighbouring schools as they share their formula for matric success. 

Teachers walked the red carpet in their graduation regalia at a celebration of Kuyasa’s 100% matric pass rate on Thursday, January 26. VIP guests included neighbouring school principals, Ndlambe Municipality’s mayor and municipal manager, representatives of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), District education officials and Professor Kenneth Ngcoza from Rhodes University, who was the guest speaker.

Opening the ceremony in prayer, Reverend Michael Dama  said he had been invited to the school in October last year to pray for the matrics ahead of their final examinations.

“I shared with them the verse, ‘You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you’,” he said. “And indeed, the learners made history in achieving a 100% pass rate.”

Headmaster Xolani Mayana saluted his predecessors for building the school’s strong foundations and lauded the learners for their excellent results. “The purpose of today is to honour the matric class of 2022. A class that decided that when completing 30 years of existence as a school, a mark has to be shown: they signed out with a 100% pass rate,” he said. 

Mayana highlighted the value of official support.

“We are here because we have a municipality that believes education should be at the apex of every societal priority,” Mayana said. “Because of that, they supported the school in so many ways. But most of all, they supported us by funding all our programmes and encouraging us.” 

 SGB chairperson,  Mbuyiseli Timana thanked the staff for their commitment and congratulated the learners for their hard work. He challenged the class of 2023 to get even better results this year. “From you, I’m expecting 105%,” he quipped.

Congratulating the 2022 matrics, SADTU representative, Mandisa Beja said: “You have put your school on the map and we are very proud of you,”. She thanked the teachers for their commitment and then urged the learners to not allow themselves to be led astray by other temptations while completing their tertiary studies. 

“These are outstanding results and we are very happy to be celebrating with you today. Wherever you go, may you not forget the lessons you were taught by your loving teachers,” said Beja. 

“Mr Mayana, as SADTU, we are proud of you. Your leadership and the commitment of your staff makes us proud,” she said. 

Mayor Khululwa Ncumiso also took to the stage to offer the municipality’s support. “We are a municipality that understands that education is a societal matter and at Ndlambe Municipality, education is our passion,” said Beja. 

The mayor applauded the learners for their commitment to education and helping change the notion that excellent results can only be achieved by learners in former model C or private schools. 

“Now we are beginning to realise that these kids can make us proud without having to send them to fee-paying schools. This school is situated in a community where maybe 60% of the parents are not working and [fortunately] the government of this era  created non-fee schools to accommodate our learners…Why would I take my kid to [a fee-paying school] and pay an enormous amount [of money] per month when there is a school that can produce these excellent results in the location,” said Ncumiso. 

The mayor announced that the municipality had awarded the school a R28 000 bursary to assist the top performing learners who come from disadvantaged backgrounds with registration fees and  technological devices for university.


All the school’s Grade 12 teachers were presented with subject excellence awards, to much cheering from the learners. 

Nomazwi Balura scooped two certificates for coaching her charges to a 100% pass rate in IsiXhosa HL with four distinctions and Life Orientation with two distinctions. Business Studies and Economics teacher, Thobela Mpofu received two certificates: her matric classes achieved five distinctions in Business Studies and one in Economics. Accounting teacher, Zama Magqogqo scooped three distinctions and English FAL teacher, Ntombekhaya Swaartbooi also got a distinction. Maths Literacy teacher, Nombulelo Ngqokoqwana walked away with two distinctions. Luvo Nqgola, the new Tourism teacher who joined the school in 2022 made his mark with a 100% pass rate in Tourism and four distinctions.


Guest speaker, educationist Professor Kenneth Mlungisi Ngcoza from Rhodes University, said he’d had other engagements on his diary, but had canceled them all to honour the Kuyasa  invitation.

“You are a good testimony of learners whose dark yesterdays have, through education, turned into bright tomorrows,” said Ngcoza. 

Congratulating the staff and learners for their unconditional commitment to quality education, he said, “Your hard work, selfless, tireless efforts and resilience cannot go unnoticed.” 

Ngcoza shared his own background to emphasise his theme of  hope, high values, hard work, resilience and high expectations. 

“When I started primary school, our teacher and rugby coach gave us the freedom to choose positions we liked. I specifically chose position 7. 

“Sadly, he never asked why I chose such a position,” Ngcoza said. “If he had asked, I would have told him that my mother used to work at number 7 Ayliff Street and my duty was to run every morning to her work place to get the bread she was supposed to eat. 

“That is, she sacrificed her bread so that we could eat something before we went to school and we would eat again when she came back from her work with the leftovers. Those leftovers have now produced a Professor,” Ngcoza said. 

“Your socio-cultural background does not determine one’s destination and future. Instead, your future is in your hands,” he said.

“In this journey, you need to have faith in yourselves as you have come a long way already. Now you are admittedly facing a turning point in your lives, aspiring to get a university education. You are now heading for a new chapter in your lives,” he said. 

“First and foremost, you need to know your priorities, followed by values, hard work, resilience, and positive…  attitudes. You need to set high expectations and strategise how to achieve them. Be mindful… of your strengths and weaknesses and support one another all the time. You all have the potential but you need to unlock it,” he said. 

Ngcoza reminded the departing matrics that life is not a bed of roses.

“When you encounter challenges in life please remember that our glory consists not in not falling down, but in rising whenever we fall,” said Ngcoza.

“To the 2023 Matric class, a high bar has been set for you and we need to ensure that Kuyasa remains a school of excellence.  So, please do not procrastinate. Never do tomorrow what you can do today! It is all about working hard and cutting corners does not help. Most importantly, it is all about supporting one another,” he concluded. 

Grade 12 learner, Iviwe Hale, took to the podium to commit the class of 2023 to rise to the challenge. “We, vision 2023, we are standing tall saying that we will fulfil our goal of achieving a quality pass rate again,” pledged Hale to applause and ululating from parents and teachers alike. “I believe that we will fight a good fight, we will finish the race and we are going to keep the faith.” 

Matrics from the class of 2022 who achieved distinctions received awards.

The school’s senior and junior choirs performed in between celebrations, and there was a moving performance by a Grade 11 poet and imbongi, Ahlumile Lenya. 

Mayana said his doors were open to neighbouring principals to share the school’s best practices. 

“I am sending an open invitation… we are opening up our doors: bring your full SMT complement and I will bring my full SMT complement. You will ask us how we do it and we will explain to you,” Mayana said.

“You will modify and adjust it to suit your school conditions and implement it. At the end of term one or term two, you can come back for us to do an evaluation on what has worked and what has not worked,” said Mayana. He said this approach had worked for Ikamvalesizwe Combined School, which improved by nearly 10% to an 84,61% pass rate last year.