The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Bambisanani Success Stories

Bambisanani Partnership Awards in memory of Sibonelo Magwaza are presented annually at Mnyakanya High School and St Mary’s, Menston; the two founding schools of the Bambisanani Partnership. Sibonelo was an outstanding young leader from Mnyakanya School who had completed the Bambisanani Leadership with St Mary’s students in 2010, sadly he died a few months later. The award has a very special meaning and importance in both schools.

This year’s winner from St Mary’s is Eleanor who travelled to South Africa as a member of the St Mary’s volunteer team last year. Catherine Chattoe, Bambisanani Coordinator at St Mary’s presented the prestigious award at the school’s annual Leavers Mass and said:

‘Eleanor is indeed an outstanding leader who has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and commitment to the partnership. She made a remarkable impact in South Africa making many new friends that she still stays in contact with. Eleanor’s kindness and compassion always shines through; she does all that she does with a beautiful smile. She is an exceptional young person.’

Whilst in South Africa last year, Eleanor made a strong friendship with the winner of the Sibonelo Magwaza Award at Mnyakanya School. Bayandu Gcabu.  On hearing that Eleanor was to receive the award at St Mary’s, Bayandu forwarded a message which Mrs Chattoe read out at the presentation event:

‘I wish to pass on my congratulations to my amazing friend. We became such good friends when they came to work at my school. I am happy that our friendship continues even when we are 6000 miles apart. They are my first friend from overseas. She helped me with many things and did not hesitate to support me when I was trying to teach tennis to my local primary school children.

We shared everything together even eating our lunch. I learnt a lot from their kindness and discipline. We shared lots of information about our countries and I loved teaching them my Zulu language. Keep on doing good things my special friend. I am also working very hard at school. Please wait for me, I promise to come and visit you some day to see your country. This student has empowered the students at Mnyakanya High School to believe in themselves and to have and follow a dream.’

Members of the Bambisanani team described Eleanor and Bayandu as two exceptional young leaders who are an inspiration to others.

… and Eleanor and Bayandu are not the only young women with a Bambisanani success story!

Thobile Prudence Nsibande recently graduated from the University of South Africa (UNISA) with a Bachelor of Education Degree qualifying her as a teacher. Thobile was formerly a student at Mnyakanya High School where she was inspired to become a teacher and where she was successful in gaining the necessary grades to gain a place at university. The Bambisanani Partnership was able to assist Thobile with a bursary to cover some of her course fees. At university Thobile studied IsiZulu (home language), Natural Science, Life Science and Business Studies.  Thobile said:

‘I am so delighted that I have graduated successfully. These special moments at the degree ceremony today were made possible thanks to the belief that the Bambisanani Partnership had in my potential. Thank you to the Bambisanani Partnership Trustees for their invaluable support. I am excited to embark on the next chapter of my life, carrying with me the knowledge and experiences gained through your sponsorship. I have now started job hunting believing that God will open doors for me.’

Bambisanani Partnership founder David Geldart added:

‘Thobile is an outstanding young lady who deserves every success. She has faced many challenges in her life but never ever gave up on her dream to be a teacher despite considerable barriers. Her determination, persistence and resilience are an example to all students. Despite having outstanding ability, Thobile was not blessed with opportunities that many students in the world might take for granted. She has had to work extremely hard for everything that she has achieved. She is an exceptional role model; and has already proved to be an inspiration to students from both the UK and South Africa involved in Bambisanani programmes. We are all very proud of Thobile and wish her well in her teaching career.’