Top : OneSight team, Masibonisane Principal, Mpilonhle staff
Second : A learner being examined by OneSight doctor
Third : Eye examination by the auto refractor machine
Fourth : Community members after they got their prescription glasses
Fifth : Learners from Ezifundeni who got their glasses
If you disagree with the following report feel free to write your own. I also welcome all comments (Negative and Positive).
At the end of a term or any program there has to be some kind of a report on the performances of everyone. I hope someone writes a report card on the guys from Unit 2.
The general feeling is that Unit 2 was more “organized” than Unit 1. I think they were always going to be more organized anyway.
These are the reasons why:
1. Unit 1 had to pack & unpack eye glasses everyday. This is at least 100 large boxes(maybe 20) every morning and afternoon. Unit 2 did not have to do this. Why? They had NO GLASSES!
2. Unit 1 went to Mkhaliphi , Inkosibonga and Ezifundeni the first 3 days. Can anyone from Unit 2 give me just one place that came close in distance & gravel road travel to the 3 places we went to?
3. The age difference was also a factor. Is there anyone from Unit 2 that is in the same age group as +- 50? Just mention 1 from Unit 2. They were younger and fitter than us! e.g. Khethiwe, Swazi, Andile, Thuli, Swazi, Delly, Sakho, Mpi did I mention Swazi! Oh they also had Swazi!
4. We had 4 Units to move and setup everyday, the other unit only had 2 units to move. I do not have to elaborate further.
5. Unit 2 had Nathi Xhakaza. Any unit that has this guy is bound to do well. He is calm under pressure & talks a lot of sense. When in trouble I always say “What would Nathi do?.” Tip: Management should listen to this guy when he speaks. He is MVP Most Valuable Player(Person)
Lets Analyze each persons contribution and performances over the 8 days:
Quinton and Sbusiso : 10/10
These two guys get a perfect score. They were the first ones at work and the last ones to leave. Making sure that all the glasses were packed away and that nothing is lost or left behind. Moving 4 units with only 2 landrovers is hard work enough. They also had to deliver the staff to the different homes at night.
Day 3 : Ezifundeni. The learners in this school will never forget Quinton. They were trying to steal the t-shirts from community members. I just said “Quinton I need you to clear out these learners.” He only talked once and they ran out the gate.
Siyabonga Mavuso and Sfiso Zulu : 10/10
These are just some of the duties Siyabonga and Sfiso did everyday:
1. Electricians : They had to make sure all the rooms that needed power got power.
2. Registrations : Siya would then go to register learners in the different classes. Day 1 Mkhaliphi : Grade 9 & 10, Day 4 Masibonisane : Grade 9
3. Interpreter & Zulu Teacher : They had to help doctors communicating with the community members and learners. They also taught some of the OneSight doctors a few Zulu words to help them when they were not around.
4. IT : They had to print prescriptions for the other team.
5. Deputy Team Leader : When Gugu and Christine were not around Siyabonga had to take charge of the team. Make sure everything was going well.
6. VCT : No I am joking Siya wanted to also do VCT, thankfully someone stopped him.
Siyabonga did shout at people on day 4 maybe the stress just got to him. Plus half the time he was sick. A good combination that worked. They understand each other.
Sne, Mam Lungi and Mam Dudu : 7/10
Community Registrations and Health Education. Great job under terrible conditions. Most of the time they were short staffed as they lost Sthe Miya after Day 1. I had to minus a point as they did not contribute much after registrations for the day were done (Ushering or just packing away things).
Gugu and Christine : 7/10
They had to make sure everything went well. The leadership of the team. They did a wonderful job throughout. The amount of pressure they were under was just unbearable. I did not think they would last 2 days in the field BUT THEY DID. Even when sick with flu they were there with us.
Memorable moments 1 : Christine doing the Zulu dance at Bonga High School. She was keeping the people entertained while waiting for the t-shirts.
Memorable moment 2 : Gugu sprinting towards Mayor, Principal of Masibonisane, Melissa. They were taking a picture and she wanted to also be in it. She broke some sprint record! Watch out Usain Bolt here comes Gugu.
I had to take away 2 points for some mistakes. People wait in the sun for long periods of time. Not having enough volunteers present. But all in all a great job.
Sbahle and Mbhekeni : 7/10
The number of clients they had to see was tripled each day. They did not have enough medication to work with.
PS : These two worked well together. I would not pick a fight with the “Terrible Twosome” anyday.
Anna Ngidi : 8/10
LOC : Local Organising Committee
The reason community members came was because of her. She did a great job of mobilizing the community, informing the tribal authority. Some people did not like the closing ceremony in the end, this was where t-shirts were handed out including oranges. They felt it wasted time. I differ. This helped keep them occupied sometimes when the t-shirts arrived late. She kept the people entertained and calm.
Overall a job well done.
Sthe Miya : 5/10
He is a good friend of mine and I love him to bits. He was there on Day 1 and then went missing for a few days. Reason : He had flu. Well guess what WE ALL GOT FLU. Imagine what could have happened if all the people with flu stayed home eg. Christine, Siyabonga, Quinton, Sbahle etc. When he was sick it meant Sne was short-staffed. Guess I wont be getting Christmas card from Sthe this year.
Themba, Sabelo, Sma, Khanya, Vanessa, Slie 1, Slie 2 and Rebecca : 8/10
They were part of the “Smelling chart”(snelling) and VCT. We did not always get a room for them to work in. This meant standing in the sun for long hours. You cannot do this job sitting down. Everyone went through these guys. I never had them complain even once. Everyday they came to work & did their job. The conditions were tough and the hours were long.
Great job guys!
Guest Appearances: Rajesh and Glenn : 8/10
The system written by Glenn for the iPods during OneSight visit is phenomenal. I am also a programmer but what Glenn did is unbelievable at such short notice. This kind of application takes months and weeks to develop, implement and test. Only a few programmers in the world could have done this. Rajesh made sure that the printer would connect with the server out in the field and the two servers worked well. Although it worked well in the last day!
Bheki, Mngomezulu and Mthembu: 8/10
No matter how fast they drove the Corsa, people kept saying “Where are you, drive faster?”. I hope you will help them pay for all the tickets they got for speeding during these 2 weeks. Their job was particularly difficult as they had to deliver t-shirts and fetch people from the airport. Sometimes going home at 01h30 am and having to wake up at 05h00 am to be at work by 07h00. They were also part of the “shuttle”. This was moving eye glasses and prescription forms between the 2 sites.
I would not change places with these guys anytime.
Anele Mkhwanazi : 6/10
When the team was down on morale he should have picked us up with his humour and jokes but he did not. Why? Not a good performance from this guy. I expected a lot from him in terms of leadership. He has all the right leadership qualities and potential but he lacks confidence to display them. I am still waiting for Anele The Great to show up. I believe in this guy.
Overall Team Score : 8/10
Next time I would like to see Slie and Andrea in the field with us, away from the air-conditioned office and the takeaway lunches. The good thing about these 2 weeks is that everyone knows how tough it is out there now. You are lucky if you get a toilet that flushes and a sink that has running water. There are no comfortable seats in the field or blinds for the sun.
This is why when field workers get back to the office in the afternoon they just want to go straight home!
On Friday 24th July Mpilonhle Academy played against Masibonisane Educators. The result was we lost by 4 goals to 1. The team has now played 3 games, won 1 and lost 2. Not a bad run of scores. We looked good before the game due to our new jerseys. During the game we were awful.
The first half perfomance was solid, we were able to close them down for long periods of time. I had a couple of chances to score which I did not take. Some of the spectators started saying I had been bribed before the game which was not true. The score at half-time was 1-0. They scored just before the half ended.
Second – half the flood gates opened. Within the first ten minutes back from the game the score was 3-0. Our heads dropped and our hearts were no longer in the game. They scored a fourth goal. Thanks to Sbu he managed to score 1 for us. This made the score 4-1. This was a thrashing of note.
Why we lost?
1. We played the game on pay day. This should never happen again. Our next game should be on the 15th.
2. The unplayable pitch condition. Some parts of the ground the grass had overgrown others there was no grass. You cant practise at Wembley stadium than play at HM Pitjie Stadium.
3. We played against educators from the school we work at. We lost against Slethukukhanya and Masibonisane. This team can only beat non-educator teams.
4. The new jersey. A new jersey always gives out bad luck!
Our next game will be sometime in June!!!
This week Mpilonhle Academy is playing their 3rd official match. The opponents will be Masibonisane Educators. They have more than 50 educators at Masibonisane and around 1700 learners. This makes this game probably the biggest game this year. Around 25 male educators.
Why this is the best thing since sliced bread?
1. I used to play for this Masibonisane educators team. I know how much it means to them to beat us. They also know how deadly I can be in front of goals.
2. We might be wearing our brand new Mpilonhle jerseys kit for this game. This will serve as an inspiration to the whole team.
3. The celebration party/braai after the game. This is tradition after every match win/loss you must have a small braai/party amongst the players.
My Motivation to the team members:
I will donate R300 towards the celebration party from my own pocket if we win this game. Can anyone match or better my donation?
We can turn Masibonisane into Our Daily Bread!!!
“He was my hero.” It was a simple message on a placard outside Michael Jackson’s home. It got me thinking: “What is a hero and was Jackson one?”
So, for a start, I went to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary for a definition. It was split into three parts:
1. A name given to men of superhuman strength, courage, or ability favoured by the gods.
2. One who does brave and noble deeds; an illustrious warrior.
3. A man who exhibits extraordinary bravery, firmness, or greatness of soul, in connection with any pursuit, work or enterprise.
Before answering the question of Jackson’s credentials, I think it is worthwhile looking back in history at examples. Achilles was the Greek hero of Homer’s “Iliad”. He killed Hector in the Trojan War and was himself killed by Paris who shot a poisoned arrow into his vulnerable heel. That is according to the Hutchinson Encyclopaedia.
Aeneas, on the other hand, was the Roman hero of the epic poem by Virgil entitled unsurprisingly “The Aeneid”. He wandered around the Mediterranean, fell in love with Dido, Queen of Carthage, before founding the Roman State. Both these men were favoured by the gods and fell within the first definition.
In their own way, they set the example for the second definition which covers both warriors and intrepid explorers. Consider England’s national heroes. Boadicea was a British Queen who resisted the Romans (despite the definition women also qualify); Arthur and his knights of the Round Table repelled pagan Saxon invaders; Henry the Fifth defeated the French at Agincourt in 1415; Horatio Nelson (the greatest of them all) defeated the combined French and Spanish Fleet at Trafalgar in 1805; Winston Churchill led the nation during the Second World War; and explorers included Livingstone, Scott of the Antarctic (even though he didn’t get to the South Pole first) and Shackleton.
The third definition covers a much wider range of people. Great statesmen such as early American presidents like Washington and Lincoln and latterly John Kennedy qualify. Our own Nelson Mandela is right up there with Ghandi. Great names in literature such as Shakespeare and Tolstoy, in art Leonardo da Vinci, in science Einstein, in music Beethoven are all in the hero class. Sport would feature Pele (soccer), Bradman (cricket) and Mohammed Ali (boxing). Good deeds would produce candidates like Florence Nightingale, Mother Theresa and Princess Diana.
Now comes the crunch. If Michael Jackson qualifies, it’s in the third category for greatness of soul in connection with his pursuit. You might want to rule him out for his morals. But Admiral Nelson had an affair with the famous courtesan of the times, Emma Hamilton. Kennedy hooked up with Marilyn Monroe and many others. Still, you might say, Jackson’s relationship with children put him in a different league.
In terms of his music, he has to be up there with the likes of Presley, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. Thriller for me was a knockout album and who can forget the video that accompanied the title track? He undoubtedly brought a huge amount of joy into the lives of millions of fans around the world. In addition, he broke down the barriers for black artists in the United States.
Nevertheless, I cannot bring myself to call him a hero. Celebrity icon yes, hero no. It is very much a personal decision so I would not dispute the authenticity of the message on the placard. He or she is entitled to that opinion, I am entitled to mine.
As for South African heroes, I would put Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Chris Barnard and Doctor Khumalo at the top of my list. Whom would you name?
There are a couple of world events taking place at the moment. In England it is the ICC World Twenty20 and here in South Africa the British Lions are on tour. Yesterday was probably the greatest day in SA sport as it was the opening of the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The unfortunate part was that our team could not open with a win. We hope the team can do much better in their next game. The Proteas in England are doing well though. They are still unbeaten and have qualified for the semi-finals.
I also got a chance to watch a DVD called Alicia in Africa. Its a documentary of the work Alicia Keys is doing in Africa. We are so lucky to have people like her committed to doing great things for the people in this continent. The touching story for was about this young 16 year old boy in Kenya who was born HIV Positive. He only started taking ARV when he was about 13 years old, basically he never stood a chance
. There is still a shortage of these drugs in Africa.
We hope more people like Alicia Keys can get involved in the fight against HIV.
On Friday the Mpilonhle FC played its first official match. It was a very difficult away game. The good thing was that our host were very welcoming. Slethukukhanya is such a well run school its amazing. Our Mayor Mthombeni helped in getting rid of all the pre-match nerves by telling jokes earlier in the day. He also helped lift the mood after the news about Lucas Radebe not being well. I would like to wish him a speedy recovery.
We had been preparing for this game the past 8-9 days. Unfortunately we lost by 1 goal to nil on the day. We played 2 practice matches during the week to fine tune our skills before the game.
Losing is never a good feeling especially if you have a group of winners as a team. The team was made up of Bheki, Sbusiso, Mbhekeni, Sakho, Sphakahle, me, Anele, Nkosinathi, Thokozani and 2 additional players.
A lot of the people have said we did well as this was our first game as a team. I do not think so. We had enough chances in the game to score and win. I just felt before the game our minds had been distracted by other events I cannot mention here.
I have received a number of invitations from people who would like to test their football skills against us. A few schools even the Police force have shown interest. We need all the support we can get even if you don’t like football or you have never played the game Mpilonhle FC needs you. Come to our next practice. Teasing us or saying we are wasting our time is NOT supporting. Playing football or any sport is taxing on the body we need energy drinks or even a pack of oranges(anything) hopefully someone will remember that next time. This is a football team NOT chess players.
I would like to thank the Management and everyone who supported us and made the launch on Friday a success.
Hopefully this was not the last time we see Mpilonhle FC in action. Keep supporting guyz.
We have been very busy this past week. The guys here at work have started a football club. We have already had 2 practise sessions. This is what we have all been waiting for.
We needed the exercises as most of us have been gaining weight alarmingly. Most of the guys are very excited about this as we love the game sooo much.
Our first game is on Friday this week. The team is made up of virtually all the departments here at Mpilonhle.
Victory is guranteed! This team will dominate Mtubatuba for many years to come. We have gotten many invitations to play. But right now we are just concentrating on getting fit and organised as a team.
Everyone is back from the Easter weekend. They are looking relaxed and refreshed. We needed the few days off by the look of things. I was home for the Easters although I never got a chance to attend any church services. I was there in spirit.
The bad news is the national strike by the road freight industry. This has seen around 300 petrol stations run dry this week. Diesel car drivers have become high priority as diesel fuel is still available in most stations. The petrol situation and the poor performance of the Sharks meant a bad weekend for most of us.
This week the schools are re-opening for the second term. This means we all go back to giving service to the learners. My unit is going to Nkosibonga this week. This is good as we have not been there since the floods in January. Chances are its gonna start raining again! The community does not need a rain dance with us around.
Thats all from me this week.
Some of the angry protesters.
What a day it was. The best day I have had this year. It all started on Tuesday afternoon when we got confirmation that she had indeed arrived. The next stop was straight to the nearest hair salon for most of the Mpilonhle staff. Hairstylists in Mtuba must have made a good profit that afternoon.
Wednesday morning everyone looked so beautiful and arrived early for work. At around 6h45 nearly everyone was at the office even the people that normally come later were there . No one dared come late on this special day. It seems as if half of Mtuba knew that she was coming to Mpilonhle excerpt us! Charlize Theron is such a humble lady. We are at Nkodibe High School this week. She arrived at about 11h30 am and joined the IT class I was conducting at the time. Easily the most beautiful computer/assistant I have ever had. Those few minutes will stay with me forever. Those grade 8 learners were so lucky to meet her. They could not stop smiling. I tried to keep calm but I just could not believe it was really happening.
The unfortunate part was that she did not meet with the rest of team members in my unit in their different workstations. Most of the learners at the school also did not see her. They had also prepared some perfomances but did not get a chance. All they saw were cars moving in to the school & cars moving out. The teachers also did not get their chance to talk to her as she was whisked away. I did explain though that she had to see other sites as well.
I was hoping to include some pictures of her with the staff but sadly was instructed not to take even 1 picture of her. She brought the whole staff presents and free hugs.
All in all a job well done by the organisers and Gugu Zulu did a brilliant job throughout. Well done we need more people with so much enthusiasm for their job.
Next week : Community.
This week we were meant to go to Nkosibonga but due to the floods we were unable to. As a result we have now switched to a community. It is the first time we have visited this community of Hluhluwe. The site is at a primary school. The learners were so excited to see a landrover arrive at their school yesterday.
Over the past 12 weeks or so we have been going out to the community of this District. We have brought computer knowledge to places that have never even seen a computer before. Places like Bukimvelo, Khiphinkunzi Dilikhulu, Bethangwe etc. The turnout for the computer classes have been great. My observation though has been that more women have attended computer classes then the men. A lot more. Why is that? Some have said most men in the rural areas are working in big cities that’s why women come for computers. But when you look at unemployment figures that is no longer the case. Is it because computers just do not appeal to men? There must be another reason. Why?
This week we went to a new school called Mavana Primary School. The community has been very excited together with the principal of the school. You can see that with the number of people who pitched. The amazing thing is the satellite dish on the side of the school. There is no electricity but they have a satellite.
Last week was a blessed week indeed. Our unit(Ogalakajani) was working from Nkodibe. The priest was kind enough to let us use the church house as a computer lab. This was great for me as I have not been to church in a very long time.
This week we are working from a new school(Phiwamandla). The learners & educators have been welcoming. They have shown a great interest in all of our services even though we are there for the surrounding community. Hopefully things will go smoothly the whole week.
This week our Unit is at Khiphinkunzi Primary School. We have been welcomed in a wonderful way by the School Management & Community of Khiphinkunzi. The school is surrounded by a beautiful forest. We hope everything will go smoothly at this new location.
Khiphinkunzi Primary School