Thursday 5th October 2017 marked the opening of the Bulungula College in the Xhora Mouth Administrative District, Eastern Cape. Freshly washed by a passing cold front, the cold and drizzly conditions did not deter the joy and enthusiasm of the local community who were there to celebrate the opening of a sought after high school facility in their region.
An occasion such as this is attended by the entire community, a celebration for young and old alike and most especially for the youth whose futures will be opened to a wider possibility with the Bulungula College now affording them the opportunity to complete Grades 9 through to 12.
The driving force behind the success of this project are the dynamic duo of Dave Martin and Rejane Woodroffe who started the Bulungula Incubator (BI) program ten years ago. This program caters for the pre-school ages with four schools established in the Xhora Mouth region. As these children have progressed through the system, it became apparent that there was no high school facility in the area for the children to complete their secondary education through to Grade 12 and hence the need for the Bulungula College.
Having provided a pre-school to Folokwe village in 2016, the Wild Ride Education Company were excited to partner with the successful BI management team for this major undertaking. Construction began in early July with three two-block classrooms completed by early September, thanks to the hard-working team at Elangeni Buildings. The community could not believe it happened so fast !
True to tradition, the fatted sheep were slaughtered and the women were hard at work preparing a fitting feast whilst the marquee was erected on the muddy mid-field to cater for the dignitaries. Proceedings then gathered momentum as the opening speeches and welcome were made by the Chief of the Xhora Mouth Administrative Area and the Chairperson from the BI Board, followed by an address from the Wild Ride Education Company and the Imana Wild Ride.
There were speeches from the Ward Councillor, Mayoral and Education Circuit representatives followed by entertainment from the Xhora Mouth JSS School Choir and the enthusiastic Nqileni Drummers, then further addresses from Imana Foods, Capitec Bank, the local headman and members of the BI Board. The Young Women Rise Organisation were next up with some dancing then two Grade 8 scholars from Xhora Mouth School said some words about what it means to them to be able to further their studies. Principals from three of the local Junior Primary Schools addressed the crowd and the final, most amusing bit of entertainment from a Cape Town friend of the BI anonymously known as ‘Kwaito Whito’ closed off the formal proceedings and certainly left everyone in high spirits and filled with excitement for the future of the Bulungula College.