Saturday, May 31, 2008
"We have hope."
A few weeks into my time at Fezeka, after my students had overcome their initial shyness towards this new white teacher with the funny accent, they began asking me what my Xhosa name was. I told them that I didn’t have one, and that they must choose one for me. They agreed.
On the last day of classes before exams last week, when I walked into my grade 10 English class, they triumphantly announced that they had a name for me.
“Sinethemba,” they told me. “Your Xhosa name is Sinethemba.”
“Beautiful! What does it mean?” I asked.
“We have hope,” they replied.
My heart skipped a beat and I asked them why they chose this name.
“Because we have hope with you Miss. You give us hope.”
If I could have squished them all into a group and wrapped my arms around they ever-so-tightly at that moment I would have. Instead, I blinked back tears and thanked them. Told them that I too had hope with them and excused myself to step outside.
And then my heart exploded.