A true tumultuous welcome for Miss Universe as she returned to her primary school.
James Kyambadde: “Zozi has brought great honour to the school, but
everyone from her year has gone on to do very well. We groomed those
pioneers and are proud of them; all of Zozi’s grade one class has made
it to tertiary education and we have produced doctors, engineers, town
planners and auditors.”
A sustained roar erupted from the crowds lining the streets as Zozibini Tunzi, returned the school she credits with her success, Canaan Academy in Dutywa, Eastern
And there to greet and surprise her were young men and women who had
been her classmates in grades one and two, and well as headmistress
Margaret Kyambadde, who was Zozi’s English teacher in the first years
of her school life.
Barely able to contain her excitement, Kyambadde said she always knew
that “this young woman had something special,” while her husband James,
a director at the private school, said: “We have been extremely
excited, waiting for this day to arrive. This young lady has done us
proud. We asked the Department of Education to grant permission for
children from neighbouring schools to come and see Zozi. She is such a
role model for the entire community and we want all the youngsters to
meet her and be inspired by her.”
Canaan Academy Dutywa was started in 2004 and Zozi was one of the
earliest learners to enrol.
Added James Kyambadde: “Zozi has brought great honour to the school,
but everyone from her year has gone on to do very well. We groomed those
pioneers and are proud of them; all of Zozi’s grade one class have
made it to tertiary education and we have produced doctors, engineers,
town planners and auditors.”
Zozi’s biggest surprise was when her old classmates and friends she had
not seen for years gave her a standing ovation, moving her to tears.
Included in the group of young professionals in attendance were Dr
Ayabonga Duba, attached to the Nelson Mandela hospital in Mthatha; Thina
Dlepu, a chartered account at KPMG in Pretoria and Yongama Mdleleni,
doing his masters in agriculture at the Free State University.
Weeks of preparation included a song composed especially for her and
sung by the school choir and the recital of a poem written for her.