The weekend’s gale force winds did nothing to disrupt the Manenberg Community Police Forum (CPF’s) matric celebration on Saturday January 18 at which the top three matriculants from each of the seven high schools in the police precinct were treated like royalty.
There was also a horse-and-cart procession through the area in celebration of the achievers.
Top achievers from Darul Islam Islamic High, Manenberg High, Silverstream High, Phoenix High, Heideveld High, Cathkin High and The Leadership College (TLC) were honoured at a ceremony held at Phoenix High School’s hall. This is the fourth year the Manenberg CPF held this celebration.
Kader Jacobs, the chairperson of the Manenberg CPF said the event formed part of their social crime prevention strategy, the aim being to offer young people alternatives and to show them that they do not have to make negative choices.
“It is very important to focus on education. This will help to decrease crime levels. There is a lot of concentration from the CPF to encourage pupils to strive to do well academically,” Mr Jacobs said.
Congratulating the top achievers, Brigadier Sonja Harri, representing the provincial police commissioner’s office, said: “You have excelled under difficult circumstances, and I am confident that you will make us proud. It’s not easy to duck bullets all the time. As the police, we do what we can. Our generation also had our challenges, especially with the security police during the student uprising.
“I wish the current Grade 12 pupils well. Put in whatever you can. Don’t bunk classes. Your matric year is only the beginning of your future. Remember, whatever you do, do it with passion — only then will you achieve.”
Majidie Abrahams, representing the ANC Athlone Constituency Office, said teachers and parents had done a tremendous job and urged everybody to continue doing their bit to build the country.
“Everybody in this country has a responsibility for the success of the country. We have a lot of challenges and you bear the brunt of those challenges. We have a duty to fix it, however. You have to make sure that the environment you create will be conducive for those who will follow you,” he told the matriculants.
A matriculant from each of the schools was also given a chance to share some words of wisdom with the current Grade 12 pupils.
Among those who spoke, was Ayesha Orie from Darul Islam Islamic High School. Ayesha dropped out in her matric year of 2018, and came back last year to complete her schooling. She ended up being the top matriculant at her school for 2019.
“Initially, my matric year hit me badly and I dropped out. Even when I went back last year, it was a challenge. I had to make a lot of sacrifices, but I knew it was only for my benefit. I have also come to learn that apart from your compulsory prayers, praying at any other time is also very important,” she said.