Business trip to Lidgetton

Ablution block
On the outside, looking in
One happy lady
Doing a gumboot dance
At the dinner table
Playing netball
Happy kid
Three posers
Smiling kid
Two kids
Unguarded close up
Cutting the cabbage
Kids bedroom
Bore hole
Hanging to dry
One long clothesline
John Tungay at Khazimula
Mvuyo and grandchild
Blue window
Broken window
A load of shit!
Jabula wall painting
Welcome to our happy school
Playing soccer
John Tungay
Just before dinner
Ain't I cool?
At the dinner table
The oldest kid on the block
Passing the ball
Blurry vision
Kids posing
The tools of the trade
A pretty flower
Rusty bucket
Four fingers
Look at me I'm Sandra Dee. Oh no, wait...
I scratch my back...
During a gumboot dance
Act one, scene one
Gumboot dance
Khazimula, the chair
Getting ready for some action
Two kids
Just hangin' around
But who is Murray Campbell?
Self portrait
Mvuyo, Jesus, Maria, John
Khazimula bedroom panorama
Khazimula panorama
Zulu king
Zulu eyes
Zulu dress
Zulu dress
Zulu ecstasy
Howick falls
Betsy with the Drakensberg as a backdrop
Let's groove tonight
Pulling out a stranded boat
Drakensberg in the distance
Drakensberg panorama

This Easter weekend, we were on something of a business trip to the small town of Howick, known for its falls, about an hour’s drive north of Durban, and the village where Veto, two years ago, helped build a orphanage and a school. We were now here to get an understanding of the current situation, progress, and possible future requirements, as there might be a few bucks available to spend on the project again in the near future.

Our ‘tourguide’ is the likeable and extremely energetic John Tungay who, at 70, has the enthusiasm of someone decades his junior. Founder of the Drakensberg boys’ choir school, former secretary to Margaret Thatcher, former bigwig at the SABC (the South African equivalent of the BBC), inventor of the word amperbroekie and, now, the driving force behind Khazimula.

At the end of Saturday, while copying my digital images onto a DVD, I noticed a video on one of the shelves with a sticker, The weakest link, with a date in 2004. I commented on it. In that particular show, one of the questions was “Who was the founder of the Drakensberg boys’ choir school?”. “They had the answer in one go.” John said.

Second try

In 2000, my fraternity built a house in Beius, Romania, with Habitat for Humanity. In 2005, we thought we could do one better and organize a similar trip on our own. Through an acquaintance, we bumped into John’s Khazimula project in the village of Lidgetton, near Howick. Although the boys slept at Khazimula (“to shine”), most of the work was done on the nearby school Jabula (“happy”).

Related:  Wine and cars

Worth it?

At Khazimula, only since January, 21 kids now live who seem to be enjoying their stay. They go to school at Jabula, a short drive down the road. Here, unfortunately, the metalwork and woodwork classrooms, which were the ones worked on by Veto two years ago, still have not been used, mostly due to unreasonable local authorities exercising their power and, undoubtedly, venting their frustration at not having control.

Activities on the side

Besides visiting Khazimula, during a weekend when the weather resembled Dutch crappy, gloomy, cold and rainy, weather, we also were dragged to several social events: A Zulu boy’s 21st birthday, the opening of an art gallery exhibition and a boat trip on Midmar lake.