Education

Born to be a star

Thabo Mohlala

Her English teacher recognised her star quality during her very first performance

Hlubi Mboya, best known for her role as Na-ndipha Sithole, since 2000, in SABC 3’s soapie Isidingo, matriculated from Rustenburg Girls’ High School in Cape Town. She is an Aids ambassador and has travelled extensively on the African continent. Mboya was among celebrities who took part in the fifth season of the SABC 2 reality dance competition Strictly Come Dancing. She has also graced the covers of high profile magazines such as True Love and Elle. Currently, she is an actress in Jacob’s Cross, where she plays a nurse who looks after Jacob’s gravely ill mother. She was one of the ambassadors for Readathon 2012.

What do you for a living?
I am an actress and a model.

Who inspired you to pursue your current career?
I was 16 years old, in standard eight, when I was chosen to play Juliet in the play Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. After seeing my performance, my English teacher encouraged me to study drama and acting.

Which year did you start your primary schooling?
I started my primary education at Micklefield Primary School in Rondebosch in Cape Town in 1982. I then went on to Rustenburg Girls’ High School, also in Rondebosch, where I matriculated in 1994. I did my post-matric studies at the University of Cape Town from 1995 to 1998, majoring in Third World politics and labour law.

Who were your favourite teacher(s) and what influence did they have on you?
My geography teacher Miss Ryan, my English teacher Miss Schlebusch and my sports teachers were my favourites because they were passionate in their teaching and created a love for these subjects in me. I admired them because they were always original in their teaching methods.

What were your favourite subjects and why?
I had three favourite subjects. Drama came first and this led me to become an actress. Secondly, I loved sport all the way from watching it to playing it myself. Lastly, I loved languages because I love the art of communication, culture and travel.

From your point of view, what qualities should a good teacher exhibit?
A good educator has to be passionate about teaching, first and foremost. They should think of innovative ways to entice learners’ interest and help them understand and appreciate that education is everlasting. To be a really good teacher, an educator must have a sincere love and passion for the children of the nation.

What are the things a teacher should never do or say?
It is vital that educators are aware of and understand the power of negative words and the negative impact these words can have on learners. As teachers and adults they have the power to make or break a child by using damaging language.

What message do you have for South African teachers?
I would tell our scholars and society that they should honour, respect and value the patience, dedication and commitment that teachers are showing our youth. We know it is not easy. We also know that teachers are not paid well for the work they do. Educators should be aware that becoming a teacher is a calling and a vocation. They are a blessing to our nation and our children.

Originally published in: The Teacher

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