Pupils turn shebeen into library
A GROUP of high school pupils has turned a busy drinking hole in the heart of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, into their study room.
Mpumie Nxazonke, who owns the shebeen, said she was approached by Luhlaza High School pupils who were desperate to get a place to "cross-night".
"I allowed them because I know the value of education and how they struggle to get it," she said.
After a few lessons at the shebeen, concerned parents paid Nxazonke a visit.
"They were worried that something bad was taking place here but after we explained, they relaxed," Nxazonke said.
This meant that thirsty patrons had to cut their boozing time during the week because at 8pm pupils arrive armed with their books and ready to study.
Some patrons complained bitterly about being "red-carded" but as soon as Nxazonke explained, they bought into the idea and agreed to help. This led to the formation of support group Sinako We Can.
Sinako's Ben Bam said they were concerned about the drop-out rate at local schools.
"We have discovered a lot of things from these children. Others go to school on empty stomachs and have huge problems at home. Luckily they are all very determined," Bam said.
Nxazonke allows them to use her computer for school projects. There is a plan to get them their own computers.
"We had a successful fund raising and managed to buy books and food for the children," she said.
Mvakaliso Daka, a Grade 11 pupil at Luhlaza, said they approached Nxazonke because they "want to succeed in life. We are happy she allowed us to use her shebeen to study", he said.