“We’re communicating to the world that the time is now. Women are here. Black girls are here.”
Clearly, education cannot be left to the proverbial marketplace; it is a fundamental right which the state should provide through the fiscus. The trouble, of course, is when public education systems fail to deliver quality education and parents – rich and poor – begin voting with their feet to seek private options.
They line up on purple yoga mats, their giggles filling the studio as they start a sun salutation. Prompted by music playing in the background, the girls eagerly stretch up high before reaching down to tickle their toes. After completing a series of yoga poses they return the mats to a big box on the side of the room.
It’s breakfast time and they take their seats at rows of little tables. With the aroma of mealie meal wafting through the air they say grace before they happily dig in. The children are all learners at Molo Mhlaba – a private school for girls in the heart of Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s largest township.
Headmaster and co-founder Dr Rethabile Sonibare (34) says the school’s name, which means “Hello World”, is a statement of empowerment. “We’re communicating to the world that the time is now. Women are here. Black girls are here.”