Lebone II – College of the Royal Bafokeng was established by the Bafokeng nation, the richest tribe in Africa. Deeds to these platinum-rich lands were held by Lutheran ministers and after the end of apartheid, the Bafoken tribe decided to invest in education. In the spirit of Mandela’s quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” the Bafokeng royal family understood the importance of quality education and the school was created to transform, elevate and invest in the community. The school boasted a sprawling campus equipped with state of the art facilities and innovative mission and vision. Again, the possibility of this school given our recent visit to Esikhisini and the challenges we heard first-hand from educators at the Changemaking Symposium filled the group with a sense of displacement.
During the tour we all wondered what students benefitted from this school. We learned that 75% of the students were black. We asked about the leadership of the school and learned that the Headmaster was Colored. We also learned that the board was “quite diverse”. The school still faced some of the same translanguaging challenges faced in other parts of South Africa. The community has students who come from Botswana, Zimbabwe and other neighboring countries. As we toured the school and interacted with faculty and staff, we were able to catch a glimpse of the school’s culture in action. The school counselor demonstrated how takes “misbehaving” learners to a viewpoint and points to the mines and asks them “what are you doing up here to make sure their effort down there (mines) is worthwhile?”