Mafi hlwase Mangwegape

Principal, Tikwana Comprehensive School

The oldest of five children, Mafihlwase
Mangwegape always knew she wanted to
be a teacher. As a teenager growing up in the
Eastern Free State she taught at Sunday school,
was a member of the youth choir, and started a
dance club, with which she was involved until
she started teaching full-time.
Mangwegape spent four years as a head of
department at a primary school, where she says
she learnt how to lead people and help them
develop as educators. She has been principal
of Tikwana Comprehensive School for the
past three years � a move that she says was
challenging because she had to adjust from a
primary to a high school. As a comprehensive,
the school covers a wide range of very different
subjects; Mangwegape herself teaches maths to
two grade 9 classes. She believes it is important
for principals to teach, even if only one or
two classes, so they stay in touch with what's
happening in the classroom.
During the school day, when she's not
teaching, she visits the other classrooms to
make sure everything is going well, and saves
the administration work for after school.
She organises regular teacher-training
workshops to bring teachers up to date with
the latest developments in the department
of education.
Mafi hlwase, who won the 2009 excellence
in secondary school leadership award at the
national teaching awards, hopes one day to be
in a position to share her skills and expertise
with other principals. She says the best part of
her job is making a difference, even if it's just
one person � because that person may go out
and have a positive impact on many others.
�Tarryn Harbour

Lunch spot: Spur, Welkom