Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Etwatwa High School in Wattville, Benoni, is in mourning.
When the news of Herbert "Fidodo" Kwakwa's death filtered through last week, a dark cloud descended on the school as teachers and students came to grips with the loss of one of the school's long-serving teachers.
His death was sudden and shocked everyone from the staff to the pupils and community members.
Born on September 2 1964 Kwakwa was a strict but very dedicated teacher. He completed his matric at Mbulawa High school in Loding village, near Kameelrivier, Mpumalanga, in 1982 and was presented with an award for being the best biology student after obtaining an "A".
An inspiration to youngsters, Kwakwa was a master debater admired for his bravery and boldness. This earned him the nickname "The Boss".
After matric he never looked back. He enrolled at the East Rand College of Education, where he graduated in 1984 with a Secondary Teacher's Diploma.
In between his studies he found time to enjoy his hobby of dancing. He was an executive member of the Wattville Dance Club as well as a baseball player.
His first job was at his old school in Etwatwa in 1985, where he was to teach for the next 23 years until his death last week.
Kwakwa never rested on his laurels and continued with his studies at the University of Johannesburg, where he attained a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an Honours degree.
His passion for education meant that he was able to inspire and challenge his students to strive for greatness.
At the time of his death he was studying for a master's degree at the same university.
Siyabulela Mgedezi, one of his students, was clearly distraught and traumatised at the news of Kwakwa's death.
"Many students did not like him because he was a strict and no-nonsense man," Mgedezi said. "But now that he is gone most of them will appreciate what he brought into their lives. They were all crying when they heard the news."
Former colleague Veli Mzimela said they would miss his wisdom as well as his immense contribution to the upliftment of education.
Kwakwa will be buried tomorrow at the Van Dyck Cemetery. The service starts at 10am at the Methodist Church in Wattville.