Spring Day


Our school had a culture of celebrating Spring Day and in 1995 we all needed to come in at senior primary kids in our own floral regalia. Now my biggest problem was the fact that I had nothing to wear. Whilst my parents did the best they could to get us Christmas clothes, it had been a long while for us without Christmas clothes. In the past I always used my Christmas clothes for all the events to come in the next year. This strategy worked very well.  But around this time in my life I had no new clothing item or good condition clothing item that I could wear to school. The last new item I had own was a very nice floral dress my mom made for me in 1990. This floral dress had a nice pinafore type of design that you just put on top and tie it on the sides. I had worn this dress of mine several times to school spring days and many other events, but this time around I just felt I cannot be repeating the dress for the fourth or fifth time.

However in 1995, I just felt no more, there is nothing I can wear and so I am not going to show up to school. At this stage of my life I didn’t think my teacher would take offense on my action. I mean I could show up in my uniform but the dress was not the only problem I had, each child needed to come with some cash to contribute to our snack and stuff like that. I don’t remember how much it was that I was supposed to bring along, but anyway I decided I won’t show up.

I told my mom in a strategic way and made sure she understands and I made no big deal out of it and somehow she believed it. Well it turned out that, not going to school on Spring Day was the biggest mistake of my life.

The next day, my teacher had a list of absent kids during the day of Spring Day. He would say to me in front of all other kids, that he feels bad to whip me because I am a star, but he must do so, so that I can learn a lesson. He basically chartered the course in scripture, which states, to whom much is given, much is required. I was already an example to so many kids, letting me get away with not coming to school on a Spring Day , will influence other kids to think that they too can do a no show on important school event days, regardless of the reasons, he said,  I must have showed up. The punishment waited for all those that did not come and so he asked that I take out both my hands and he gave me five lashes with a cane.

That day, my heart ached, that was the 2nd time I felt poor and that made me sad.

There were more than 300 school children in standard 5, so at the end of the year, when I was announced the overall number 1, I sobbed uncontrollably. It was for the first time crying over achieving something which I felt took so much and required more from me. I had after all put so much effort to passing, for the first time in my entire life. I had also missed spring day and got whipped for it.


There I was getting distinctions walking out the main room, down the step, with my teacher accompanying me but I felt sad, because I said to myself I am excellent yet poor. As I walked I recited, All things bright and beautiful, I cried until I got home.


The very same year, my sister from umamkhulu gave me a chifoon skirt with a matching top; my mamomncane bought me pierre cardin shoes. I don’t know to this day why, but I wore my shoes until they couldn’t breathe no more and they gave me permanent cones to which I suffer still date. I wore my chiffon suite right through to my first year at university in 2001. I have no idea who told them to do this for me, but from that year onwards, I appreciated every little thing I got and I knew that how great is God almighty who has made all things well!!



And so here’s to 1995,


All things bright and beautiful

All creatures great and small

All things wise and wonderful

The Lord God made them all


Each little flower that opens

Each little bird that sings

He made their glowing colours

He made their tiny wings


The rich man in his castle

The poor man at his gate

God made them high and lowly

And ordered their estate


The purple headed mountain

The river running by

The sunset and the morning

That brightens up the sky


The cold wind in the winter

The pleasant summer sun

He ripe fruits in the garden

He made them every one


The tall trees in the greenwood

The meadows where we play

The rushes by the water

We gather every day


He gave us eyes to see the

And lips that we might tell

How great is God Almighty

Who has made all things well!!!!

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