Melody Dube’s mother was so overwhelmed by her daughter’s matric accomplishments at St Mary’s School that she could not make heads or tails of her feelings.
“I don’t know whether I am happy, whether I should cry, laugh or jump. I am just chakalaka – something in-between,” said Sifiso Dube in an interview with the North Eastern Tribune.
She was speaking after the graduation ceremony of her daughter from the Student Sponsorship Programme that supported Melody’s secondary school education at one of the topmost private schools in Johannesburg.
Melody was the highest achiever among a group of 26 students sponsored by the programme countrywide, coming out with eight distinctions to her name from a humble background of a single parent who could barely afford the fees at St Mary’s.
Dube likened her feelings of being overwhelmed by Melody’s matric exploits to an all-time South African favourite bean recipe mixed with carrots, onions and with a dash of sweet-and-sour chilli peppers, which is often not so hot, bitter, sour or sweet but is something in between all those flavours.
“That’s how I feel right now. I don’t know whether it’s an occasion to cry, laugh or what but all I know is that I am here to celebrate her accomplishments. I am proud of her and above all, I thank the Almighty for blessing me and my daughter.”
Dube wished her daughter a bright future in all her endeavours as she launches her career with studies in a Bachelor of Business degree (BBus) in actuarial sciences at the University of Cape Town. She also had wise words for those coming in the footsteps of her daughter.
“They must listen, learn and respect both their teachers and parents – by parents I mean everybody that is old enough to be their parents. They must also respect their peers and engage with them meaningfully and everything else will then fall into place as the Almighty blesses them,” she said.
Meanwhile, speaking on her association with the programme, Melody said she was first introduced to the programme by her Grade 6 teacher at Orange Grove Primary School, Nina Kekana, who had the programme forms and had been asked to distribute them to her top-performing pupils.
In her valedictorian address, Melody urged the incoming Grade 8 class in the programme to take a leaf from the positives of her 2017 class’ book of success and use them to enhance their own successes.
“Plan and conceptualise the things you want to do and achieve and go out there with determination and vigour to accomplish your goals regardless of the odds stacked up against you,” Melody said.