Trees Mark Heroes Route
Each tree was planted in a private garden where it is cared for by individuals, schools and churches, who in time will benefit from the shade. A plaque will eventually be placed at each tree as a permanent tribute to the person it honours.
Two trees at Mandlenkosi Secondary School honour Reverend Eddie Vass and Zolile Vass. Eddie, chairman of the school's first Parent Teachers' Association, played a vital role focussing the ideals of the school, parents and pupils, resulting in a high level of achievement. Zolile, first chairman of the Board of Governors, had a permanent influence on staff and parents, and his guidance ensured that pupils became top achievers.
The three trees at H M Dlikidla Primary School honour Mrs Ruby Dondolo, Themba Richard Hanabe and three young soccer stars. Mrs Dondolo, now retired, played a major role in the upliftment of the Xhosa language. When she took up her post as teacher she found the standard of spoken and written Xhosa was extremely poor. Ruby tirelessly worked to help the community develop a pride in their language and heritage. Themba Richard Hanabe, the school's longest serving principal, was a highly respected, caring and dedicated man who ceaselessly strove to ensure the highest standards of education and achievement. Results achieved during Themba's term of office bear testimony to his success. The sports achievers were Phozisile Mini and Songezo Bangazi, top class soccer players selected to represent Western Cape in Texas in the United States last year, and Thuliswa Hugo, the first Beaufort West girl to be awarded regional colours for soccer.
The Apostolic Faith Mission Church and New Apostolic Church honoured their congregations and the achievements of the community by each planting a tree. The community spirit of the people of Kwa-Mandlenkosi was also honoured by Frank Osei-Fosu, the Ghanaian mathematics teacher at Kwa-Mandlenkosi High School when he planted a tree. Frank and his wife serve Ghanaian food to visitors looking for a different taste of Africa.
Mrs Nonkululeko Mditshwa honoured the memory of her father, Alexander Elefu Ndithsa, who played an important role in the creation of a community school, by planting a tree, while Vos Bokwe planted another to honour Henry Ntebe, who also worked tirelessly to make the first Bantu Community School a reality. Prince Jali planted a tree at his home to honour Ntemi Hawker, one of South Africa's top jazz musicians. His band was acclaimed by major magazines, such as Drum. He always tried to engender a love and appreciation of music in children and tirelessly taught music to all who wished to learn, says Prince.
Coach Salie was honoured for taking soccer out of the streets and turning it into a viable sport. This man took the dreamers of the streets in hand and taught them the proper techniques of soccer, says Siphiwo Piti. He was also a key administrator and served for many years as president of the Township Soccer Union. Another sportsman was honoured by Edward Njadu, who planted a tree in honour of body-builder and coach Johnny Ntebe. He delighted in teaching youngsters the importance of a healthy body and a healthy mind, says Edward.
Reverend Maxwayibhozo Madolo, of the local Presbyterian church, was honoured by his daughter who planted a tree in her garden. "My father was a proud and powerful man who set up a community court as well as a counselling and guidance centre for unwed mothers and their parents. He sheltered the under-privileged in his church and supported many poor people outside his own congregation. In the times of trouble and conflict his home and church became a major hideout during police raids and the on-going searches for comrades."
Trees were planted to honour several Kwa-Mandlenkosi women. Mrs Mamqwathi Kilani, Mrs Tititi Tamana and Mrs Maggie Dyasi, who all devoted their time to organising and empowering women, were honoured. So was Miss Nomatyala Hangana, the first woman from Beaufort West to serve in the South African Parliament. Elected in 1994, she currently serves as the portfolio chairperson for housing. Nomatyala has been the provincial chairperson of the ANC Womens' League for the past 10 years.
A tree planted at the Solomon Mahlangu Park honoured three freedom fighters and victims of conflict. They were Amos Claassen, killed in October, 1986, Nono Kellem, killed during a student protest the same year, and Msindisi Ndwanyana, killed in December, 1986.