There was great excitement this weekend as Christian ‘Shaen’ Pieterse, the first child born on the farm to reach matric, celebrated his matric-dance party. The son of Pakkies, our dependable foreman, and Pen, a dab hand in the vineyards and orchards, Christian celebrated his final-year send-off in great style, first at home in a fine preparatory event hosted by his parents, and later, in town, with his glowing date, Madré, on his arm.
Looking decidedly debonair in his turquoise jacket and bow tie, Christian was joined by his Dad in suiting up for the milestone event. Farmer Brown’s photographic services were requested at the Pieterse’s home, where a splendid pre-celebration spread had been laid on for the occasion. The couple of the moment were then transported into Montagu by way of a shiny black 4×4, hired by Christian’s parents especially for the evening.
The enormity of the event – evident not only from the excitement it generated but also the huge amount of effort and money that had gone into it on Pakkies and Pen’s part – really brought home to me how valued education is in this rural community. Parents such as these sacrifice much in order to help their kids attain higher education levels (higher than, by definition, they were themselves able to attain) and, when their hard work finally bears fruit, the moment is cause for huge celebration.
How true Nelson Mandela’s words: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’