By Agreement Mabunda
Bordeaux Primary School is counted amongst the schools that produced politicians, academics, and highly recognized professionals in the country.
The school is found at Bordeaux Farm where the farm owner is Henry Xipungu Muhlaba, but currently owned by his son Vincent Vhelaphi Muhlaba.
It is situated about 40 km outside Tzaneen in Mopani District.
It is the first school under the jurisdiction of the Nkuna Tribal Authority, established by Hosi Muhlaba 1 in 1926. Before it could become a formal school, Hosi Muhlaba used to conduct reading lessons in the evening for herd boys
CLASSROOM: Some of the structure that is still standing strong in the school yard. (Photo by Freddy Rikhotso)
Bordeaux Primary School enrolls learners from Grade R to grade 6 from the nearby areas.
“Most of the learners come from poor background families from surrounding villages such as Nyanyukani, Nsolani, Bordeaux Farm, Pharare and Mhadawa”, says the current school principal, Mbhungana Lordwish.
In the beginning, before Bordeaux was formed, it used to have shacks that were used as classrooms and those shacks were then demolished in the early 1980s. Two blocks of classes were built where one of the blocks was donated by Regison Muhlaba who was one of the farm owners in Bordeaux under the Jurisdiction of Nkuna Tribal Authority.
“As we speak, those two blocks are still the ones that are in use and they are in a bad state”.
“Despite the school being in a deep rural area, the level of education was, and it is still of high quality and the results are always of high quality”, says Principal.
The school laid a foundation of success for great men and women who are highly recognised in our country and our society.
The likes of the current Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, Radio Personality Mr Freddy Rikhotso, Former Public Protector Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, Former Mayor of Greater Tzaneen Municipality Mr O.J Mushwana, current Circuit Manager of Shiluvane Circuit Dr. Mbhalati, Medical Practitioners such as Dr. Mhlarhi, Dr. Garish Mohlaba, Dr. Johnson Mboweni, Dr. Brian Mbhalati and many more.
FROM LEFT: Former Public Protector Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, Former GTM Mayor OJ Mushwana and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni are amongst the prominent people who attended the school (Photo by Freddy Rikhotso)
“It is in this school and against all odds where many successful people acquired knowledge and skills which they are applying even today to lead and serve the nation”, said the principal.
The school produced many academics such as teachers, nurses, police officers, engineers, etc. The great men and women the school produced to attest to this. Mr Freddy Rikhotso, 69 – years- old believes that Bordeaux school build him to be a successful Radio Personality.
LIFETIME AWARD WINNER:Freddy Rikhotso , News Anchor, researcher and author.
“In 1964, I went to Bordeaux Primary School, the school principal was Simon David Shingwenyana. In standard 3 I was taught by the author of famous novel Fexil Thuketana”.
He was very strict from reciting poems, Mental Arithmetic, and Bible lessons”, he said.
“In 1968 I did standard 6 taught by Eddy Baloyi, a very humble teacher who is still alive”
Rikhotso, after his time in Bordeaux School he went on to further his studies and became a presenter, radio news journalist, and news reader in Munghana Lonene FM of SABC in 1979. He is now an author of Xitsonga books and he attests that Bordeaux Primary School teachers shaped him to be who he is now.
“My teachers shaped my mental horizon and helped me to help in nation-building”, says Rikhotso
The success of Bordeaux Combined Primary School can be attributed to the quality of leadership it had and still has since its establishment to date. The principals who led the school since it was established to date are Shingwenyana S.D (Late), Nkuna T.B (Late), Shikwambana W (late), Phakula V.S (Acting), Mohlaba V.V (Acting), Mashele P.K and Mbhungana L (current principal).
“The school’s infrastructure is of poor quality. However, we thank the Department of Basic Education through its Water and Sanitation Project who is busy constructing proper toilets to eradicate pit toilets which the school is currently using. We hope good things are still to come” says the Principal, Mbhungana Lordwish.