Walmer’s Cinderella fairytale

OVER THE MOON: Walmer High School pupils welcoming their donated matric dance dresses are, from left, Nombuso Qolana, 18, Mrs Africa World Noni Mbete, 27, Sisize Maranjana, 18, Anathi Sintwa, 17, and Vuyelwa Breakfast, 18

Matric girls will dazzle at the ball in dreamy dresses, thanks to Mrs World Africa’s donation

A group of Walmer High pupils who thought their dreams of attending their matric dance would never come true now have the chance to dazzle in dreamy dresses thanks to Mrs World Africa, Noni Mbete.

Mbete, 27, stepped in to help 24 pupils who did not have the means to buy dresses for every matric girl’s dream evening.

Mbete started asking for people to donate dresses last month and managed to secure 24, which fit the girls to a tee.

“Walmer Township is riddled with many social challenges,” she said.

“Many pupils come from homes which have difficult circumstances.

“I was motivated to make a difference in their lives and to show them that they deserve to be rewarded for all their hard work.”

Nombuso Qolana, 18, said her family could not afford to buy her a dress and, as she was focused on saving for university, a matric dance did not seem likely.

“When Noni came to our school last month telling us she had dresses for us, we could not believe it,” she said.

“I felt huge relief and my mother cried because she was so worried.”

Vuyelwa Breakfast, 18, said she felt left out when other pupils spoke about preparations for their day.

“Everyone at school is talking about the big day,” she said.

“I wouldn’t join in the conversation because I knew I wasn’t going.

“This donation has helped me not to feel different and not to feel excluded.”

Anathi Sintwa, 17, said there was usually a divide when it came to events as pupils’ financial statuses were exposed.

“Mrs Mbete has helped fill that gap, there is no divide,” she said.

“All pupils are on the same level and that makes us feel less ashamed.

“We now have dresses and she has also provided a free makeup course to ensure that we look beautiful on the day.”

English teacher Nobuntu Ntantiso said this year’s matric class had already done exceptionally well academically.

She says the girls are highly motivated and thoroughly deserve the opportunity to enjoy their matric dance.

“They needed this moment to make them realise how special they are,” she said.

“This donation truly is needed, especially in parts of Walmer Township.”

Mbete has also donated 15 dresses to the Thamsanqa Project in Motherwell and hopes to branch out to other parts of the province.

The Walmer High School dance takes place on Thursday night.

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