Forget the trepidation of being separated from your parents when starting school – for some Nelson Mandela Bay twins being split from their other halves was nearly unbearable.
The comfort of having one’s twin cushion the pain of being left at big school by their parents was counteracted by the reality of being placed in different classes – so as not to confuse the teacher or as a lesson in independence.
Twins are known for having a close relationship and that was evident when some started Grade 1 at Bay schools yesterday.
Victoria Park Grey Primary School Grade 1 twins Phiwokuhle and Phelokazi Swartbooi, 6, were excited about their first proper day of big school, but showed their elation in different ways.
While Phelokazi was relaxed, chatting with her peers in the playground, her sister was in tears – apparently tears of joy.
Asked why she was crying, Phiwokuhle said: “I’m not sad. I’m happy. I feel like a big girl.”
Phelokazi was excited about the new chapter in her life, saying she felt a tad more mature than she had at Sydenham’s Little Mouse Pre-school.
When time came for the twins, allocated to different classes, to go their separate ways, Phelokazi leaned in to give her teary twin a reassuring hug: break time was around the corner.
But when they broke the hug, both girls were in tears, with dad Sikhumbuzo having to intervene and assure them that they would see each other “now now”.
Another set of twins starting Grade 1 at the school were Bothando and Bulumko Mkencele, 6, who were not at all fazed by their shift from Grade R to Grade 1.
“I like Grade 1 because here I feel like a big boy and big boys don’t cry,” Bothando said.
Bulumko said: “This is not new, but it’s great to be here.”
At Molefe Primary School in New Brighton, sisters Simamkele and Yamkela January, 5, were lucky to be placed in the same Grade R class.
“It was good to play with other kids before we came to class. We have already made friends. One day when we are old we want to become teachers,” Simamkele said.
-Zandile Mbabela and Yoliswa Sobuwa