Tomson spent the morning as part of a team painting the school’s laboratory, fixing ceiling boards and cleaning up the school gardens. He also assisted in reinforcing roof gutters with brackets to facilitate the free flow of water into the school’s JoJo tanks.
The fifty-strong team including members of the KwaDukuza Municipality, local councillors, Ilembe Surf Riders Association, Sycor Construction, Service Royale, CellC and SMG, worked hard to complete their task of giving the school a facelift.
South African surfing legend Shaun Tomson commemorated Nelson Mandela’s centenary celebrations #LiveTheLegacy on 18 July with 67 minutes of service at the Lethithemba Secondary School in Glendale, KwaDukuza.
“I am honored to participate in a day celebrating one of the world’s greatest leaders who stood up for his values and beliefs on behalf of all humanity. Madiba was a great man who had the power to change not just his country, but the whole world,” said Tomson.
Tomson spent the last few weeks motivating locals schools including Lethithemba Secondary School through his Positive Wave Tour as part of the 50th edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event, the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong.
His inspiration for the youth comes from his book The Code: The Power of I Will, where he illustrated how they could change their lives in just twelve steps, each beginning with the words “I will…”.
“The spirit of the kids at this school made such an impact on me that I had to come back to try and make a difference in their lives . One of the learners here wrote ‘I will rise’ as part of their code. It shows that they are the masters of their own destinies and they have the code to create the power within them,” added Tomson.
Acting principal Bongiwe Dladla said, “We are ever so grateful that our school was chosen for this project. I am so excited that there are things that are being fixed, that the school could not afford.”
“The kids at this school are very interested in sports but they do not even have a playground or sports equipment. We have a very small under-resourced library. We don’t have any computers, internet or access to information, which is so sad for the learners,” she added.
Speaker for the KwaDukuza Municipality Cllr. Phumlile Zulu said, “Against all odds, an African child can rise. This is one of the most disadvantaged schools in the most disadvantaged areas. These kids have the power to change their situation. They cannot change their backgrounds, but they can change their futures.”
The #LiveTheLegacy centenary celebrations marked the culmination of Tomson’s Positive Wave Tour in South Africa for 2018.