Late MEC’s gift ‘unfurled’ pupil’s wings

Makupula’s donation of a saxophone helps teen’s struggling family

Clarendon High School pupil Khazimla Nkomana will forever have a beat in her step thanks to a generous donation by late education MEC Mandla Makupula.
The 16-year-old music lover, keen to take on music as an extra subject this year, desperately needed a saxophone. At that time she was hiring an instrument from the school.
Friends with the daughter of prominent politician Noxolo Kiviet, Nkomana said she tried her luck by asking her friend’s mother if there was any way she could help her.
She was instructed to send her request viae-mail, which was forwarded to an official from the education department.
In the e-mail, she explained the tough economic situation her family faced, plus a passionate explanation of her love of music.
The e-mail was then forwarded to Makupula, who replied with good news a month later, in September.
He had bought her a Jupiter alto saxophone, worth more than R10,000.
“I was so happy. This meant I didn't have to hire from the school anymore. Also, I'm doing music as an eighth subject, which also has to be paid for. Getting this saxophone saved my family so much.”
The excited teen said one of her greatest joys was being able to break the gender stereotype around the instrument.
“It’s a beautiful instrument. I play jazz, modern or romantic music. Anything really.
“Mostly you find that people who play the saxophone are men and then you get girls at school playing it and it’s weird, but it’s also really cool because nobody ever really notices girls playing the saxophone,” she said.
When she heard of Makupula’s passing, Nkomana wrote a touching tribute to him.
Parts of it read: “MEC Makupula will be remembered by everyone for his dedication to the education system of the Eastern Cape.
“No pupil will understand how much he has done for us and yet we are forever grateful for his contribution in our lives. I, personally, will be indebted to Mr Makupula because his good heart and generosity has allowed me to move forward in my music career.
“What he has done for me not only enabled me to carry on with music as a subject but it has unfurled my wings. This province and its youth will always remember the man who was honourable by deed and title.”..

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