Your Family

How my teacher changed my life

TO LEAVE A MARK

ON YOU FOREVER. THESE WOMEN

TELL US ABOUT THE EDUCATORS WHO CHANGED THEIR LIVES

‘When I was six years old, I walked into a new school in a suburb about 25km away from home. I was one of the first non-white kids to join any of the schools in Durban North,’ recalls Kalnisha. While her father worried about his daughter fitting in and finding friends, her mother was adamant that she join Glenashley Junior Primary School. ‘I was suddenly plunged into an environment where I stuck out like a sore thumb – and for a devastatingly shy child who preferred to hide in the background, it was awful. Everything about me was studied and interrogated: the teachers were fascinated by my long plaits, while the kids wondered why I had a “permanent tan” that came with incredibly soft hair.’

Kalnisha spent most of her primary school years intensely conscious of the glaring differences between herself and her peers, especially as she began to realise that

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