Legendary school principal laid to rest

My father, left a mark in this world, says daughter

Legendary school Principal James Phahlela Maswanganyi, known for being the founder principal of M’tititi High was lauded at his funeral service at the Giyani Presbyterian Church Standing for the Truth Movement at Giyani Section E on Saturday.

One of the products of the late JP Maswanganyi George Maluleke speaks during the memorial service for the late principal. With him are his fellow Class of 74, the first Form ones at Mtititi High school in 1974

Born on March 15 1938 at Tshifudi in the then Venda, he passed on on  January 24 of natural causes.

Speaker after speaker hailed him for his philanthropic acts.

He assisted many people who had dropped out of schooling, recruiting them to pursue education and many of them became professional people.

One of the speakers, his daughter Irene said: ”There is no doubt that my father left a mark. He was honoured by his former students at M’tititi and many people have testified for what he did for them. We are very proud of having had him as our father.”

His youngest daughter Lucy Tiyiselani Maswanganyi said: ”My father loved education and he pursued academic qualifications even as an adult. The other time we enrolled for the same course with Wits University and he passed with distinction and although I also passed, he had done much better than me.”

The late Mr JP Maswanganyi and his wife Mrs AS Maswanganyi with founder learners of M’tititi High school who honoured him and fellow founding teachers Raphael Marivate and Gabriel Mahlale

Representing former students, The Village Voice editor Benson Ntlemo said the late legend does not  deserve to die.

He suggested that the family should start a foundation to continue his legacy.

“Let us also think of an e-book in English and another in Xitsonga to make sure he is being immortalized,“ he said.

In 1982 he was promoted to be the head of adult education in the then Gazankulu homeland.

He attended a literacy seminar organized by the Human Sciences Research Council.

The following year HSRC rated his centres the best in the country.

Mr. Edward French who headed the literacy section of the council at the time has also offered condolences to the family.

Greater Giyani councilor Cedrick Baloyi who represented Mayor Thandi Zitha at the funeral also sent condolences to the family.

He told mourners that the municipality is aware of the role the late leader played in developing the community and was sorry for his passing.

He grew up the hard way.

His eldest daughter Nkhensani Dorris said her father took photos and was also a cobbler.

In the obituary that he wrote himself before his passing, he said he started his schooling in 1948.

“I had no fees. My mother had to brew beer and sell for my boarding fees which were R24 (12 pounds) at the time although she herself did not taste alcohol, “ he said.

He is survived by his wife Angeline Maswanganyi and five children Nkhensani Doris, Tshikani Irene, Tiyiselani Lucy, Rhulani John and Hanyani Lawrence. One of his daughters  Mihloti Grace passed on before him.

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