Mon, 19 Apr 2004 00:00
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We profile Nathaniel Nyaluza, a school in Grahamstown.

School profile

We profile Nathaniel Nyaluza, a school in Grahamstown.

When Britain took over the Cape early in the 19th century it became embroiled in a series of frontier wars with the body of people known as the Xhosa.

Sir John Cradock, the Governor of the Cape, decided to build a series of forts along the Fish River and sent Colonel John Graham to choose the sites. He is said to have rested by a destroyed homestead on the farm Rietfontein near the banks of a river which the Xhosa called Qohi, corrupted by the Settlers to Kowie.

Graham chose the site for his military headquarters and a town grew – Graham’s town – Grahamstown, the City of saints for all the churches that grew there.

Not only churches grew but also places of education, including Rhodes University, St Andrew’s College, Kingswood College and Graeme College.

In 1938 the first school was built for Fingo villagers on Grahams town’s eastern hills - Nathaniel Nyaluza Public Secondary. The Fingoes – the homeless wanderers – came to the area to escape the mighty Zulu armies of Chaka. During Border wars they fought with the British and were not held in high regard by Xhosa tribes. They settled in a part of Transkei which was known to the British as Fingoland.

The Methodist church made the first classroom available to the school, which was then known as the Native Secondary School. Mr B Mahlasela, the school's first teacher, took the first form one class and taught the students all six of the subjects on offer.

The school takes its name from Nathaniel Nyaluza, the first principal of the first school for Xhosa-speakers in Grahamstown.

School information:

Name: Nathaniel Nyaluza Public Secondary School
Motto: Thina sisukile sa phakama   - Virtute et scientia (By goodness and knowledge)
Founded: 1938
Address: PO Box 548, Grahamstown 6140
Pupil numbers: 700 (roughly boys 300, girls 400)
Rugby teams: 5

Rugby at Nathaniel Nyaluza

The school has played rugby since its inception.

Famous rugby Old Boys

One of its most famous old boys on the rugby front is Curnick Mdyesha who was for many years the President of the SA Rugby Association and served on the SA Rugby Board’s executive.

Mluleki George, a member of parliamanet, was the vice-opresident of SARFU and a prominent administrator.

Others who have served in national bodies are George Lamani, Matana and Mntwekhaya Justice Nkwinti.

There have been many great players, such as Dumile Kondile, who played for the SARU national team as an outstanding loose forward and is at present a judge, Alfred Dwesi, a great scrumhalf and a national selector in the SA Rugby Board days, Nyaniso George Lamani, who is the head coach at the school, Kaiser Booi, Lungile Harnbhy, Gisco Cangweni and Norman XhoXho, who was one of the all-time greats of rugby in the Eastern Cape. He played in Tests for SARU between 1978 and 1984. He died in September 2003.

Many other players have played provincial rugby – Lindiso Dyeshana, Lexie Dube, Sandile Dude, Verlile Kobese, Mlandeli Kahlana, Nyaniso Kota, Masixole Kula, Vuyani Kolisi, Mvuleni Konzi, Kulati Fikile, Gibson, Magobiyane, Thunzi Magobiane, Albert Martin, Botyi Mkabile, Wandile Maguma, Mvuleni Mvula, Toli Mvula, Gcobani Mpetile, Gecelo Mdyesha, the son of Curnick and a flyhalf for Eastern Province, Lulamile Lamani, Sidima Nduna, Sindile Ngcese, Gugile Nkwinti, Khanyisa Nombombo, Mthuthuzeli Shoba, Mlungisi Twaku, Mbulelo Tyelbooi, Mthuthuzeli Tyelbooi, NR Teki, P Teki, Siseko Tulwana, Patrick Yaka, Rkichard Xako, Rumsel Xonxa, Ntsikelelo Xalabile, Vusumzi Xalabile, Humphrey Nojoko, Vumile Jadi.

Coach: George Lamani has been coaching rugby at the school since 1976. His assistant is MH Mbilini.

Rivals: Amongst Grahamstown schools there are Mary Waters, Mahlasela and Mrwetyama and then their great Port Elizabeth rivals, Ndzondelelo.