Rector’s eNews – 03 August 2022/ Rector's eNews
During another busy week in which our boys shone in many aspects of school life, there were perhaps three diverse areas which may merit special attention.
Firstly, on Thursday, the junior and senior boys had the privilege of listening to visiting Professor Richard van Zyl-Smit.
Professor van Zyl-Smit is the Professor of Pulmonology at the University of Cape Town and a consultant pulmonologist at Groote Schuur Hospital. He is President of the South African Thoracic Society and has co-authored the South African guidelines for asthma, COPD/emphysema and
smoking cessation. At Groote Schuur, he runs the Smoking Cessation Clinic and the Adolescent Respiratory and Pulmonary Fibrosis clinic. He has written over 95 academic research papers and two books. He is passionate about lung health and about discussing the dangers of smoking, vaping and drug-taking.
Professor van Zyl-Smit’s fact-based and honest approach resonated with the boys and left all of them better informed about the specific dangers of nicotine and drug use. In particular, he highlighted the potentially devastating impact of cannabis on the teenage brain – as opposed to the impact of cannabis on users later in life. Vaping and the impact of this was also canvassed by him and this topic was then picked up in tutor groups where boys had to consider whether they would be more or less likely to vape after his talk.
The second notable item is that it has been brought to my attention that Muako Maepa (Ralfe, B Block) has developed his own charitable foundation called Illumination which focuses on human upliftment and football development.
One arm of the foundation is called Santuako. This promotes the establishment of soccer clinics for local communities around the Diepsloot area in Johannesburg. Muako held his first clinic during the holidays; this was a huge success and a number of Michaelhouse boys helped to ensure it got off to a good start. In the future, Muako hopes to create more soccer academies around Johannesburg in areas like Alexandra as well as creating opportunities for these children to attend top academies such as Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs.
Doubtless, Muako’s charitable foundation will develop in a range of different ways in future years, and it is commendable that he has sought to serve the broader community in his home city in this way.
The third feature of a very busy week was, perhaps, the victory of the 1st soccer team in the Top 10 KZN Schools Tournament on Sunday. This was a remarkable achievement and a huge credit to the boys and their coaches.
Congratulations to our boys who have been selected to go on an exchange to another country in the August to November period. These exchanges differ in length and nature and can enrich the lives of those who are fortunate enough to have the experience. Abhishek Panday and Benjamin Bryden are to go to Woodberry Forest in the United States from the end of August to November, whilst Luke Payne and Matthew Nel will attend Montgomery Bell Academy, also in the US, for a one month exchange in the 4th quarter. Dylan Noach and William Brothers will go to Blundell’s in the United Kingdom. Christchurch Grammar School in Perth will be welcoming Ben Cheales for a month in October/November, though the other Australian schools have decided not to have any exchanges in 2022.
Our intention is that we will gradually re-build the exchange programme with other schools around the world in the post-Covid era and should you wish to discuss the opportunities further, then Mrs Mary McMichael and Mr Jaco Dippenaar are the relevant staff members who might be approached. We, in turn, will be welcoming Henry Hastings and Sam Riverson from Woodberry Forest and they will be with us from the end of August to mid November and Reuben Wielenga from Blundell’s from half-term until the end of this term.