Ruth First came from an immigrant background but went on to lead an extraordinary life as a South African. An outstanding writer, intellectual and political thinker, this brave and unconventional woman shunned a comfortable and privileged life to become a formidable leader in the anti-apartheid struggle.
The Team Behind the Trust
As headmistress of Jeppe Girls, Dina was a key supporter and cheerleader of the Trust. Since her passing in June 2022, she is sadly missed. Read more here.
A registered counsellor with a Masters in Research Psychology, Raymond is a director of ecl. He has been involved in facilitating our mentorship programme since its inception in 2014. Read more here.
Kefiloe is an English and History teacher at Jeppe Girls, and is responsible for the Hlabalela choir. Our first Ruthie, RF 2013 to return as a teacher, she is an integral part of the Ruth First family in the school.
“The Ruth First Scholarship celebrates a decade of having girls go through this remarkable programme. It has been a golden decade as we saw the 100th girl being received into the programme in our centenary year in 2019, a few magical Fiestas, and we watched Mr Tait raise close on R20 million from external funders fund the scholarship recipients. The cherry on top has got to be the Ruth First scholars matriculating from Jeppe Girls and graduating from tertiary institutions, what a real and absolute joy!
Thank you to Mr Tait’s enthusiastic drive,
Mrs Standish-White’s volunteering spirit, Ms Hill’s mentorship and the mentors for the sterling efforts that go into this community project which has assisted so many girls in reaching for their dreams.”
Dina Gonçalves, August 2020
A Jeppe Old Girl, Carolyn is a philanthropist, actress and patron to the arts. She is well known as a radio host particularly of classical music and is the founder of the 67 blankets for Mandela Day initiative. Carolyn is the 2021 recipient of the Global Impact Award and launched the Carolyn Steyn Performing Arts Centre at Jeppe Girls in May 2021. She has been a strong supporter of the trust since inception. Read more here from July 18, Sept 18 , July 19 and May 22.
Dr Emmanuel Taban
A Jeppe Old Boy, Emmanuel was named by the New African Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in 2020. A leading South African pulmonologist, he pioneered a mucus extraction technique on Covid-19 patients which is internationally recognized. His autobiography, “The Boy who never gave up” tells the story of a son of Sudan who has risen above extreme poverty, racism and xenophobia to become a South African legend. He is a strong advocate for girls’ education. Read more here, from April 21 and June 21.
Jeppe Head Girl in 2006, Tumi qualified as a CA(SA) at KPMG and completed her
MBA at Oxford and M Com at Wits. She was selected as one of the Top 50 Powerful Women 2020 as part of the Mail & Guardian Power of Woman Business category.
An investment management specialist, her passion is using advanced teaching techniques to inspire and motivate learners for higher level qualifications and employment. Tumi was a mentor on the programme for two years.
As Head Girl in 2010, Pelonomi was involved with the launch of the trust. A Mail & Guardian top 200 Young South African 2019 , Pelonomi has a BEngSc in Biomedical Engineering, BSc Eng in Electrical Engineering and an MSc Biomedical Engineering completed while on scholarship in Japan with a specific focus on deep learning for a neurophysiology application. Pelonomi is currently a Data Scientist and Use Case Lead at Nedbank working on machine learning solutions within the Data Driven Intelligence team. She spends her spare time advocating for responsible AI, running the Code Kamoso coding academy, writing music and getting involved with community initiatives as a director of The Ungovernable NPC.
She has been a mentor for six years and is a role model for all our girls.
Read more here.
Deputy Head Boy at Jeppe Boys in 1999, Bongani is an experienced Corporate Affairs and Government Relations Director with experience in the FMCG and automotive industries. Father of two children, his interests include collecting all genres of music, golf, and Formula 1 racing.
A former Jeppe parent and governor, Christina is a Director for Education Support at the Gauteng Department of Education. She has thirty years of experience in primary and secondary school teaching and management.
Justice Albie Sachs
Justice Albie Sachs is the Patron of the Trust. He was appointed to the Constitutional Court of South Africa in 1994 by Nelson Mandela and retired in October 2009.
“Ruth First was a wonderful friend, a brilliant thinker and writer and remarkably courageous in her pursuit of freedom. I will do everything I can to honour her memory. I am delighted that Jeppe High School for Girls has taken this initiative which I support wholeheartedly. I commend it
to all who value Ruth’s profound contribution to the establishment of democracy in South Africa and respect the sacrifice she made. It will be wonderful for many young women of diverse backgrounds to be given the opportunity
to obtain top quality education at Ruth’s old school
and thus follow in her footsteps.”
Address to the Annual Function, 2011.
The Ruth First Trust
The Ruth First Jeppe High School for Girls Memorial Trust, Registration Number IT2123/2010, is registered in terms of the South African Trust Property Control Act, 1988 (Act 57 of 1988.)
The Honorary Auditors of the Trust are KPMG Inc.
The Bankers of the Trust are ABSA.