Our annual review function is a highlight in the Ruth First calendar. Saying goodbye to the Matrics, and welcoming the new intake is part of the rhythm of the programme, and is much anticipated by all the girls in the Ruth First family.
This year’s function, the ninth in the history of the trust, was held on Wednesday 24 October 2018 in the hall. Sponsors, friends and family of the trust joined the current Ruthies and alumnae to welcome and bear witness to the 2019 intake’s short presentations on a range of topics, including praise poems, commentaries on the value of good relationships and the power of biography and investigative journalism. All fourteen girls spoke with confidence, conviction and courage, with Marlene Angwafor, a Grade 11 conducting proceedings, linking the content and providing some relevant and snappy “pure Jeppe girls” insights and commentary.
Elinor Sisulu, the guest speaker, contrasted the lack of reading and knowledge which is the status quo, with the delight, amazement and inspiration she felt listening to the new Ruthies’ presentations. In particular, she promised to dine out with her children on the Praise Poem in her honour. She challenged the girls to be conscious of themselves as historical beings, and in so doing, tell their stories, examine their lives and reflect on their purpose, and to use their Jeppe privilege responsibly. She looks forward to the first female president coming from Jeppe Girls!
Kevin Tait surprised the audience with an audio clip of Ruth First making a speech at Walter Sisulu’s 70thbirthday – for all of us, the first time we had heard Ruth’s clear and confident voice. In keeping with Ruth’s love of books, records and recording things, he introduced the “Ruth First collection”. The idea is for the school library to house copies of her books and any other memorabilia which exists. Should you have anything to donate – please contact Kevin to arrange collection.
The fourteen Ruth First 2019 candidates together with Trust chair, Isabel Hofemeyr, (left), Jeppe Girls' Principal, Dina Goncalves, (second from left), guest speaker, Elinor Sisulu (centre) and Trust manager, Kevin Tait (right).