Ms Silindile Mgaga.

Growing up with parents involved in the education sector has inspired postgraduate student Ms Silindile Mgaga to empower KwaZulu-Natal children through improving their literacy skills. 

Mgaga, who holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in Industrial Organisational Labour Studies, is pursuing a BCom Honours degree in the Discipline of Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations which has partnered with the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance in establishing the non-profit company, Chocolate Kids. 

The company runs several activities aimed at improving learners’ vocabulary and public speaking skills and boosting their confidence.  The first primary school selected was Christopher Nxumalo Higher Primary School in the Chesterville Township area. 

Mr PM Makhanya, a Maths Teacher at the School, chose Grade six learners to attend extra tutorials every Saturday at the Chesterville Library.  Their progress will be tested at the organisation’s First Spelling Bee Competition to be held at UKZN’s Westville campus on 26 October. 

Mgaga’s research revealed that Grade six pupils from township schools struggled with spelling and sentence construction thus performing poorly in oral practicals. 

‘I have studied at multi-racial schools and have been given an opportunity to further my tertiary education at UKZN – that is why I want to give back to those who have not been afforded the same opportunity I have by empowering and uplifting them and making learning fun,’ said Mgaga. 

Mgaga’s Academic Mentor, former Research Methodology Lecturer and Academic Leader in the Discipline of Human Resource Management/Industrial Relations, Professor Sanjana Brijball Parumasur, said the project had the potential to inspire greatness, and trigger a yearning for knowledge, betterment and academic excellence. 

‘Silindile’s enthusiasm made me visualise the benefits of assisting these children and I realised the importance of guiding and supporting her.  Her dedication, effort and enthusiasm has made the project a success and I have no doubt it will successfully motivate students to excel in their studies and improve their spelling and vocabulary,’ said Parumasur.