Lebogang Ramaboea, AD ASTRA Magazine and photos by Lt Col A.
The South African Air Force (SAAF) identified a needy school
and gave a helping hand. Generaal Nicolaas Smit Lower
Primary School in Booysen, east of Pretoria, was a worthy
recipient. The 1000 pupils at the institute will forever
remember 11 September 2008, when they received the
today need role models desperately and the SAAF has filled
that empty rusted tin. The infants showed sheer enthusiasm
in the different musterings presented to them on the day,
from pilots and technicians.
The SAAF band played the learners’ favorite musical items
from television shows, mixed with old-time classics. The
children sang along to legendary music of Miriam Makeba’s
pata pata and to Sipho (Hotstix) Mabuse’s Burnout. The SAAF
Band rounded up with traditional African wedding tracks:
tswang le boneng and Avulekile Amasango.
Lt Col Matthys Pienaar, selected a boy from the crowd and
pretended to give him his job for a minute. Young Sihle
Skhosana did not disappoint the crowd. He directed the band
into an untitled song he had just composed.
Then, learners were taught about the musical instruments
such as the saxophone, flute, drums, xylophone and piccolo.
Thereafter, a competition ensued and, puzzles, stickers and
balloons were the day’s prizes. Pupils had to name the
equipments they were taught about. The concert ended on a
high note when the band played with refuse bins as musical
instruments, wearing civilian caps facing backwards and
represented by CO Queen Letlhage and Lt Stopper Modisaesi, a
Swartkop based pilot, spoke at length about the many
musterings in the SAAF. A learner asked a pilot if he was
not scared of crashing. Lt Modisaesi responded by saying:
“No I’m not, because the SAAF trained me well. To add on,
flying has always been my dream, so I guess now I’m leaving
A seed of generosity had been planted and the learners
needed to be nurtured. Caring, in true blue culture style.
Foodstuff and toys were liberally given as the children
opened their hearts. The day belonged to them. The SAAF
lived up to its value of human dignity and excellence.
“On behalf of the pupils and teachers, we are thankful for
the gifts. After receiving them they forgot to ask if any
aircraft were going to land any time there. The feast of
music was hovering everywhere in the hearts of the young,”
said a teacher Mr Schalk die Dericks.
Children were united in song and laughter. However,
materials in the form of gifts alone do little to a child’s
life and members of the SAAF provided the emotional support
and left the children with knowledge, stationary, food,
clothes and a braai stand.
The school was not the only place that needed help on the
day. SAAF members also went to Booysen Community Centre, 2,4
km from the school, a 13-roomed house where less privileged
old people are staying. The country’s senior citizens were
elated when a braai stand was presented to them.
sponsors made the day memorable for the children. Thanks
should go out to them, with a hope that they would not end
up with the two organisations.
1 ASU -
donated two braai stands;
Manpower Group, (Denel) - donated food and stationary;
donated food and stationary;
- donated food and stationary;
Basic Flying Training (DBFT) and Directorate Human
Resource Development (DHRD) - donated food, stationary