OKA Newsletter June 2020

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A note from Caroline Berry

Head of the OKA

KMD Awards 176 scaled Kingsmead College

Dear Kingsmead Alumni,

As we write this OKA Newsletter we reflect deeply on 2020 and all that has unfolded. It has been very challenging for the Kingsmead family, South African’s and indeed the whole world.

Whilst many beautifully positive things have emerged and families have found time to bond, slow down and re-evaluate, many hardships have fallen on our Kingsmead families and the broader community.

The OKA have unfortunately had to cancel our Gin event and the much loved annual Bridge Drive and it is with great sadness that we will have to cancel our Old Girls lunch in September.

The lunch is a special day which brings many friends and staff together to continue our legacy, to share memories and to connect.

We look forward to welcoming you all back in 2021!

Kingsmead remains committed to the vision of our founder D.V. Thompson – to develop South Africa’s future leaders and ensure that they have access to the best available education.

To this end the focus of the Old Kingsmeadean Association for the remainder of 2020 will be to assist pupils and families within the school.  The need has become greater now than ever.

We are currently in conversation with Council to pledge an amount which will be used for the needs of various pupils if their families have been directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

We would like to invite you to assist us should you feel led to do so.

This could be done as a donation in lieu of that Bridge Drive entry, or the food and gin that would have been so enjoyed with friends at our event or at the Luncheon.

We believe that as the Kingsmead family now is the time to come together and reach out as one.

Our banking details are:
Kingsmead Old Girls Association
First National Bank
Money Market Account
Branch code: 250655
Account: 62461516547

We are so grateful for Lisa Kaplan and Kim Lowman’s steadfast leadership during these unknown and difficult times.  Kingsmead continues to offer excellent academic teaching through virtual platforms from 000 right the way through to matric.  We commend the Junior and Senior School staff for the way they have embraced the season and rolled out an amazing way of connecting with their pupils.

We extend our thanks to the strong PTA body, our hands on and level-headed Council and the Kingsmead Trust Committee, who have ‘Zoomed’ on numerous occasions to ensure that the emotional, spiritual and academic needs of each teacher, staff member, pupil and parent is being met.

During this year of 2020 we have also heard the cries of racism, sexism, and gender based violence echo worldwide and our Alumni and current pupils are standing up and adding their voices.  The focus must be to engage and listen, and to change in order to move forward with courage and purpose.

As we continue to navigate through ever changing times, may we reflect on this quote from D.V. Thompson.

“The world is torn with strife and conflict of thought and belief – economic, political and religious – it has a need, as never before, of thinking men and women, disciplined, controlled and sincere persons.  I would like to feel that Kingsmead will send out considerate, disciplined, efficient women, but above all, women in some sense consecrate to the search after truth and happiness.  Then indeed we need not fear that we can play our part in the world and play it worthily”

Kind regards

Caroline Berry (Waddams)

Lara Buttifant-Sewel (Ehrentraut)
Vice Chair

A note from Lisa Kaplan

Kingsmead College Head

Kaplan Lisa Kingsmead College

Dear OKA Members,

I hope that this newsletter finds you well and keeping healthy during this time.

We have been approached by many past students regarding their experiences of racist or exclusionary practises over the years at Kingsmead. We have thus spent the past three weeks meeting with some of our past students and engaging with them. Some of the past students matriculated as long ago as 2005 and 2006 and we have also had interactions with some who matriculated in 2018 and from 2015 to 2019.

These interactions have been most enlightening and the school has pledged to ensure that any form of racism or exclusion will be eradicated from the school. We have also been able to discuss the changes that have occurred at the school over the past years – the last 3 in particular – and we are hoping that as we engage further with the alumni that we will be able to work together to fight against racism, racist behaviour and any other exclusionary practises like sexism and homophobia. There has been real hurt and anger experienced over the years and Ms. Sharekha Banwa as the school’s Head of the Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Ms. Rizwana Bawa – the Head of the TDI sub-committee on Council – have committed to working closely with the school and all stakeholders to lead honest conversations and to keep working together to lead change in our Kingsmead community. The voices of our alumni are crucial to our discussions and to forming strategy for the way forward. An email address (community@kingsmead.co.za) has been set up especially for these discussions and should any alumni wish to contact us or to meet with us, you are encouraged to use this email address.

There is also a process underway for our current students to discuss exclusionary practises. Ms. Lwando Xaso has been engaging the Grade 11s and 12s in discussions on a Friday afternoon and this will be rolled out to the rest of the Senior School. Together we will put a strategy in place going forward and this will be communicated to all our stakeholders.

I wish you well over this time.

Fond regards

Lisa Kaplan
Head: Kingsmead College

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

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The 2020 Leaders 

AM Head girl and Deputies with Execs scaled Kingsmead College

Front Row (L-R): Gabrielle Gainer (Deputy Head Girl), Georgina Beart (Head Girl), Meghna Batohi (Deputy Head Girl).

Back Row (L-R): Sharekha Banwa (Deputy Head: Academics), Lisa Kaplan (Head of College), Saartjie Venter (Deputy Head: Pastoral Care)

Pupil Executive Team

AF Pupil Exec Team scaled Kingsmead College

Front Row (L-R): Katelyn Wijtenburg, Janelle Mitchell, Ayanda Bekwa, Meghna Batohi, Lindokuhle Ndlovu.
Back Row (L-R): 
Sarah Benning, Georgina Beart, Isabella Daniels, Gabrielle Gainer, Sarah Minnie, Chloë Buchel.

Heads of Houses

AE Heads of Houses scaled Kingsmead CollegeFront Row (L-R): Sarah Minnie (Timlin), Janelle Mitchell (Kruger), Lindokuhle Ndlovu (Baker).
Back Row (L-R): Bronwen Roberts (Timlin), Bianca Meyer (Kruger), Renee Viviers (Baker).

Heads of Sport, Service, Arts, Inclusion & Spirit

AL Heads of Sport Service Arts Inclusion and Spirit scaled Kingsmead College
Front Row (L-R): 
Katelyn Wijtenburg (Head of Service), Isabella Daniels (Head of Spirit), Sarah Benning (Head of Sport), Chloë Buchel (Head of Arts), Ayanda Bekwa (Head of Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion).
Back Row (L-R): 
Jenny Venter (Director of Service), Janine Lovatt (Grade 12 Coordinator), Robert Pullen (Director of Sport), Elsabè Fourie (Director of Arts and Music), Sharekha Banwa (Deputy Head: Academics / Director of Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion).

A message from the Senior School Student Executive

Leaders Kingsmead College


A note from Kim Lowman

Head of the Junior School

Lowman Kim Kingsmead College

A Moment in Time

When we reflect on our history as a school, we are reminded of the times when challenging decisions were taken, decisions that were deemed to be in the interests of the students, the community and for South African Education. Our school stands strong today as it did then. We find ourselves at a moment in time, where it is necessary to pause for a minute and wonder about the way we continue to find our place, the way we seek purpose and possibility, while still rising to the inherent complexities amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

While it seems that we are dealing with so much change now and even more change on the horizon, we are also at the forefront of a global educational revolution. Our humanity depends on the voices of our youth to rise up and help us make the changes we need as a community, as a country and as a world. More than ever, Our teachers are committed and have invested all the energy required to rise to the challenge. We are going to ride this pandemic wave together and we are going to land on a different shore. I am grateful to the community for living their purpose. We have maintained a dynamic and vibrant school day onsite – this is what was. Our teams are investing the time and finding the courage in creating an online, excellent learning platform – this is what is. We now choose to step into the arena and take education forward – this is what will be. I have faith that what will be, will be. Our purpose, as educators, is far greater than our challenges.

A recent quote from our president, Cyril Ramaphosa holds true for us all as a nation: “I call on all of us, one and all, to play our part. To be courageous, to be patient, and above all, to show compassion. Let us never despair. For we are a nation at one, and we will surely prevail, May God protect our people.”

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Kim Lowman
Head: Junior School

A note from Elsabè Fourie

Director of Arts and Music

Fourie Elsab Kingsmead College


Since schools shut down in March, the Arts & Music Department has explored various ways in which we can continue to involve our students in the Arts. We researched what our colleagues all over the world are doing and brainstormed with our Kingsmead team what would work best for us. We are so excited about the enthusiastic participation in our online programme. 

image001 Kingsmead College

image002 Kingsmead College

Marimba Kingsmead College


Individual music lessons have successfully continued online using WhatsApp video calls, Facetime, Zoom and Skype. The ensembles, choirs and orchestras have weekly Zoom ‘rehearsals’ which have been GREAT fun. All our groups are hard at work recording tracks for virtual videos which we hope to share with our community. If you haven’t seen our videos yet, click here to watch: KMC Jazz Band Virtual Reality and The Glee sings For Good  

Subscribe to our Kingsmead Arts & Music YouTube Channel to follow our events! 

Presentation1 Kingsmead College


Our Music Concerts have happened online this term. Our students have submitted individual videos of them playing a piece on their instrument and we have collated these into weekly concert videos which we have shared with our community. All of these have been saved on our Kingsmead Arts & Music YouTube channel. We are thrilled to still be able to share the talent of our students.

c Kingsmead College

Capture Music Image Kingsmead College


Lockdown has allowed debating to look a little different over the last while. The Debating WhatsApp group became a place to learn and discuss new topics and YouTube videos and articles on relevant social issues and innovative solutions were shared to stimulate discussion. The topics have included the harms of fast food, the rise of automation, the dangers of misinformation, and the morality of marketing to children, to name a few. This term the discussions moved to Zoom where the students argued their opinions and use disagreement to understand possible solutions to issues in society. On the 29th to the 31st of May, the Senior DEBATING team participated in ‘DEB-ON-LOCK’ – ‘Debate Online Lockdown’ where our debaters competed with people from other schools using Microsoft Teams. The debaters took part in 5 preliminary rounds after which the seniors ranked 2nd out of 6 teams. This meant Kingsmead progressed to the semi-finals where the senior team lost 2-1. The Junior rounds took place over the 5th and 6th of June. In the 3 preliminary rounds, our juniors won 1 out of 3 debates.


The Public Speaking Club is  having weekly meetings on Zoom. The Grade 12 Arts leaders have been coming up with regular ‘challenges’ encouraging the Senior School students to continue pursuing their interests in Art, Drama and Photography which include Zoom meetings for discussions and exploring themes to photograph and express in Art.  

The Arts Team recreates famous works of Art: 

1 1 Kingsmead College

All the best from the Arts & Music Department. 

 MA 1 Kingsmead College

Elsabé Fourie 
Director of Arts & Music 

A note from Jenny Venter

Director of Service

Venter Jenny Kingsmead College


Service remains a core value at Kingsmead College and during these difficult times we still give without expecting reward from the confines of our homes. Despite not being able to physically visit our community engagement partners we continue to encourage the girls to participate in service at home.

During this time where we are doing so many things in a new and different way and as our world turns virtual, so does volunteering. Virtual volunteering offers us the opportunity to continue our social impact while remaining indoors and safe.

The Service@Home programme shares various opportunities on how to serve during the lockdown. The participation, especially in the Senior School, has been overwhelming and service hours are being logged regularly.

Some Service@Home activities include:

  • Mother’s Day cards and letters for Park Care (more than 50 cards and letters were submitted)

8= Kingsmead College

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  • Knitting squares
  • Creating toys from knitted squares
  • Picking up litter for the Love Where You Live campaign
  • Creating educational games for Dlala Nje
  • Making Covid-19 Face masks

Bringing community engagement partners together

Kingsmead College would like to thank Dignity Dreams for their generous donation of 200 Covid-19 face masks. These masks will be gifted to Isipho Primary School in Soweto. Furthermore, a Fielding Dreams donation provided hand sanitiser to every student at Isipho.

The Kingsmead community is encouraged to purchase Covid-19 masks from Dignity Dreams and thereby support their aim of providing washable and reusable sanitary products to girls who do not have access to these.

You can support Dignity Dreams by purchasing a Covid-19 face mask from them at R35 per mask, or R100 for three masks. Masks are available in turquoise, black or multi-coloured in sizes children, medium and large. Email info@dignitydreams.com to place an order.

Picture2 Kingsmead College

How can you get involved?

Support our ongoing blanket project by donating knitted or crocheted squares of 20cmx20cm or by volunteering to sew squares into blankets. Contact Jenny Venter (jventer@kingsmead.co.za) for more information.

Picture3 Kingsmead College

Donate to our winter collection in support of Rays of Hope and the #WarmUpAlex campaign. Donation boxes are placed outside the Music reception.

SE3 Kingsmead College

Jenny Venter
Director of Service

Kingsmead Book Fair


The outbreak of Covid-19 across the country has seen social gatherings and events being cancelled since March 2020. With this year’s Kingsmead Book Fair following suit, we felt that it was important to keep the love of reading alive during these difficult and uncertain times and thus launched a month-long social media #KBFCelebration of books and authors. The campaign came to life across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, reliving highlights from previous years, connecting with authors, sharing good reads and capturing the joy of the Book Fair event that we will all appreciate even more when next we are able to host it.

KMB 312 scaled Kingsmead College

Alex Bouche
Director of Marketing


The PTA have put together this beautiful tribute – A Thank You from the Kingsmead Community.

Screenshot 20200608 111254 Kingsmead College



Dear Kingsmead Alumni,

We would love to receive news and updates from the Kingsmead past pupils the world over. Please could you email kingsmeadOKA@gmail.com with:

  • Full name
  • Maiden name
  • Year of matriculation
  • Contact details

Any news you may have of your own or news of other Kingsmead past students that you would like to share.

Please pass this mail on to anyone you may know who may not be on our database. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your news.

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