Well done, Mr Baker

Maghmood Allie, Plumstead

It is with great pleasure and honour that I express my sincerest congratulations to Zeid Baker on the appointment to the post of principal of South Peninsula High School. Well done, sir.

I cannot think of a more deserving person and I am so extremely proud of his achievement. There are a handful of people whose achievements and accomplishments I am extremely proud of and who have touched my life in a good way. Mr Baker is at the top of that list.

“Surround yourself with good people. Whether they’re the best or not, people are capable of learning if they’ve got good hearts and they’re good souls.” This quote by Kid Rock summarises my involvement with Mr Baker and I consider myself the fortunate one in our liaison, having met 40 years ago.

It was in January 1978 that we were two of the naughty buggers at SP lining up in the quad in front of the prefab buildings housing the Standard 6 classrooms.

We were all mingling, hustling and jostling for position in the lines. I was close to the front. Alphabetically!
Mr Baker was there
as well. We were
placed together
and our association began. I am truly thankful and blessed that I could meet the people I met.

I am immensely proud to know him and will continue to endorse what he wants to do and achieve as he has immense passion and will indeed reach his goals. Mr B is a remarkable person and will continue to make a difference as I fully believe that he has already done so. He will succeed.

Martin Luther King Jr said: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Much can be written and said about a difficult and challenging journey of life as well as the curve-balls thrown by life in general. He will never use the past and previous experiences as an excuse but rather as a source of inspiration, to constantly evolve and to see the challenges as exactly that: challenges. And challenges are meant to be taken on and ultimately be defeated.

These qualities are a source of inspiration and motivation to others. Indeed, to me. And I salute him for he is someone who realised the need to start at the beginning of a journey and took the steps on this journey in an orderly fashion as it should be. Where he finds himself at the moment is proof of his determination and belief in himself and those around him.

In a time of crisis, he took on responsibilities selflessly and with all due regard to the situation. Young minds and personalities still needed to be shaped and educated. One can only but have a far greater respect for all educators involved and I sincerely thank them.

The late Dr Rita F. Pierson, an educational trainer and consultant, motivational speaker/teacher, author and human resource developer was quoted as saying: “Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

The great Mr Nelson Mandela once mentioned: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

Much advice will follow and criticism will be given. But Mr Baker will take this in a constructive manner. He remains surrounded by a beautiful, loving family and extremely skilled and competent colleagues as well as a supportive governing body which no doubt functions “not to be served, but to serve.”

Finally, a not-so-famous person was reported to have said: “Have no fear of having big shoes to fill or following in someone’s footsteps; you wear your own shoes and you create your own footsteps” – Maghmood Allie, SPHS Class of 1982.