Wynberg Girls’ High is ‘learning from its students’

Lighting the flame for future Wynberg girls is head girl for 2024, Shareefa Orrie, right, with Grade 1 pupil Ranaa Damon, middle, and guest speaker, Andi Hoole, left.

Be you and the world will adjust, attorney and former Wynberg Girls’ High School pupil Andi Hoole told the girls at the school’s founder’s day celebration last Friday, which looked back on 139 years of history.

“For most of us here today there is no grand realisation, no sudden great discovery of your life’s purpose. So please, do not lose yourself to the never-ending race for the unattainable extraordinary,” said Ms Hoole, from the school’s class of 2013. “It’s perfectly fine to just live your moments fully, to be consumed by both the smallest and largest of passions, to gracefully allow purpose to enter and exit your life. Remember to breathe and to take in the beauty of the ordinary.”

She advised the pupils to join a team and be part of something bigger than themselves.

“It does not feel like it, but you will never have as much energy or time as you do in high school. And you will never again truly have the opportunity to so easily join teams or clubs or groups that interest you with such a variety of people from different backgrounds.”

The smartest people in any room were those who were never done learning, and learning required active listening, she said.

“One thing I can say about Wynberg in the 10 years since I last graced its halls, is that Wynberg is actively listening to and learning from its students.”

She praised changes to the school’s uniforms, which now include hijabs and pants; the introduction of a robotics team and the STEM club; and the introduction of a LGBTQIA+ society and pronoun badges.

Ms Hoole encouraged the pupils to be authentically, unashamedly themselves.

“As women, we are taught from so young to take up as little space as possible. Today I stand before you loud, proud and queer – demanding that you be loud and take up space… Stop saying sorry and start saying, ‘I wasn’t finished speaking.’ Help out other girls and be vocal about what makes you mad. Angry women will change the world.”

Andi Hoole, from the Wynberg Girls High School class of 2013, gave the founders’ day celebration address.