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An Oakford Success Story

We are very privileged at Villa Maria to be the Hospitality community for the Gau-Kim Community (Gauteng-Kimberley, South Africa). That means that we welcome any sisters who come from afar for meetings, holidays, or anything else. This gives us an opportunity to see many of our sisters at different times.  One of these was Sister Charlotte Engelhart, who came for a week’s holiday to us.  On Saturday March 3rd, she welcomed some surprise visitors.  Here is Sr Charlotte’s account of the visit:


What a wonderful afternoon I had! Staying at our Villa Maria in Johannesburg for a few days, I was visited by four ‘old girls’ of Sacred Heart, Oakford, Matric 2003.  Bajabulile Gicjabe is in the fashion industry, working very hard. She got a bursary top study Marketing in London for the next few years. Mbale Hlambe, now Ngerde, first studied geology, then switched over to other studies. She is a business analyst at a bank. She was Head Girl in 2003.  Ngobile Mzobe now Mbatha has done various other things, also helping her widowed mother, and is now studying Accounting.  Ntokozo Mngadi is now studying Psychology further at Witz University, where she is already a counsellor on Saturday mornings. She is working voluntarily in a soup kitchen in Parktown.

I taught these 4 girls from Grade 8 onwards,and in Grades 10 and 11 I was Class Teacher to the first three. Then one really bonds, shar-ing joys as well as sorrows. I also taught Ngobile’s and Mbali’s younger sister.  We tried to remember all of the 31 in Grades 10 and 11, as well as what we knew of their families. It was a blessed kind of reunion in the garden of Villa Maria, for which I am very grateful. Sr Justina joined us for a little while, and Sr Pru came later and took these wonderful photos.’  I have to say that I was struck by what successful lives these girls have gone on to after their grounding in Oakford. And I told them so.  Nine years from Matric, and who knows what heights they will reach yet.

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