Daveyton’s former principal publishes a book

A retired principal, James Wandile Makhubu officially launched his book, Vagabond Principal: Dodging Bullets, on the 10th of October 2021. The event happened simultaneously with his birthday and retirement celebration. The book highlights his journey on how he unexpectedly became a principal.

Makhubu was encouraged by his family and friends to write his story because it was worth telling; however, he didn’t understand the reason behind it.

”I could not imagine myself putting a pen on paper and writing about my escapades, because I am shy to talk about myself, But I had to do it,” he said.

The 63-year old had always wanted to be a teacher from a young age. He was fascinated by his teachers, who seemed to have a wealth of knowledge. They inspired him so he emulated them later on in life.

“I never thought or dreamt that I would be responsible to run a school as a principal, not even in my wildest dreams.”

The former principal founded Unity Secondary School in Daveyton in 1992 and has been the principal for the past 29 years. The school has made its mark as one of the well-known performing high schools in Gauteng.

The former educator and principal of Menzi Primary School in Tsakane, Ndumiso Mnguni revealed that the book relates to figurative and real bullets.

“Mr Makhubu has revealed in his book that as a human being you don’t have to wait for people to do it for you, run with it. It is a book of visionary, you will want to read it again,” said Mnguni.“I am reading the book for the second time because it is inspirational, it is doesn’t focus on an individual but a number of things that contributed to the success of the school.

“I would really like to see the book being filmed because most people love stories but they are lazy to read and they prefer something which is filmed,” he added.

Mnguni said as much as he knows the school and the principal, he thinks there is room for improvement and therefore they will be a continuation of the book because there are so many things that were not included in the book, and he is delighted that he didn’t start with a lengthy document, the book is a small read and it is manageable.

“I felt a need to read the book not because I know the man, but because he is highly praised in Daveyton and in the whole country. I encourage new principals to get the book and most importantly students; they can use the book as their guidance. The book is really informative and guiding.”

“It is good to be a leader who is a servant, he is not lofty. He understands the concepts of humanity, once you lead an institution like that one while your heart is filled with compassion, you can easily dodge the bullets, I respect a guy who does the impossible,” he explained.

Simphiwe Nkosi

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