Epworthian News

Year of 2020

Sally Earl (Bairstow)

Sally Earl (Bairstow, class of 1971)

Epworth in 1968 was a paradise for me. A world of books and laboratories, and wonderful skilled teachers. My short 4 years were a time of accelerated growth.

I had decided before getting there that I was going to be a doctor, this knowledge and the start of gardening happened in my 12th year, and led to a career in Oncology as well as a passion for gardening. Our motto, Fida, Humana, Fortis has resonated through my life after school.

The faith to carry on even when times are really tough, with optimism that it will be worth it in the end. The humanity taught strongly at school, and reinforced by a mother who acknowledged all people as worthy, made me a better doctor. I could always see and appreciate the person and not the disease in my many years as Radiation Oncologist. I knew that to be able to comfort was a great gift.

Courage has been a daily requirement. The courage to face failings even when the consequences are dire. The courage to be calm when imparting bad news, and daily facing mortality.

Epworth also installed a sense of fun. So humour has carried me through many difficult times. Singing and laughing together is one of my strongest memories of school. Our class of 1971 had wonderful voices and even today when we meet we can sing and laugh together as I hope we will be able to do next year, our 50th year after school. Now I am retired and gardening. My passion now is to change the environment around me. Epworth instilled a sense of awe and wonderment for nature that was added to a childhood in the veld. This is now giving so much joy. Click Here for more information.

Year of 2019

Sinenhlanhla Ndlela

Sinenhlanhla Ndlela (Class of 2011), turned a health issue into a business by creating a vegan (Non-dairy) ice-cream. Realising the business potential, the Yo Coco Vegan Ice-cream Brand was born in 2016, and has grown into a small enterprise. Hats off to you, Sine!

Abby Solms (Adie)

N3TC Drak Challenge 2019, Abby Solms (Adie) (Class of 2007) Clinched an 8th Title in the 2019 Drak Canoe Challenge, making her the most successful lady paddler in this race.

Amy Greaves

50th Cap South African Women’s Indoor Hockey Team. Amy Greaves (Class of 2011) played for the South African Team in Prague, Czech Republic.

Year of 2018

Shannon Bennetts

Shannon Bennetts (Class of 2013) studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  She has recently graduated, receiving her Honours Summa Cum Laude in her Bachelor of Arts.  Shannon created a short video game that interprets the mental state of someone suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She has since received positive responses to her practical work, especially when it has been able to help someone understand OCD. Shannon says animation has no limits, and so the potential to do good in a form of storytelling and of art is limitless. Click Here for more information.

Kayleigh Gemmell

Kayleigh Gemmell (Class of 2013) graduated summa cum laude in her Honours year of Bachelor of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  Her research that looked into notions of hyperrealism, a concept that is actively explored through the animated medium and championed by animation industries such as Walt Disney Studios. She was awarded a UKZN scholarship to complete her postgraduate degree.  This became a motivating factor, pushing her to work incredibly hard and achieve better results.  Kayleigh is currently a Master’s student in Digital Art and is in the process of producing her Master’s thesis. Her advice to other students is “You cannot rely on talent alone, because hard work trumps talent in the long run”.

Andrea Duffin (Murray)

Andrea  (Class of 1990) has recently returned from Nepal where she and four friends summited Island Peak (6189m) below Mount Everest. Andrea says the peak itself was as small as a table, so they were lucky to be able to rope themselves onto it. Their hike took them across the passes and high points of the Solukhumbu, past the infamous Gokyo Lakes and over glaciers. Andrea said it has got to be one of the hardest things she has ever done. What an amazing experience!

Karin Slater

Sisters of the Wilderness, a new South African social impact feature documentary, directed by award-winning filmmaker, Karin Slater (Class of 1987) is set in the iMfolozi wilderness, the oldest game park in South Africa. Sisters of the Wilderness tells the story of five young Zulu women venturing into the wilderness for the first time on a journey of self-discovery, reminding them that we are all intimately linked to nature. Director Karin Slater says, “I was born in Empangeni and spent my early years, close to the iMfolozi wilderness. I have a deep love and connection to this area. I know what the wilderness has done for me over the years.” Sisters of the Wilderness serves as a foundation for an outreach programme that will use multiple platforms to re-connect global audiences with nature.

Kayla de Beer

Kayla de Beer (Class of 2015) was selected for the Senior South African Sprint Canoe team to compete in the first and second International Canoe Federation World Cups.  The first World Cup was in Szeged, Hungary. The main focus of the tour for Kayla was to perform well in the K2 with her new training partner, Esti van Tonder. They competed in the K2 200m and placed 7th in the A final.  The second world cup was held in Duisberg, Germany. Considering that the K2 combination was still very new, they improved on their result in Szeged and placed 6th in the A final of the K2 200m. Kayla and her partner will compete at the World Championships in August with valuable race experience gained and she can’t wait to take on the other nations again.

Zolelwa Sifumba

Zolelwa Sifumba (Class of 2008), originally from East London in the Eastern Cape, has recently completed her medical degree at the University of Cape Town. Zole contracted TB while working at a hospital in the Cape.  Through very trying times, she has followed her dream and still become a doctor.  Zole is on the management committee and a member of “TB Proof” in South Africa.  She is making a big difference in the world by educating people on TB.  We were privileged to have Zole return to Epworth to talk to our aspirant pupils about following their dreams and staying strong through difficult times.


Jordan & Cana Lee Peek

It was an action-packed three day Dusi Canoe Marathon for sisters, Cana Lee Peek (Class of 2016) and Jordan Peek (Class of 2013) who took first place in the ladies race. The race proved to be very exciting.  Day three was transformed into what all paddlers had hoped for, there was enough water for the ladies not to have to run all the way to Durban.  A quote from Jordan to her sister Cana  “What a privilege it was to do Dusi 2018 with you Cana Lee Peek”

Bronwen Findlay

Bronwen (Class of 1971) is a truly wonderful artist.  She works with oil paint where flora and fauna emerges through the layers of colour and texture.  Bronwen’s work will be exhibited at the Everard Read Gallery, entitled ‘Painting Hokusai and other worlds’.

Marlene Steenkamp

Marlene (Class of 2005 and current Staff Member as a Sports Coach) has made us proud!  She plays for the KwaZulu-Natal Inland Ladies’ Cricket team and was also the Captain from 2015 to 2017. She has represented this team since 2006. Marlene was awarded Player of the Season in 2017.  To add to this, she was the U19 Provincial Coach from 2013 to 2017.

Candyce Bongers (Hall)

After matriculating at Epworth, Candyce (Class of 2001) studied Human Kinetics and Ergonomics in Grahamstown.  She then went on to study Exercise Science and Bio kinetics, receiving her Honours from UCT.  Candyce has a thriving business in Hout Bay, Cape Town.  She is featured on the front cover of the February edition of Modern Athlete Magazine.  Being the driving force behind the fast-growing Cape Carbineers Club in Cape Town, she was recently voted Chair of the Western Province Cross-Country Committee.  Candyce was placed second woman in the Nelson Mandela Run for Freedom recently.  Candyce, the Epworthians are so proud of you!

Robyn Owen (Kime)

Robyn (Class of 2007) has done Epworth proud again!  She raced to victory in the World Multisport Championships at the Kathmandu Coast to Coast Race in New Zealand.  Robyn powered her way across the line with a four-minute lead, winning the race which included cycling, kayaking and running.  What an amazing athlete and a wonderful achievement!

Karl Oftebro

Karl (Grade 7 2000) has been representing The Insurance Apprentice.  He has successfully made it to the third round.  Hollard Insurance are the sponsors of The Insurance Apprentice.  They are dedicated to contributing meaningfully to the insurance industry, growing and encouraging young talent and this is the reason for their involvement.  They aim for the next generation of industry talent is to see them smart, prepared and well-informed. Click Here for more information.

Allison King

Allison King (Class of 2015) has successfully obtained her Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) Pilot Licence. Through hard work and dedication, gaining flying hours during weekends and holidays while at boarding school, as well as between studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pretoria, she accomplished her goal. Allison hopes to inspire other young women to embrace their challenges and never give up. Allison says “Epworth gave me the courage to dream and push boundaries. It is indeed a privilege to be considered an Epworthian”.

Thandolwenkosi Mthembu

Urban designer, Thandolwenkosi Mthembu (Class of 2007) is studying for an MSc in city design for developing countries at Oxford Brookes University in England on a prestigious Chevening Scholarship. She would like to see a transformation of spaces in poverty stricken areas.  Previously Thandolwenkosi studied architecture on an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation scholarship.  She has also lectured in architecture at Durban University of Technology.  In 2015, Thandolwenkosi was part of an international workshop on reshaping the socio-ecological landscapes of Kya Sands informal settlement. She is also the founder of Power Generation, a youth organisation empowering disadvantaged people through education, sports and cultural activities.  Thandolwenkosi’s dream is to help change and affect people’s lives positively.

Year of 2017

Vera Scott

Vera Scott (Class of 1987) has been appointed as Extraordinary Associate Professor in Public Health at UWC.  Congratulations for your hard work!

Bev Hancock (Steer)

Bev Hancock (Steer) (Class of 1981) is a conversational catalyst.  She inspires people and companies to use words to create the world that they desire.  Bev has worked with many multinationals and currently plays a leadership role in the Smart City Initiative in Nelson Mandela Bay. Bev says small business growth is in her view the key success factor to economic growth and empowerment.

Kevin Benkenstein

Kevin Benkenstein  (Grade 7 1998) a cyclist trying to make a difference in other lives.  Kevin supports a fund raising event called Qhubeka where funds are raised to purchase bicycles for  families.  Kevin has covered over 3000kms of Australian territory and plans to gain 8,848m of elevation (which is the height of Mr Everest) on the beautiful slopes of South Africa during this year.   Kevin says that he has to do a lot of mental preparation for these challenges and says it’s not the climb he has to conquer but his mind.  We are so proud of you Kevin.

Gabi Kietzka

Gabi Kietzka (Class of 2009) is a researcher, currently doing her PhD in Conservation and Ecology at the University of Stellenbosch. Gabi explains the importance of dragonflies, nature’s messenger, in indicating the health of an ecosystem.

Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki

Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki (Class of 1983) writes a compelling story about Thuli Madonsela and reminds us of Madonsela’s moral compass and dignity, both during her role as Public Protector and in her private life.

Amy Webster

Amy Webster 2007 at the KwaZulu-Natal Young Achievers Wildlands Awards was nominated and WON in the Environment category for her work on the Sustainable Schools Program with Wildlands and the YouthForLions campaign with Blood Lions. Pictured with Ms Simone Dale 1997

Lana Kruger

Lana Kruger 2010 named woman of the month August by Tazzy Untangled (for the modern woman) blog. Lana a passionate entrepreneur who followed her dreams with her love of baking. Her amazing energy and strong will have helped her achieve her dreams of a successful business. Please click here for more information.


Candice Sessions (Mills)

Candice Sessions (Mills) 2002 Marketing Manager recently interviewed on Expresso breakfast show as part of a PR campaign for the launch of Tetley Green Tea.

Mpumelelo Maphumulo

Congratulations to Mpumelelo Maphumulo who was selected for the SA hockey u16 high performance squad at the conclusion of the u16 IPT.

Brittany Petersen

Brittany Petersen 2012 Cyclist and Paddler. She won the KZN Cycling Road Race Time Trials and placed 4th in the KZN Cycling Road Race.

Mbali Matandela

Mbali Matandela 2011 Studied Gender and Transformation at Rhodes University and has been awarded a scholarship by the Rhodes Trust to study at Oxford University.

Robyn Owen (Kime)

Robyn Owen (Kime) 2007 Canoeist and top Trail Runner. She recently completed the 3100m Rhino Peak Challenge in the southern Drakensberg. Robyn has won: 2 K1 & 3 K2 Dusi titles, 1 Drak Challenge title and a K1 & K2 Fish River title.

Julie Lee

Julie Lee 2011 Squash Player and Cyclist. She placed 2nd in the KZN Road Race Time Trials in January and placed 5th in the KZN Cycling Road Race.

Caitlin Peters

Caitlin Peters 2013 Studying Civil Engineering at UCT and is on the Dean’s Merit List for 2016.

Year of 2016

Nonjabulo Ndwandwe

Listen and watch: remember this name Nonjabulo Ndwande Class of 2014.
Click Here for more information.

Zuki Mzozoyana

Zuki Mzozoyana Epworth Class of 1997 Head of the Young Entrepreneur Foundation. Offering financial literacy and enterprise programmes to children from previously disadvantaged communities and has joined up with Danie Jacobs the Founder of The Young Entrepreneur Foundation

“When you are 7 years old – believe it or not – you can learn how to start and run your own micro-enterprise. You can also learn financial literacy.” Click Here for more information.

Siseko Jafta (Prep School 2004) – new General Manager of the KZN Rugby Union

Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union and the Sharks have announced the appointment of 24-year-old Siseko Jafta as general manager of the KZNRU, effective from January 1, 2017.

There have been some structural changes within the KZNRU as both the amateur and professional bodies at the union have committed to closely aligning themselves to further strengthen and grow the game in KZN.

Jafta takes over the reins from current KZNRU CEO, Pete Smith, 62, who after close-on 25 years of service, is retiring at the end December 2016.

Margie van Zyl Chapman

Margie van Zyl Chapman is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Geratec in Capetown, South Africa. A social worker by profession, she has worked for many years in the field of ageing, with a particular interest in long-term care and partnership development. She is passionate about networking, helping organisations to share their stories, and partnership development for the greater good. Margie has served as on the IAHSA Board of Directors since 2009. She served as IAHSA Board Chair from 2014 through 2015.

Nono Sekhoto

Nono live on BBC Channel 400
Nono Sekhoto (Class of 1999) was identified as one of three interesting young farmers on the African continent and featured on Focus on Africa, BBC Channel 400, on 28 July. The interviewees were a farmer from Ghana, another from Kenya and our Nono, who farms in South Africa. The BBC team flew from London and spent two days with Nono on the farm to do a story on her experience as a young female commercial farmer.

Emma Boreham

Saving Lives

Emma Boreham (2004) is an Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedic who has been saving lives in PMB for 13 years. Last year, Emma accepted a contract as a paramedic in Afghanistan based at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) airfield. She is now working in Ghana as part of a private clinic group that has a 911 service. Emma’s ultimate dream is to work on the New Zealand northern island rescue helicopter as she enjoys aviation medicine and search and rescue operations.



Brenda Gourley Scholarship for the 2nd ranked undergraduate student on all five campuses. Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for the top ranked Humanities undergraduate proceeding from 2 year to 3 year of study. Townley Williams Scholarship for the best student entering the final year of study in a first degree (excluding Medicine)


Malegapuru W Makgoba Scholarship for being the 3rd top ranked undergraduate in Humanities.


  • ANELE NGUBANE (2012): SA U19 squash
  • ZIYANDA NGCOBO (2010):  KZN U19 netball
  • NOLWAZI NJILO (2012): KZN U18 netball

The Jarvis Kaplan Cup

The Jarvis Kaplan Cup (adult version of the Interprovincial Squash Tournament) was held in Pietermaritzburg from 11-15 July 2016.

The Midlands team, which came second in the Ladies B section, consisted of one current Epworth pupil, Noël Lee, and four past pupils, namely Maxine Gouweloos (nee Windelberg-2007), Ashton O’Neill (2008), Heather Mullon (O’Neill-2007) and Shannon van Der Merwe (Zwart-2002).

The KZN team consisted of Samantha Kassner (Herbert- 1992) and Kate Rowe (1998).

Nono Sekhoto represented Central Gauteng at this tournament, and sisters Kim (2013) and Jess (2015) McDonald represented Northern Gauteng.

All these ladies have been coached by Sally White.

Well done to all!  You make us so very proud.

Marguerite (Osler) van der Merwe

Marguerite (Osler) van der Merwe, a resident of Kleinmond, near Cape Town, was awarded the prestigious CHANCELLOR’S MEDALLION at a graduation ceremony, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, on Thursday 30 June, 2016, for “Exceptional service to South Africa and the world beyond our borders.” The award is in recognition of her many years of dedicated work in teaching and promoting the F.M. Alexander Technique in this country.

Says Cheryl Herbert, chairperson of SASTAT (South African Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique) “I am so gladdened by the news of Marguerite’s extraordinary achievement in recognition of her work as an Alexander Technique teacher, and how this has met with who she is, how it has been assimilated and then lived out in all that she does as a Tai Chi instructor, poet, retreat and workshop leader, wife and mother, friend, author, walker and more besides.”

Scilla Edmonds Posthumus

Scilla Edmonds Posthumus  1973 writes eco-friendly children’s book click here to view.

Lynn Lillie

Lynn Lillie (Jefferson) 1980 inducted as Epworthian President by Epworth Chaplain Rebecca Schultz (Mills) 1994 assisted by outgoing Epworthian President Cathy Mc Donald (Dicks) 1988.

Honorary Life Membership

Honorary Life Membership bestowed on Pat Korte (Sykes) 1958. Past Parent, Board Member, Epworthian Executive and Museum Volunteer and Freda Waygood (Sports Coach since 1988). Click Here for more information.

Karin Slater

Karin Slater 1987 won the New York Festival International Best TV and Film award for the Al Jazeera documentary “Kenya Water Women”. Click here to view

Jenna Lambert

Jenna Lambert 2012 received her Bachelor of Sport Science degree cum laude.
Click Here for more information.

Isla Galloway

Isla Galloway 1978 recently interviewed by the Sunday Times Careers.
Click Here for more information.

Jen Thorpe

Jen Thorpe 2002 novel “The Peculiars” recently published.


Jordan Peek

Jordan Peek 2013 and mother Kim Peek (Epworth Sports Department Canoeing Coach) completed the “Dusi in a day ” gruelling 120 kms canoe marathon! Congratulations !

Yolande Nomoyi

Yolande Nomoyi (Dlamini) 2002 entrepreneur chef click here for more information.

Sarah Jayne Kelly

Sarah Jayne Kelly 2009 look out for this beautifully illustrated article in the March issue of SA Garden and Home.

Zama Memela

Zama Memela 2010 interviewed on Morning Live about her Easy Eating Taste Experience click here to view, she is also recently featured in Mercury supplement.

Eve Poplett

Eve Poplett 1999 Featured on Top Billing early February for planning celebrity weddings.

Year of 2015

Mapaseka Mokwele (Makoti)

Mapaseka Mokwele 1994 Journalist, Television and Radio Host, Entrepreneur and Speech Night Guest speaker.

Former Epworth boys excel

Four former Epworth Prep School boys, Martin Gill, James Patrick, Francis Makkink and Simon Krone, were amongst the top achievers at the 2015 St Charles College Speech Night. Their accomplishments are testimony to both the calibre of boys Epworth attracts and the quality of education it provides. There can’t be much more satisfying for a preparatory school than to see its former pupils featuring among the top scholars at a prestigious high school.

Grade 12 pupil, Martin Gill, was named Dux for 2015 and also received Honours for academics as well as trophies for Maths, Physics and Chemistry. He is also a valuable member of the St Charles first Golf team. Martin plans to study Actuarial Science at the University of Pretoria in 2016.

James Patrick, Francis Makkink and Simon Krone, who are currently in Grade 11, were selected as prefects for 2016. They were all recognised for academic excellence, receiving full academic colours. In addition, James was named Head of Culture Council. Simon Krone’s skills also extend to the sports field and he plays first team basketball and football for St Charles.

Nono Sekhoto

Nono Sekhoto Class of 1999 nominated by African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) to represent them as a board member of the National Farmer’s Co-Operative Bank of South Africa (NAFCOBSA).

Murray Starr

Murray Starr came 11th in the Dusi Canoe marathon

Nosipo Mgojo

Venns Attorneys is proud to announce the appointment of Nosipo Mgojo 1987, the current head of the firm’s Conveyancing Division, as chairperson of the firm from 1 May 2015. She started her career with the firm in 1997 and is a KwaZulu-Natal examiner for the national conveyancing examinations. Nosipo sits on the Epworth School Board and is a member of the Governing Council of the Seth Mokitini Methodist Seminary. She is pictured with out-going Chairman, Guy Smith (right) and Managing Director, Rob Stuart-Hill.

Bianca Haw

Bianca Haw 2013 Cover of Tread Magazine

Sanani Mangisa

Sanani Mangisa 2005 South African Ladies Hockey Team 100th Cap

Amy Greaves & Faye Cooper

Amy Greaves (no. 3) 2011  & Faye Cooper (no.2) 1999
Members of the South African Ladies Indoor Hockey Team

Year of 2014

Andrea Oellermann

Andrea Oellermann 2013 was selected to join the Cape Town City Ballet’s graduate programme. She is pictured with her ballet teacher, Brenda McLachlan.

Robyn Kime

Ladies Dusi Canoe Marathon winner, Robyn Kime 2007, with keen paddlers form Epworth’s Preparatory School.

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