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Learner Council 2018/2019

A list of the Learner Council members and their portfolios

Piya Igwe

Head Girl

Trust is vital in a friendship and it is a two-way street. One party is vulnerable enough to open up to the other and that party, simultaneously, has the responsibility of respecting and maintaining this confidentiality. Vulnerability and responsibility are two strong qualities that I believe are crucial to character development.

Leaders need to be humble. Although they are often held in high esteem, it is important for the leaders not to become conceited. The role of a leader is to lead a team and improve the environment in which he or she leads. Humility allows for leaders to remember their purpose and to produce meaningful work.

I have an immense admiration for children in impoverished communities who work hard, defy the odds and achieve success. These people do not have the same privileges and opportunities that many of us take for granted. Through sheer determination, they triumph over adversity. While they may not be public figures (yet), I still believe that they deserve respect and honour. For this reason, they are my role models.

Failure is vital. It provides an opportunity to learn from past mistakes. Learning is growth. If one is able to grow, as a leader, one can produce work of an even better quality. Adversity can be a mechanism of strengthening if one can overcome it.


Zethu Mavovana

Deputy Head Girl

Loyalty and trustworthiness are the greatest things you can receive from friends. I also believe that your friends need to motivate, love and support you.

The greatest quality in a leader is the ability to lead by example. I struggle a lot with this concept as I sometimes forget that the people I am leading are the same people who are also watching the way I conduct myself.  I admire leaders who take accountability for their actions, are trustworthy, have the ability to lead from the back of the pack and have the interest of others at heart. I look up to Barack Obama, a phenomenal leader who was fair and loyal to his country, influenced others positively and showed great humility.  I respect the fact that, although President of the USA, he never thought of himself as better than anybody else and never abused the power of his position as many leaders do today.

I have learnt that you can't always please other people in everything you do; the best thing you can do is be yourself.

Michaela Budge

Head of Academic

I value loyalty, support and people who admire others without being jealous. I admire the people who give everything, irrespective of how busy or uninterested they may be.
Through some tough challenges in life, I've learnt that you should never back down. We always find strength when we least expect it, and we are stronger than we think.  "Stay patient, and trust your journey," describes this perfectly.

Tiffany Gordon

Head of Sport

I truly value honesty. It is not something that you find everywhere. Although it does not seem like an issue for some, when the tyre hits the road and things get rough, ingenuous things that are said may become lies.  I have not experienced this, but it is always good to learn from others. I would rather have someone, especially a friend tell the ugly truth than a nice lie.

Transparency, a serving heart, strong personality, and a touch of humour is what I prefer in a leader. All leaders should also be humble, having the willingness to serve and, most importantly, others must be able to relate to them as it is through relationships that one truly impacts the lives of others.

A person I admire is my aunt Jolene as she always fights for the positivity in situations. Even if there is only a glimpse of hope, she will believe in that hope and, ultimately, everyone around her starts believing in it too. To some, she is an average woman, but to me she is role model, legend, and a definite leader. She also taught me that as a leader, you will deal with conflict and messy situations, but even in those times, there are certain things that people do not need to know. The balance between privacy and transparency is one for which I will continue to strive.

Minethia Markman

Head of Culture

The qualities I admire most in friends are honesty and loyalty.  Friendships are strengthened through loyalty – in good times and in bad times.  Friends should also motivate one another to excel and be each other's cheerleaders.

I admire Walt Disney for the way that he dealt with failure, realising that it gives one more life experience and therefore he faced his challenges and thus developed strength.  This also taught others to not give up on their dreams – it is never too late to try something new. 

Leaders should have the ability to navigate themselves and their team through difficult times. They need to be flexible; to roll with life's punches. Leaders should also enforce the phrase "service above self" and strive to create environments where everyone can excel and where they can be themselves.

I have learnt that "it is better to become exhausted from the hard times that breed success stories, than to be well rested from achieving absolutely nothing."  After facing adversity and then later seeing the end result, you will realise that the blood, sweat and tears that you have put in were worth it.

Saskia Sonnerer

Head of Community Service

“When you're a kid, you colour with reckless abandon. You colour outside the lines. You colour however you feel. Blue elephants, purple trees, red bears , green oceans – it’s all good. As you get older though, everyone tells you to stay inside the lines, to colour everything just like you see it. You end up painting by numbers -- whether you actually paint or whether you write or sing or dance or act or direct. I think you should create what you feel. Create outside the lines. I want to watch green oceans and red bears. I would love to listen to purple trees. And I long to read blue elephants " - Wordsmith.

I believe that one should grow up but never forget the magic of being a kid.

Kira Louw

Head of Communication and Spirit

I appreciate effort. No matter how small, silly or irrelevant, I appreciate effort.

It is one of the most admirable qualities to me. I am moved when I can see how somebody has gone out of their way to do something and given their best, particularly for others. The world is too full of people who say a great deal but do very little.  I admire and respect people who talk less about what they are going to do and rather surprise you by doing the unexpected. I believe that you are what you do, not what you say you will do.

Samantha Smuts

Passion and determination drives us to achieving great things.   I value friends who are open-minded and who are not scared to stand up for what they believe in.  I have a positive outlook on life and I like to view setbacks as setups for comebacks. I stand for equality and respect for all living beings and an avoidance of violence towards others. I admire leaders who are true to themselves and can inspire others in this way.

Nqobile Mmope

Empathy is something I seek in a friend, while in a leader I look for humility – the ability to remain grounded when you have every reason to perhaps think otherwise.  The person in whom I see this and who I admire is Oprah Winfrey.

Through adversity I have learnt to seek respect, not attention.

Jenna van Blerck

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them” ~ Mother Teresa

I admire a friend that is dependable, supportive and selfless. I value people who put others’ needs before their own and do things with everyone’s best interest at heart, and do not just do things for self gain.

I try my best to surround myself with people who are constantly loving and encouraging others without any conditions as this inspires me to be a better version of myself every day. I admire a leader who is willing to learn from themselves and others irrespective of the situation, as I sometimes struggle with that myself. My mom has been a living testimony to this and for that I respect her greatly. I believe that adversity is a time for immense growth as well as new opportunities.

Juliet Burns

The qualities I admire most in a friend are the ability to make me laugh even when I don't necessarily feel like it and for them to accept me and not judge me for my mistakes. Through my failures I have learnt that there is a bigger picture. Every time something goes wrong, I always like to remind myself that my problems will often be small in the bigger picture of my life, and I thus need to accept what has happened and move on.

Overall, my main goal is to enjoy life. I always give my best in everything I do, but I love making time to go to the beach, keep fit and do things with friends. I have a great appreciation for South Africa and a passion for travel. I will never stop looking for the rainbow.

Lee Rabie

“The original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.” — Chateaubriand

I greatly admire those who are boldly true to themselves, those who have the confidence to be their own person and define their own path. To be unafraid of writing a story like no one has ever read before in the big book of life, is the quality that I value the most in those that surround me.

These qualities are what makes Katharine Hepburn such an inspiration to me. She was fiercely individual, independent and innovative, changing the path for women for many generations to come.

I love seeing others being confident and comfortable with themselves, and empowering others to do the same.

Jordyn Wolhuter

I value honesty and open-mindedness, and I really enjoy a good joke and a sense of humour.  It is important that others are true to themselves and that they stick to their word.
Leaders should be confident, but not cocky and they should not be guided by what others think of them (i.e value the opinion of others but do not allow this to inform or shape your actions). 

Through failure I have learnt that, in the moment, it may seem like nothing will ever turn out right, yet with hard work and determination, you will realise that failure was the fire that you needed to find within yourself what you needed to get back up and do even better than you had intended to.

Georgia Roux

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind”

A quality that I admire in a person is kindness. There is a lot of room for more kindness in this world and I respect people who give selflessly to others without expecting anything in return. Kindness is a virtue that should never be overlooked and one that I try to live by every day.

Taylor Yates

I value friends who are loyal, honest and authentic.  I try to surround myself with people who motivate me and I am driven by competition and determination.  One of my heroes is Roger Bannister who was an athlete in 1952. He was the first to run a 4 minute mile and soon thereafter, many others did the same. He showed everyone that there is no such thing as “impossible” and that you can break the limitations or boundaries which exists in your mind.

Napoleon Hill said, “ There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.”

Ana Sampson

Friendship is a life-changing experience. It teaches you values like trust, loyalty, integrity and love. Friends are the ones who accept you for your true strange self, they bring energy and laughter in your life and one must learn to appreciate and admire them.

I am a passionate person who believes that one small smile radiates so much love and can change a person’s mood.

Jazz Mallam

Empathy, as well as selflessness, are extremely important to me in a friendship and in a leader.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another;  the ability to help once you know what the other person is going through.  Without empathy, a person is unable to lead effectively. Leading is not a task done alone, but with the help of many. To be able to relate to people and find a common ground is what unifies a group and enables effective work or play.

Selfless is not a sacrifice of self, but rather the opportunity to share more with my peers. In this, it is important to serve selflessly to gain friendship, trust and reliability.

Khanyisa Nkuna

Friends who are supportive are extremely valuable. They encourage you when you are about to give up, they believe in you even when you do not believe in yourself and they remind you that you are never alone. These are the kind of friends that will stand by you through thick and thin.

I truly admire leaders who make everyone feel like someone. This can be done with love and kindness - qualities I believe we all possess.

Christine Caine is one of the many public figures I admire. She loves God, has a passion for empowering women and shows compassion towards people. Christine is saving lives and changing lives after finding her purpose and doing everything with true passion. This motivates me to know that even in situations laced with inhumanity, one person can use their compassion to make a difference.

I have learned that achieving something at the expense of your character is not worth it. Character is produced by endurance, so, even when I face adversity, I remind myself that it is important to keep going and that everything happens for a reason.

Rachel Uys

Somebody that inspires me happens to be very close to me - my mom.  My mother is someone who always does what needs to be done. She is efficient and organised, but at the same time kind and she still has time for her family. I love to work hard for her and my dad and the rest of my family.

Qualities that are important in a friend is being kind and realistic, I want to be able to relate to others, but also to have someone who will support the crazy ideas that I sometimes have.

Abby Green

The qualities I value most in a friend is their ability to trust themselves as well as to believe in themselves.  If they can do this, I am most likely to trust and believe in them too. The quality of having a good heart, especially when no-one is watching, is something that stands out for me too.  It takes a lot to be able to put someone else before yourself.  I value someone who values friendship and will try to get the best out of others.  Someone who can remind me that life is not a to-do list and with this, knowing the traits and qualities of each other, we can both ALWAYS bring out the best in each other!

Andrea Cornellisen

Honesty and authenticity are two things I value most in a friendship. I love being surrounded by like-minded people who share the same values as I have. In this way you are able to motivate and be motivated and inspired by the people around you to achieve to the best of your ability.

I think the most important qualities in a leader are staying true to yourself and who you are, knowing what you have to offer and leading with grace and authenticity.

"Acknowledging you have areas to work on is not an admission of failure; it is an admission that you have more potential." - Carrie Cheadle. These words by Carrie Cheadle speak volumes and are important to remember when faced with adversity or failure. A key lesson that I've learnt from failure is that failure does not define you. What defines you is the way you rise and persevere after being faced with failure. Above all else, failure teaches us that with confidence in your own abilities and a strong sense of determination anything is possible.

Zia February

The trait that I value most in a friend is loyalty, as well as trust. Knowing that I can depend on my friends and that they respect my decisions is quite an amazing feeling. I choose to surround myself with people who see things in a positive way, because this motivates me to be a better version of myself.

I admire my grandfather, because he always puts others before himself and he is a very determined person. He has taught me a lot about compassion for others and staying true to my values. During difficult times, I always try to remember that it’s okay to make mistakes, because it’s from these mistakes that we learn. It is also important for me to keep a positive mindset and to persevere through the challenges.

Amy October

Friends are people you need to help guide you and allow you to find balance.

Respect, is a value that I look for in every person I meet, regardless of our backgrounds or positions. Respect ties in all other ethnic values in my life and I’ve grown to love this value in others because of how previous leaders carried it. I adore the persistence in the respect and good citizenship of leaders for their humility keeps them grounded and not boastful.

I aspire to be as strong and determined as my 8 year old brother. He has battled alongside a very intelligent twin sister and through him I have learnt that “Slow Progress is still PROGRESS”.  This has got me through many stressful times and disappointments.

Ah-young Moon

I value loyalty in a friendship, maybe that is why I love the sisterhood at Rhenish so much. 

“It is ok to fail as long as you learn!" It took me a very long time to accept this phrase and, initially, failure embarrassed me.  But, I have discovered that making mistakes is a necessary part of success – it should be seen as an opportunity. 

All Rhenishers are my role models.  This may seem like a cliché, but from the very first moment I stood in the stadium cheering our 4M athletes, I have always been motivated and learnt new ways to live my life to the fullest from every other Rhenish girl.  Every girl strives for her dream at Rhenish with the support from our teachers. I always remind myself that I am surrounded by a family at Rhenish to cheer me up when I feel like a failure and I believe that this is the true job of a role model.

Yolisa Tile

"Respect is like a mirror, the more you show it to others, the more it will be reflected back."

The qualities I admire in a friend is respect, honesty and humour. A friend who is honest, respects all and knows how to radiate positivity is a good friend indeed.

I admire leaders who are fair to all, who are kind and generous, put others before themselves, practice what they preach, stay true to themselves, listen to others and respect others. My biggest and most important role models are my parents. They have taught me to respect others, to work hard and never to give up.  From them I have learnt to be honest and fair to all, to preserve, to be kind and to see the best in every person or situation.

I have failed many, many times in many things but that has not stopped me from standing up and trying again. Something that I have learnt in life is that there will be many obstacles we have to overcome, and times where we doubt ourselves and want to give up but you have to get out of your comfort zone, work hard, never give up and never stop dreaming. A quote that I live by is "Failure is nothing more than a chance to revise your strategy."

Adri Langford

Nothing means more to me than my family. My family at home and, of course, the family (sisters) that I have made here at Rhenish. I believe that it's important to stay true to yourself and not change for those around you.

A person I admire is an Afrikaner heroine, Racheltjie de Beer, who gave her life in order to save her brothers. I think we can learn that it's important to think of others and always to be kind. I try to surround myself with people who bring out the best in me, people who support me and do not judge me. In the end, your friends are important because they influence you and your personal growth. I always try my best and work hard in every situation.

Zola Mbewu

The personality trait I value most in a friend is integrity, to be the same person he/she is to me in public and behind closed doors. I also like it when my friends have the ability to remain steadfast in their believes, irrespective of where they are or with whom they are.

The quality I admire most in leaders is definitely fairness. Fairness is the ability to make judgements and reach decisions without discrimination. This ties in with honesty which is also a quality that I like in a leader.

A public figure I admire would be Thulisile Nomkhosi Madonsela, our previous public protector. Ms Madonsela displayed great confidence in everything she does. She is a dignified and honest woman who doesn’t allow her opinion and what she believes in to be swayed by what others think or say. She is an honest woman and having met her in person I can say she is also very humble and down to earth. `   

“Through failure comes success”.  Every failure is also a learning opportunity. Every failure I have experienced has taught me something about myself and has given me the opportunity to improve.  Failure is not negative;  it is what YOU make of it.

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