Since graduating from LEAP in 2007, Asanda Sigagaba has played an active role in the LEAP Past Students Association and the LEAP Future Leaders Programme and has just joined the teaching team at LEAP 5 in Limpopo.
I was born in the Eastern Cape, the oldest of four children. My mother left us when we were young to look for work in Cape Town. Although we stayed with my grandmother I knew I had to be responsible for my siblings. In 2000 we moved to Cape Town to stay with our mother but I knew I had to take responsibility even though mum was around.
When I first came to LEAP I was quiet for two years. When I was in Grade 11 I started to get to know myself and started talking. LEAP helped me to find myself and to understand how I relate to men, women and my family. In Grade 11 I still felt it was my responsibility to fix everyone but gradually came to realise that my role was as a sister not as a mother. I found a wider family of friends and parents at LEAP.
LEAP has given me incredible opportunity to travel and to see how other people live. I wanted to become a teacher because it was something I wanted for myself. And also because it allows me to interact with kids who are going through the same things I did”.
Through being a part of the LEAP Future Leaders teacher training programme Asanda has gained valuable insight into values based teaching through being mentored by teachers and staff at LEAP for the past four years.
In his sister’s footsteps
Zukile is Asanda’s younger brother. He started LEAP Foundation Year (Grade 9) in 2009.
I come from a family with no father. LEAP has done many things for me. It has taught me how to talk about my feelings. Where I come from we don’t do that. LEAP is not just a school, but a home to come to for comfort and help.
I have struggled a lot at LEAP. In my community there is a lot of crime. I saw men in my community committing crimes and thought that in order to be a man I also had to do this. I was part of a gang when I first came to LEAP.
I still make a lot of mistakes, but at LEAP I have found people who care about me and show me how to grow up and have respect for myself and others. I can now talk about how I feel and it helps a lot.