Just before the school bell rings at Buren High School, the newly launched drum majorettes squad can be seen practising their drill on the misty sports field.
Their determination and willingness to learn will take them places, says their principal, Marwaan Shiri.
There were only six girls in the team when the school started offering drummies two weeks ago, but there are now 26 who are working hard to qualify for the future competitions, he says.
“I am looking forward to the team representing this school in future competitions.”
The squad members train twice a week after school, between two and three hours per session. Some of them train in the morning before school.
“It’s amazing to see how eager they are to train until 6pm or just before it gets dark,” Mr Shiri said.
Teacher’s assistant and instructor Ruth Mutandagayi said she enjoyed training the girls as they were very passionate about the sport.
“While we are doing exams, I have planned to put a stop to training because they have to study, but some of them still turn up and say it helps them keep a balance between exam stress,” she said.
Ms Mutandagayi, who is originally from Zimbabwe, said she had been in her school’s drummies team growing up and she wanted to pass on her knowledge to the girls.
“When this project was introduced, I immediately said this one is for me.”
The only challenge at the moment, she said, was that not all girls were at school every day because of Covid-19 safety measures.
Ward 55 councillor Fabian Ah- Sing said he had started the drum majorettes project at Ysterplaat Primary in 2018 and had decided that pupils needed to continue with a sport they excelled in when moving to high school.
He had decided to approach Buren High School with the idea of starting a squad there. The school was chosen because it was closest to Ysterplaat Primary School, he said.
Minor hiccups, such as funding and getting pupils to participate in the sport had caused the delay in launching the project but everything had finally worked out, he said.
Community fund-raising projects would support the project and he would approach the mayor’s office for further funding as he had done for Ysterplaat Primary School two years ago, he said.
Mr Ah-Sing said he would register the squad with the Western Province Majorettes and Cheerleading Association once the membership had grown and the team was ready to compete.
“This is such a good initiative as our young women are taught to work in a team, kept off the streets and away from all ills affecting our community,” he said.