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Film Synopsis

Mnqobokazi, a Zulu community in rural South Africa did not have a school and asked Nomusa Zikhali to be the teacher.

This film captures the story of how Mrs. Zikhali started the Nkomo Primary School under four trees – one for each of the three grades and the fourth as her office; and how, overcoming numerous obstacles, she has built a school that is today a place of support and learning for over 900 students.

Viewers are taken on her journey as she faces the challenges in her community: the legacy of apartheid, high illiteracy, unemployment, HIV/AIDS, the struggle for food and clean water; many of the children are orphans and come from fractured or non-existent families.

We see her break out from the traditional role of a woman within the patriarchal Zulu culture and develop into a motivating and empowered leader.

The viewers meet Thuli and Siyabonga, two of the first students learning under the trees, who share their dreams and how the School changed their lives.

Filmmakers Suzanne Cross and John Simpson have visited Nkomo Primary School ten times since 2002 and have seen first-hand how it has positively changed the lives of the local children and the community.

They’ve documented this amazing story showing how with hope, vision and dedication Mrs. Zikhali has led the School to its prominence in the community.  There remain many ongoing challenges and obstacles to overcome, but Nkomo Primary School is today an educational model for South Africa.

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