Get to know Banele Lukhele
We asked Banele a few less formal questions to get to know her a little more and find out who she really is, outside of her important role as UCT Online High School’s Executive Head Of School and Chief Academic Officer:
Q: What would learners be surprised to find out about you?
A: I love cooking and making food from scratch. Some of my favourites are pastas, wraps and breads/buns.
Q: If you were trapped on a deserted island what’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
A: My children. I cannot imagine not having them with me all the time.
Q: What meal/dish can you cook to perfection? And are you willing to share the recipe?
A: Oxtail, Eisbein, Curries and butternut soup. P.S: I love cooking.
Q: What’s your favourite book, movie and song?
A: Ohhh, this is hard but if I must choose then I would say book: Matilda, movie: The greatest Showman, Song: Million Little Miracles by Elevation Worship
Q: If you could pass on any wisdom to your learners, what would you share?
A: Every step is moving forward, so take the step- big or small.
Q: The best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Trust yourself.
Q: How do you show your school spirit?
A: By showing up with a smile and remembering that kindness goes a long way.
Q: What’s the best thing about being the Head of Culture at UCT Online High School?
A: Seeing how many young lives we are changing and hearing all of the success stories that we receive from our learners.
Q: Why should guardians and learners be open to online schooling?
A: Online learning affords learners and guardians an opportunity to be more in control of their learning. It is important to develop this skill from a young age so that when you exit school, you are well equipped to navigate various options, be it University, Vocational School or straight to occupation.
Q: If you weren’t the Head of Culture at UCT Online High School what would you do?
A: I would be a full-time academic or a writer.
Q: What’s your favourite way to be active?
A: Swimming and yoga are my go tos.
Q: What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
A: A full day raft down the Nile, in Uganda. I loved every moment of it.
Q: What makes you laugh?
A: Bluey. I love that show so much
Q: If you could invite 4 famous people to dinner, who would you invite and why?
A: Michelle Obama, Viola Davis, Malala Yousafzai and Chistopher Emdin. I think that this dinner would have rich minds that can contribute to my thinking on education, empowering the youth and resilience. All of these people have broken boundaries that were previously viewed as impossible.
Q: If you were a superhero, what would be your superpower?
A: Teleporting. Imagine being able to just *zoooop* and you are at the best event happening at that time.
Q: What was your favourite subject in high school?
A: Music and English, I loved the creativity in these subjects.
Q: What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
A: This is an interesting one because my first answer would be to run a school but I have dared enough to do it anyway, even without the protection of not failing.
Q: Any advice on how to cope with stress and anxiety?
A: It is important to take a break. Your body will often give you signs and when these occur, step away, breathe, do something that will give you some peace and then come back to the task at hand. The other thing is to break big tasks into achievable steps. Every step, whether big or small, is movement and it all adds up.
Q: Why education as a career path?
A: I struggled a lot in school, not because I wasn’t smart but because I was too different for the system to accommodate me. It was very taxing and it took a lot of work for me to pick myself back up from that. I truly believed that I was called to prevent this from happening to other young people. If I could prevent 1 learner from experiencing what I experienced, I would have changed a life for the better.
Q: What’s your ideal studying environment?
A: I must have comfortable seating, some water, snacks, minimal distractions, a pen and paper to take notes where necessary and did I mention snacks?
Fun fact about Banele:
"I am a firm believer in experience as a form of learning so I try to travel as much as possible and expose myself to more than just the things around me. This has led me to wonderful places and I have had amazing opportunities, such as an internship at CSPAN that gave me the opportunity to be a part of the press team covering The White House."
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