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Celebrating the everyday heroes at our schools, we’re thrilled to announce the winner of the Woolworths & MySchool Teachers Day competition.

After receiving a record-breaking 33835 entries from school children across the nation, the votes are in! The 2018 winner of the national Teachers Day competition is Ms Pinkie Mchunu, a teacher at Mzomusha Primary School in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, who is also the KwaZulu-Natal Primary School winner.

Nominated by one of her learners Asimbonge Ndlovu, Ms Mchunu is a teacher with extraordinary compassion and the willingness to go beyond the extra mile to support at-risk students. In Grade 6 learner Asimbonge’s motivation letter, she tells her heart-breaking story of living in dire poverty.  Working by carrying people’s goods for them on the street, she was homeless when Ms Mchunu took her under her wing and enrolled her in school. And this was when Asimbonge’s dreams of an education and a better life started to come true.

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Asimbonge’s letter was one of nearly 34 000 entries by school children, who were inspired to write a 200-word motivation about the teacher who had made a life-changing difference to them. In telling their heart-warming and touching stories, learners shone a light on a great number of devoted teachers in South Africa. Every entry recognised the teachers who regularly go beyond the call of duty, not just to inspire and help children learn, but to provide invaluable emotional support to those in the grip of traumatic childhood events.  

Through the annual Teachers Day Competition, Woolworths and MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet aim to encourage learners, parents and schools to recognise and reward those teachers in their midst who provide an extraordinary service every day in their communities. As one of the eight national finalists and the overall national winner, Ms Mchunu won a laptop, a R 30 000.00 Woolworths Giftcard, a R 25 000.00 cash prize and enjoyed an all-expenses getaway with a partner to Sandton, Gauteng. Asimbonge Ndlovu received a R 5 000.00 Woolworths Giftcard, and Mzomusha Primary School was awarded a R 10 000.00 cash prize.

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“It’s so important for us to acknowledge South Africa’s ‘ordinary heroes’ like Ms Mchunu,” says Pieter Twine, Woolworth’s General Manager of Loyalty and MySchool.  “Woolworths congratulates her for her outstanding contribution to her community and our country. We also thank Asimbonge and her school for participating in the Woolworths Teachers Day competition. In 2018, the 8th year of the competition, the entries increased dramatically, by 175%! That’s testimony to the fact that South Africa has many heroic and inspirational teachers who are shaping lives for the better every day. In our decades of supporting the upliftment of education in our schools, Woolworths has first-hand experience of these amazing teachers who bring hope each day through their deep commitment to our young generation.”