Thembi


Eighteen years ago Gaia had the privilege of welcoming a young boy, Thembi Khutshwa into the school (which was only a room, upstairs at the Centre for Creative Education back then). He was a part of one of the very first families of Gaia. Thembi brought life and laughter into many lives, young and old at Gaia. He had a way with adults, always very charming. He observed people and often in his quiet observation, deep questions arose. He was well-liked by his peers and they could call on him for everything. Thembi was mischieveous, initiating a prank or a joke and he would stand back to see how his friends got into trouble. He would always admit that he was the initiator and not allow his friends to be punished. From class three Thembi had all the girls as his girlfriends, causing lots of confusion among them (there were only five girls). He was the light amongst them all. He was the one to ask and speak for the class. He stayed at Gaia for seven years and completed his matric at Constantia Waldorf School.

On the 21st of December very tragically and sadly, Thembi was stabbed at the front of his house in Manenberg. He died later that day. He left his mark wherever he went. And I would like to believe that he was needed in another place to shine, smile and to be happy. On behalf of Gaia I would like to express our sincere condolences to the family. His seven year old brother, Owethu, is in class one with Melanie Francis and his mother continues to support Gaia. Thembi’s nephew, Lonwabo, is currently in class four with Matthew Stodel.

Thembi became the best that he could be, funny, trustworthy, loyal, and courageous. He did great things because he was always aware of a Greater Source. Thembi was always willing to make things right for himself and for others. He left his mark wherever he went no matter the situation.

The story below reminded me of the life Thembi led. I felt  great peace when I read this story and I would like to share this with you.

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.

“There are 5 things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.”

“One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.”

“Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.”

“Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.”

“Four: The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.”

“Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.”

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.

Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you’ll need it to become a stronger person.

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

Four: The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.

Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.

Allow this parable of the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish.

Never allow yourself to become discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and you cannot make a change.

LET HIM SHINE.

IN MEMORY

Iman Erskine