Emphathe pupils strike a blow against animal cruelty

Lion Strikers members at Empthathe Combined School with Lucky Nene of the Dundee SPCA and Lusiwe Memela, who founded the club.

A group of learners at Emphathe Combined School have taken the initiative of creating a group called Lion Strikers.
They started last month and they show such enthusiasm and passion when speaking about their activities. They meet up whenever they can, but usually on Wednesdays during their lunch break.
Lusiwe Memela, who sells chips and sweets at the school, is the founder and organiser of this group. “We do a lot of things here. We dance, play games, do drama and I teach them about animal cruelty,” she said. The main aim of this group is to keep them active outside of the school curriculum, she added. Lusiwe has no assistance from any teacher at the school and does this out of the goodness of her heart.

“I have told the principal about us and I have just started working with Lucky Nene from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). He has been a great help,” cited Lusiwe. Andiswa Dlamini, a grade six learner from the school, who is a member of Lion Strikers said: “We learn about animals and animal abuse. We are taught that if you find a stray animal on the streets you must call the SPCA and report the matter.”

Lucky Nene, a kennel assistant at the SPCA, has been assisting the group with materials such as booklets and articles on animals and how to take care of them. He only hopes that this initiative does not stop here at Emphathe School, but continues around the district. He said: “I was very surprised to hear about these pupils who are interested in animals and I have adopted this initiative. I also teach them about the dangers of diseases such as rabies, which is spread through the bite of a rabid animal. There is no cure for it, but it can be prevented through vaccines,” he added. Lucky has taught the children to be friendly to animals, especially their pets, because animals are also scared of humans.

“They must know that animals shouldn’t eat from dustbins because they get infections just like us humans. I have no problem teaching pupils at any schools about animal cruelty. I think we should start doing that as part of extramural activities. I think if pupils are taught at schools it will be easier for them to teach their parents and friends,” he added.
Principal Mkhonto said: “I have spoken to the teachers and Lusiwe about having extramural activities since we don’t have any. This will help with discipline and I’m willing to support the children.”

Fathima Zubane

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