Help Eastridge songbird realise his Drakensberg choir dreams

Ethan Palagangwe still needs R80 000 to stay at Drakensberg Boys Choir School.

The 10-year-old Eastridge songbird has made it into Drakensberg Boys Choir School but still needs funds for his tuition.

Ethan Palagangwe, 10, from Eastridge arrived at the school on Saturday January 30 and started tuition on Monday February 1, after having done online classes since Wednesday January 20.

The start of the school year had previously been postponed to Monday February 15, which resulted in him having to return home.

“I was just excited to meet my teachers, classmates, mentors and see the rest of the school,” said Ethan.

“It was a disappointment when we had to go back home due to the postponement,” said Ethan’ mom, Candice Palagangwe.

Ethan Palagangwe, with his mom Candice Palagangwe at Drakensberg Boys Choir School

“We drove down to Drakensberg and booked accommodation for the weekend which we couldn’t cancel. We came home and had to plan and save for the reopening of the school trip once again,” said Ms Palagangwe.

Through the Back-a-buddy platform, they’ve raised over R100 000 and that is excluding the R10 000 he needed as an acceptance fee, which was donated by Mitchell’ Plain-born author, Athol Williams. Ethan still needs just under R80 000 for his tuition fees that need to be paid by Sunday February 7, said his dad, Kagisho Palagangwe.

Dad Kagisho Palagangwe with his son Ethan

Despite the traveling expenses to and from the school, booking accomodation for the two days cost them a lot of money, sadly a postponement made by the government cost them, said Ms Palagangwe.

The school explained to them it was beyond their control due to the postponement of school reopening.

They needed to make arrangements to get him to school on Saturday January 30 to start school on Monday February 1.

“As a parent you see it in your child. He was truly honoured to be dressed in his school uniform.They held an assembly followed by lunch and the ringing of the bell ceremony which was very emotional. All new boys ring the bell and their mentors take off the ties of their mentees and hold on to it for the first two weeks,” said Mr Palagangwe.

“It was very emotional for me and my husband to say goodbye to our boy. To know that I will not wake him up physically in the morning and prepare him for school anymore. His dad would stay and polish his shoes, fix his tie, reality sunk in and I couldn’t help but cry,” she said.

“We are proud to share that he will do us proud and we wish him all the best on this unique and exciting amazing journey,” said Ms Palagangwe.

“We trust that this opportunity will open so many doors for our talented young boy. He will be putting Mitchell’s plain on the map, he will be a role model to his siblings and peers. He is indeed a true inspiration,” she said.

For more information visit Ethan Palagangwe’s Back-a-buddy site to donate funds.

Ethan Palagangwe arriving at Drakensberg Boys Choir School