The elegantly stylish and always smiling Shihaam Hendricks, a teacher at Tafelsig Primary School, died on Sunday March 27, less than a month shy of her 57th birthday. The foundation phase teacher of 34 years was honoured at a memorial service at the school on Friday April 8.
“She spread love like a perfume on everyone and on herself,” her foundation phase colleague, Isabel Fisher said at the event.
“She never got tired, she always showed tolerance.”
Ms Hendricks was diagnosed with fourth stage kidney cancer in January, her husband Abdullah said. “It had already spread to her lungs and nothing could be done. So she came home and spent her last few months with her family,” he said.
At the memorial, pupils read poems and lit candles in her honour. Her class of 2015, the last class that she taught, wore pink and white and released multi-coloured balloons from the school’s balcony.
Programme director and fellow teacher, Shireen Gertse, said the balloons were colourful, because Ms Hendricks was known for being a very colourful person.
At the memorial, her eldest son, Rafiq, said: “There are a lot of things I can say about my mom. She was an inspiration, always looking at the positive and she made people believe in themselves. She looked for the good in everyone and definitely liked to look good herself.”
Of her 28 years at Tafelsig Primary, he said: “She always felt Tafelsig Primary was a standard we all can look up to and she strived to be that as well.”
Ms Hendricks grew up in Bokmakierie, Athlone. She lived in Bayview at the time of her death. She is survived by her husband, three children – two sons, a daughter – one grandson and one granddaughter.