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Sometimes timing is everything

If I hadn’t had to come back from Senegal last March, I wouldn’t have been able to work for general construction company PAMCO on a ‘make it inspiring, tell a story’ brief at Maserunyane High School in Limpopo. In fact, I quoted the project manager for my small contribution (to what was to become a massive transformation), months before I left. And mere weeks after my return, the overall project cost of R7-million was approved by the Tirisano Construction Fund, and voila, I was available. How’s that for good timing?

Last Friday the MD of PAMCO handed over the keys of this now unrecognisable rural school – including top-to-toe revamped classroom blocks, four flushing toilet blocks, elevated water tanks, an extended and revamped admin block, paving, shade structures between classroom blocks, a food garden/tunnels, a kitchen, exterior and interior school signage and posters, a beautiful wall paper, and so much more…

This is important for me today, because of the never-ending narrative of the hundreds of millions of Rands being wasted or stolen. Companies taking government for a ride. Government taking government for a ride. It’s a daily occurrence in South Africa. It’s always in the news. 

So here’s a little news about one of the feel-good stories no-one seems to talk about. Please watch the below snapshot (produced by Zaheer from One Way Up Productions) of Maserunyane’s transformation, to see what seven-million well managed and accounted for Rands can get you  This is what an ethical and experienced building contractor can get you. This is how R7-million benefits teachers, scholars and the community…those it was intended for.


Ke a leboga for letting me play a small part here too. I’m so proud to be associated with the team that pulled off this seemingly incredible (improbable?) feat, with such ease and grace.

Come on South Africa. It’s really not that difficult.

Love, Chrissi

This photo of the new school hall was taken by Charles Wright. I worked with some of my favourite fellow creatives, Dalton, and the lovely Lientjie “to make it inspiring, tell a story” and you’ll see some of our work in the video above too.
Photo by Charles Wright. A view from the front of one the 13 classrooms that were transformed.
Photo by Charles Wright. A view from the back of one of the 13 classrooms that were transformed.
This is one of the posters featuring founder of Lighting Tomorrow Ghazala Khan (middle) and four Maserunyane High School based educational consultants and mentors from this “educational breakthrough programme that boosts South African youth with 21st century leadership skills”. Dalton photographed them in the same classroom as in Charles’ photograph above (about midway through renovations at the school).

Everything communicated here reflects my own personal opinion and is neither reviewed nor endorsed by Tirisano Construction Trust, PAMCO, or Maserunyane High School. 




  1. What an example of doing business ethically can do for this country. This story needs to be put out there, on TV, on media platforms so SA can see what can be achieved by hiring companies that can actually do the job.

  2. Wow!
    This should feature on “Carte Blanche” as an example of doing things right.
    The country, as a whole, needs ro see what can be achieved when people are ethical and their hearts are in the right places.
    Everybody is a winner!
    A superb achievement!
    Well done to you and the whole team!

  3. You made my day with this story! Thanks for posting! Even though it made me cry, of course. What a transformation!
    So happy to see a story of good intentions gone good. I really hope this triggers more investments like this one. xxx

  4. Skill, integrity and morals play a big part in achieving great things. I like the feel good story where a whole school gets a face lift for R7million instread of the usual R270million, that gets paid but usually Never gets finished. Write more.

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