MEET THE STAFF - Part Five - Additional Language Staff

July 06, 2018 | Girls’ College


Bernardin Bango - H.O.S. French 

Mr Bernardin Bango

Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.


Maîtrise (FLE) Masters in the Teaching of French as a Foreign language), Univeristé de Besançon, FRANCE
Licence (FLE) B.A Hons. In the Teaching of French as a Foreign language, Université de Besançon, FRANCE
DIMAV – Diploma in Pedagogical Sciences, Université de Poitiers, FRANCE
Diploma in Education, Hillside Teacher’s College, University of Zimbabwe.

Bernardin Bango started teaching in 1987 at Montrose Girls' High. He graduated as a teacher in 1993 and was awarded two full scholarships by the French Government to study the teaching of French at the Universities of Poitiers and Besançon respectively. Upon completion of his studies, he returned to Zimbabwe in 1997 where he was appointed Head of the French Department at Hillside Teachers’ College from 1997 – August 2000. During this time, he spearheaded the training of French teachers for Zimbabwean High schools in partnership with the Embassy of France in Zimbabwe. In addition to teaching French to grade 6 – 7 and high school students at the Alliance Française de Bulawayo, Mr Bango also taught Applied Linguistics in the BA. Communications studies programme of the Open University of Zimbabwe. In August 2000, Mr Bango was appointed to lecture in French and train graduate French teachers at Africa University, a pan–African oriented institution in eastern Zimbabwe, with a strong American academic tradition and linked to the global United Methodist Church. At Africa University, he also served in both the Faculties of Education and Humanities, teaching French and English to various African students from lusophone and francophone Africa. Mr Bango also worked in collaboration with the University of Fort Hare’s adult education outreach programmes. He was elected member of the University Senate and Head of the Micro-teaching Unit until his departure to Swaziland where he worked as a lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities until 2009. His family relocated to South Africa from Swaziland where Mr Bango worked briefly at the Alliance Française de Johannesburg. For 3 years, he was a Corporate trainer in both English and French with a local language training company handling the language training needs of some of the major South African corporate companies like ETV, Barloworld, Engen etc. Mr Bango was appointed Head of subject at St Stithians Girls’ College in May 2012. Currently, he teaches French to all grades from 8 – 12.

He has a passion for girls’ education and firmly believes that educating the girl child is the key to speedy social and economic emancipation in Africa. His other interests lie in travel, reading, film, adventure and creative writing. Mr Bango’s maiden French Tour with 23 girls from the Girls' College was in 2015. It gave his students from grade 8-11 a glimpse of French culture through visits to historical monuments and linguistic immersion. He recently introduced the optional DELF courses in collaboration with the Alliance Française de Johannesburg enabling Girls’ College matriculants to exit high school with an additional internationally recognized qualification in French awarded by the French Ministry of Education. For the past 4 years, he has given additional academic support to Girls’ College students who want to study French as an 8th Subject in the afternoons after school. His eldest daughter lives in Germany and another matriculated from the Girls’ College in 2017. Mr Bango has two sons in the St Stithians Prep Schools. He is married to Bonginkosi Moyo-Bango, Communications Director of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa with Headquarters in Bruma, Johannesburg.


Zimbili Langa - H.O.S isiZulu

Mrs Zimbili Langa

Zimbili Langa is Head of Subject isiZulu who joined St Stithians Girls’ College at the beginning of 2017 from KwaZulu-Natal. She is the isiZulu Home Language IEB Examiner and National Portfolio Moderator.

She is passionate about isiZulu as she believes that even though it is a subject, it is culturally deep-rooted and in the process of learning the grammar rules one learns a lot about the culture of the Zulu people thus growing cultural awareness at the college. She forms part of Jabulani leadership which gears up the spirit at the Girls’ College and a member of whole school and GC Staff Transformation Committee. She majored in isiZulu and Home Economics and obtained a Secondary Teachers Diploma. She later received a Further Diploma in Education and as well as BEd Honours degree from the University of the North West specialising in Learner Support. She has taught isiZulu Home Language for 15 years in the Department of Education and has taught isiZulu in IEB schools for the past 10 years.

She is also married and a mother of three. She loves socialising.        

Richard Sibeko 

Mr Richard Sibeko

Richard Sibeko is no stranger to St Stithians College. He matriculated from the Boys’ College in 2008 where he was Executive Head Perfect, Head of Dukes and was a passionate Dramatic Arts, Music and isiZulu student.  While studying for his BA at Wits, he worked as a Teacher Intern at the Girls’ College in the Dramatic Arts and English Departments. He also conducted the Girls’ College Choir during this time.

Richard is a passionate Languages and Dramatic Arts teacher with experience at independent schools in the North West, Western Cape and in Johannesburg. He is thrilled to be back teaching at Saints teaching Grade 9 isiZulu and Dramatic Arts and also enjoys working with Harmony, the Junior Drama Club and with the students in his English class at the Thandulwazi Academy. When not teaching, Richard enjoys traveling nationally and internationally and enjoys catching up on his reading. He is a proud #Funcle and enjoys spoiling his “Little Miss Muffet”.

Interesting snippets: Richard is a Teach with Africa & Global Teachers Institute Fellow (2015); he spent time at The Branson School, California USA teaching, researching, learning and sharing best teaching practices with his international colleagues. He recently facilitated a Slam Poetry workshop at the Kingsmead Book Fair.

Siyabonga Mfanuvele Gwala

Mr Siyabonga Gwala

Siyabonga Mfanuvele Gwala was born in Kwa-Zulu in Ulundi and grew up in Mahlabathini (Ewela). He matriculated at Bhekifa High School.  At school, he played Soccer and was the captain of first team and was an avid athlete. He matriculated with a university exemption. In 2010, he started his teaching career at Nsikayendlu High School where he taught Mathematics and Natural Sciences in the GET Phase. He is glad to further his studies and to learn the “art” of teaching at the College through the Thandulwazi Teacher Intern Programme.

He currently observes and teaches in the isiZulu and Mathematics Departments.           


Paballo Mofokeng - H.O.S. Sesotho

Mr Paballo Mofokeng

Paballo Moses Mofokeng is the Head of Subject for Sesotho. He relocated to South Africa in 2014 from Maseru, Lesotho. He matriculated from Sefika High School in Maseru and studied at the National University of Lesotho, achieving a B.Ed degree in African Languages and English in 2012. Paballo began his career as a teacher in 2014 at Mafori Mphahlele High School in Soweto on a part-time basis. He then joined St Mary's School Waverley in 2015 in a locum position.

In 2016, Paballo joined St Stithians Boys’ College as their Head of Subject for Sesotho. In 2017, he moved to the Girls’ College in the same capacity. In addition to teaching, Paballo is the teacher in charge of Cambourne house and is the head coach for soccer. You will hardly ever see Paballo without his signature stylish suit and he has been coined the best-dressed staff member. In his spare time, Paballo enjoys being with his family and listening to various genres of music, from the 80’s to the present. He also enjoys writing, reading and listening to inspirational quotes, which play a vital role in the person he is today. He dreams of being an inspirational author and speaker one day. Paballo is married and blessed with two lovely girls, aged 6 and 10.


Elizabeth Mollema - H.O.D. Afrikaans

Mrs Elizabeth Mollema

Elizabeth completed her BA, HDE and BEd (Hons) in Education Management, Law and Policy (cum laude) at University of Pretoria. She is due to submit her dissertation for her MED Education Leadership in the next few months. Elizabeth also completed the IEB Moderators course in 2013 and the IEB Assessors course in 2015.

Elizabeth started teaching Afrikaans (home language) and history part-time in 1995 at Hoërskool Menlopark and later took up a full-time post at Hoërskool Waterkloof where she was involved in sport and cultural activities. In 2002, she relocated to Johannesburg and started teaching at Bryanston High. She moved to Christ Church College in 2008, later becoming the HOD of Afrikaans.

As Head of Afrikaans at St Stithians Girls’ College, Elizabeth teaches Afrikaans to Grades 9 – 12.  She is an IEB Oral Moderator, as well as an IEB Portfolio Moderator. She is a senior-sub examiner for the IEB Gr 12 Afrikaans additional language examination and has been for a number of years.

Apart from her dedication in the classroom, Elizabeth heads up the OHS Occupational Health and Safety committee at the Girls’ College and loves to assist with extra-mural activities where needed. She enjoys seeing how the girls excel, not only academically, but also on the sports field.

In her spare time, Elizabeth loves swimming and has completed the Midmar Mile numerous times. When time permits she likes golf and cycling having completed two Argus races. Elizabeth is married to Jerry and they have two teenage boys, Stefan and Alexander.


Ilana Cassarino

Mrs Ilana Cassarino

Ilana’s journey as teacher was never planned. She trained in Fine Artists and her career was well on track when she was asked by the Italian Embassy to present art classes as part of their community engagement efforts in Pretoria. She loved teaching so much that she furthered her studies in Art and Language Education with a PGCE at UNISA. She has been a teacher for the last 16 years.

Ilana’s collaborations with her students are very rewarding. Being able to work in an environment where she is constantly exposed to new learning methods like St Stithians Girls’ College is very stimulating.

Personally she enjoys studying Psychology and Eastern spiritual practices. Nature revitalises her and she enjoys camping and hiking. Ilana is an accomplished musician who plays the recorder and sings in choirs. Her daughter is in Grade 4 and together they cook, garden and do a variety of crafts, with crocheting being a favourite.

Maretha Ferreira

Mrs Maretha Ferreira

Maretha has been a teacher for twenty-one years. She never thought she would be a teacher but it was a calling and ultimately the career where she found her inspiration to make a difference. Maretha grew up in a family of teachers with both her parents and brother in the teaching profession.

Maretha attended Potchefstroom University, where she studied BA (Languages) specializing in Afrikaans and English. She started her teaching career at Hoërskool Florida. This is where she met her husband. They both went to the UK where she taught English in London for two years. On her return, she taught at Greenside High School for 12 years where she was promoted to grade head and HOD (Afrikaans). Maretha still finds every day in teaching varied as working with young adults is a rewarding experience.

Apart from her dedication in the classroom, Maretha coaches St Stithians Girls’ College 2nd Netball team and assists with umpiring netball games.  Teaching at St Stithians Girls' College is a new chapter in her teaching career. Being part of the Girls’ College is a rich and rewarding experience and working with the girls is wonderful.

Maretha is married to Henk and they have two boys, Rickus and Ruan.

Christa van Tonder

Mrs Christa van Tonder

Christa studied at RAU BA (Ed) specializing in Afrikaans and History. She started her teaching career at Queens High School and spent the first ten years of her career there. After Queens High she went to Bryanston High School where she also spent ten years of teaching. Teaching in these schools, has been an amazing experience and contributed to the standard of teacher that she is now.

Apart from her dedication in the classroom, Christa is an IEB sub-examiner for the Gr. 12 Afrikaans additional language examinations. She loves being involved with the Community Engagement Committee and has recently assisted with “A few grey hairs” outreach. Teaching at St Stithians Girls' College is a honour and a lifelong dream.

Christa is married to Harry and they have two boys Ruan and Xander.  

Dalette Verster

Mrs Dalette Verster

Dalette has been teaching for nine years, a profession (more importantly a passion) she wanted to practise and explore ever since she could remember. Her mother was a teacher. Dalette saw, very early on in her life, the impact her mother had on the community and the lives of many children who still stop her to say “hello” after many years. Working with children and seeing the boundless potential they have inspires her every day.

Dalette studied her B.Ed (FET) at the University of Johannesburg and decided to specialize in languages. Simultaneously she completed her Licentiate in Speech and Drama through Trinity Guildhall London, because stories have always fascinated her. She loves telling, reading and writing stories. She loves giving children the opportunity to explore and discover different aspects of themselves by listening to and sometimes seeing stories.

Dalette has acted, directed, produced and stage managed many productions. Two years ago, she and her husband collaborated on two theatre texts that received critical acclaim from both the National Eisteddfod Academy and the ‘ATKV Tiener Toneel’. They have a few ideas for the RSG Radio Drama competition.

Dalette is married to Waynand and they have three four-legged children.