History of Menzi High School, Umlazi Township, Durban-KwaZulu Natal


  1. Vision
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Introduction
  4. History of Menzi High School
  5. The Eminent Teachers at Menzi High
  6. Past Pupils Who Have Excelled In Life
  7. The History of Schoolgrounds and Buildings
  8. The History of Sports


To develop students who will be able to cope with the Life challenges (self-reliant) and be able to make the correct choices in life.

Mission Statement

To produce students who will be able to make the correct choices according to their potential about the life they will lead.To develop correct teaching methods which encompass the realisation of the importance of giving meaning to the type of matter which is learned/learnt.


Menzi High School is situated at Umlazi Township, N section. The school is the first high school to be developed in Umlazi, it was built in 1967 and it has stood ever since the day of its creation. Menzi High School used to be a special high school, if you passed with exceptional marks in the primary school called Mafumbuka Primary School you would be accepted as a Menzi High School learner and allowed to skip one class because of your academic ability. Although the school is short in resources, it is regarded as one of the best schools in South Africa because it produces exceptional results in Grade 12. Menzi High School’s motto is “Luceat Lux Tua”, taken from a Greek language, meaning “Rise and Shine or Shine Wherever You Are”. The motto instructs all learners of Menzi High School to shine wherever they are, and know that they are the learners of Menzi. The motto is also to let the learners to be proud of being Menzi High School learners. This motto states a fact, it says, “rise and shine”, and by the look of things Menzi shone and rose and it is still shining. We are going to take you through the history of Menzi High School and the eminent teachers that helped in making the school a success.

History of Menzi High School

Menzi High School was built in 1967 and its first principal was Mr Mhlongo. During Mr Mhlongo’s era the school performed at an average level. Mr Mhlongo left the school in 1969 and the next principal was Dr Mathabela. During Dr Mathabela’s era, each and every learner was only allowed to speak English, the learners also used to come to school during weekends. The school also produced a school magazine each year. Dr Mathabela left Menzi High School in 1976. And then Mr Masondo took over, during his era it was during the climax of the school children boycotting the apartheid education regime. So the school had to change from being a special school to a normal school. Menzi High School also dropped drastically in its ability in producing good results due to political issues. Mr Masondo left the school in 1988 and Mrs Khuzwayo (the first female principal of the school) took over.

When Mrs Khuzwayo took over, the school’s performance did not change much but she managed to increase the level of discipline of the learners. She only stayed for one year and then she left in 1989. After she left Mr Gumede took over. Mr Gumede failed to maintain the school as it severely failed to produce good results and the level of discipline of the learners dropped a lot, to the point that a male learner once stood in the middle of the lawn during assembly and stated that the school’s name was to change from being Menzi High school to Kathrada High school. After Mr Gumede was released in 1990, Mrs Mthethwa took over and she also failed to stabilise the school and she left in 1992. 

Mr Felix Mshololo (the past principal) came into the picture as the principal of Menzi High. After his arrival, the school produced good results and the level of discipline dramatically improved. Thanks to him the school is today regarded as one of the best in South Africa, it is still shining. Now that we’ve talked about the past principals, let us get into:

The Eminent Teachers at Menzi High

Mr S.D Mlangeni was at Menzi High School from 1968 to 1983 and he was recognised as the best choir master in the whole of South Africa. He even trained our current choir master Mr P Mkhize. Another eminent teacher in the history of this school is Mr Mkhwanazi as he was an expert in karate and he was the one who brought sports to the school and he achieved a lot as a karate teacher.

Past Pupils Who Have Excelled In Life

Since Menzi High School has had good principals and eminent teachers, Menzi has produced learners who have excelled in life. Menzi High School is a great school because of the good teachers, but also of the outstanding academic performance of its learners.

Judge Simon Ndlovu matriculated from Menzi High School in 1970. He obtained the Dipl Juris (1976) University of Zululand, and the Degrees of B Proc (1983) Unisa, LLB (1988) Zululand, LLM (1991) Temple UniversitySchool of Law, Philadelphia, USA. He joined the Department of Justice in 1972, and worked his way up through the ranks: as an interpreter, clerk of the court, prosecutor and magistrate. In 1995, he was appointed as a regional magistrate. He joined the Durban Bar in 2000 (passing his pupillage with honours, i.e. obtaining the highest marks in the country). His extralegal activities included serving on various committees and boards, and part-time lecturing at the University of Zululand. Other past pupils are Mandisa Nene, Nkululeko Dlamini, Sihle Zuma, Kwazi Mbhele, Philisiwe Shange, Menzi Goge and Nkanyiso Nkabinde, Mabutho Mbatha and Siyabonga Hlongwane. Mandisa Nene matriculated from Menzi High School in 2009. She was a 17 year old, who lived in a mud hut in Umlazi, has seen her dream of going to university come true. The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, accompanied by various sponsors made her dream come true by of an Accounting degree at the University of Cape Town.

The History of Schoolgrounds and Buildings

As it was built in 1967, it was the second in KwaZulu-Natal which was not the boarding school. There were five blocks, each block had four classes. It started in Form Two (Grade 9) to Form Five (Grade 12). The first block was on the left side was Form two, block two in the centre was Form three, block three was Form four, block four was Form five, the last block was the principal’s office. There were two laboratories, Physical Science and Biology and they were renewed in 2005 because they were old and not suitable for teaching. There was also a library and it was closed because learners did not return books. The first principal was Mr Mhlongo and his deputy was Mr Kubheka in 1967.

There was one staff room for all the teachers. The office of the current deputy principal was the office of Mr Mhlongo. When you get inside in school you see the prefabricated units. When you go inside the classes you see the staffroom for teachers next door is the H.O.D office and next door to that office is the principal’s office that he shares with the clerk because of the limited space.

In 2002 Menzi High received a sponsorship of computers. Learners started computer lessons between 2003 and 2004. Menzi High School is well known for its visits by international people because of it’s excellence they have also hosted the then Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele and the President of India on the 17th of September 2004.

The ground was renewed in 1988 for the school. It’s was an ordinary ground and there was no clinic. The municipality decided to renew the school ground and built a community sport ground. The school or community have no right to use the ground without the municipality’s permission, even our school needs permission to use ground.

The History of Sports

Menzi High School was the first school to introduce karate as the sport with the help of Mr Mmeli who was the head master at that time says “Mr M.P Mkhize”. In soccer during 70’s, the school produced players like Thabo Makonete who became a goal keeper in African Wanderers in the past years. In the 80,s they won a number of trophies and at that time their coach was Mr Mogen Nzama. In music it has always been the best since it was establish. It was conducted by P Mlangeni and since he left on the 1980’s the school choir has won more than 30 trophies and since then the choir was conducted by Mr M.P Mkhize and even today Mr Mkhize is still the conductor, the school choir still does well in music with their sweet voices. Schacht was introduced to the school in 1970’s and they also had table tennis in the same year.

The school has school trips to play sports and music, they even go to competitions to compete with other schools and they do win even now they do. The school even have school trips every year to play sports with other schools some are not from Durban, and this was introduced when the school was opened in 1960’s. This had been a great opportunity for the students of Menzi High School. This year in 2011 we are doing a trip to Nkomokazini Comprehensive High School which is located at Estcourt. Here at school we usually have trips in Saturday and we don’t play sport often because the principal and other educators think we should focus in our subjects. That is how we manage to produce high matric results every year.

This information was researched and collected by learners who participated in the Ulwazi School’s Project, Grade 10B CAT learners class of 2011: Ntobeko Cele, Lwazi Mhlongo, Phindile Mchunu, Mandisa Ngubane, Gugulethu Radebe, Slindile Khuzwayo, Mpendulo Maphumulo, Mthobisi Nene, Nombuyiselo Mdlalose, Nomthandazo Mngadi, Nonceba Jwara, Sibusiso Mzimela, Yoliswa Danisa, Nondumiso Zindela , Lindani Shange and Nokuphiwa Ndlovu.

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