Kishugu Training builds positivity and pride
Attending a Working on Fire (WOF) programme passing out parade at Kishugu Training is a treat.
The audiences can’t but enjoy the enthusiastic and colourful cultural displays of poetry, dancing and singing, that casually weaves itself into these events. It is always inspirational to see such a diverse group of young South African men and women unite and proudly step out as wildland firefighters.
The latest graduating group was no exception. The dedication and creativity, with which these participants completed their well-rehearsed and disciplined march and array of performances, filled the hall with a current of admiration, that even lured some of the spectators into dancing along.
The 115 Working on Fire participants – from across KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape – had just completed Kishugu Training’s 24 Day Advanced Firefighting Programme and were notably proud of this accomplishment. They seemed eager to put their lives on the line to protect their communities from unwanted wildfires.
“When we first got here, we struggled with many of the practical firefighting activities, but we became fit very quickly and acquired many new skills,” said Nomthandazo Zwane, WOF participant from KwaZulu-Natal. “It was difficult, but the instructors kept on encouraging us.”
Sinokhanyo Zele, WOF participant from KwaZulu-Natal added, “They pushed us to succeed and taught us that hard work builds character.”
The key note speaker for the day, Senior Head of WOF HR, Jacky Mkhonto, urged the group to retain this passion and take it with them to the fire line. “It is this passion – this singing and dancing – that keeps our firefighters positive and energised during suppression activities.”
Mkhonto also encouraged them to use this accomplishment as a stepping stone to build their futures. “We are happy to have you as firefighters, but we will be equally happy to see you grow beyond this. You have proven to yourselves that you can reach any goal if you set your mind to it and take appropriate action.”
After the Drill Master had dismissed the parade, a body of elated graduates danced and sang their way out of the hall – certificates in hand – prepared. Scenes like these promises hope for the future.