Durban – DREAMS of a 2020 matric dance were dashed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but some pupils are keeping their specially made dresses hanging in their cupboards as a reminder of what could have been.
Sisanda Zulu, 18, has been praying for the miracle of waking up to hear she can have her matric dance after all. She said that would be the best news of 2020.
She had never thought her matric year would be plagued by a pandemic.
Her outfit was sorted, her nails and make-up appointment booked, and she was ready for the biggest night of her school career.
Her school had already booked the venue, a luxury boutique hotel, but then President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the national lockdown.
“Everything I had planned for my big day came to an end. I wanted a mint mermaid dress.
“Silver stilettos, perfect nails and make-up and my parents did everything to make sure that I had everything I wanted to make my day special.
“After all, I was leaving school and entering adult life. Everything was going to be perfect,” she said.
Her only hope was for the lockdown to be lifted, and for things to return to normal.
Five months later, she has not lost hope there will be a matric dance as more and more lockdown restrictions are lifted.
She is, however, worried the matric trial exams are now around the corner.
“I keep my dress in my wardrobe where I can see it. I often take it out just to look at it and picture myself wearing it. If I end up not having my matric dance, I am hoping that an opportunity to wear it will avail itself. Maybe I will wear it for my 21st birthday celebration, if it still fits me.”
The Department of Education did not issue a directive that matric dances were not allowed, but schools were aware that due to the lockdown regulations, such gatherings were prohibited.
Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said it was unfortunate matric pupils who did not have their dance and farewells before the lockdown, may not have a chance to have them now.
The chairperson of the National Alliance of Independent Schools Association, Mandla Mthembu, discouraged independent schools from having such functions until it was safe.
“For those who already have outfits, tough luck. The priority should be on safety and their studies. After all, schools have already lost lots of time because of the pandemic.
“As much as it is something that our matric pupils were looking forward to, the reality is that we cannot afford to act irresponsibly because of pleasure.
“The priority is to save the academic year,” said Mthembu.