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Where Are You Going Image Credit: The Oprah Magazine
Where Are You Going Image Credit: The Oprah Magazine

Where Are You Going?

THE “DRUMMIES” OF DR. VAN DER ROSS PRIMARY SCHOOL, CAPE TOWN

THE “DRUMMIES” OF DR. VAN DER ROSS PRIMARY SCHOOL, CAPE TOWN

CAROL FLORIS,

DEPUTY PRINCIPAL

Our majorette team’s nickname is the Drummies; we have 51 members ranging from first to seventh graders. The routines are complex— they involve learning the choreography, mastering a mace or a flag, feeling the music. It’s a lot to remember, especially considering the youngest girls are only 6. We scold, instruct, and hope for the best. And inevitably, our jaws drop at how they excel. At a competition last year, the team left with a huge trophy and 40 medals. Walking with the medals clinking around their necks, the girls sounded like sheep. We were so proud.

Our area is very poor and crime-ridden. I can sympathize because I grew up in the ghetto, raised by a single mom under apartheid. Nowadays local gangs sometimes get into gunfights in the fields where the girls are practicing. We run for cover; when the shooting’s done, we go back outside and continue. Rain or sunshine, they must practice.

MORISHA PRINCE,

HEAD COACH

We’re strict with the girls. If you don’t keep a firm hand, gangsters will tempt the older ones onto a bad path: “With a boyfriend like me, you’d get plenty of money and jewelry....” Their parents might work long hours or struggle with addiction—at the end of practice recently, one 8-year-old complained, &


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