Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma says the revitalisation of Adams College in Durban is critical to inspire all children who are growing up, in the era of freedom and democracy.
“If we could inculcate in our learners the values that were imbibed by students in this college, our youth will become better leaders and citizens of our country and the region,” President Zuma said.
President Zuma on Tuesday officiated a sod turning ceremony to mark the revitalisation of the historical Adams College in Amanzimtoti, KwaZulu-Natal. Adams College was founded in 1853 in Amanzimtoti, just over 32km south of Durban, by an American missionary. The college’s alumni include Presidents of Botswana and Uganda and several ministers.
A block of classes will be constructed to bring to life the school’s 10-year vision of revitalising, redeveloping and repositioning itself as a premier learning institution for future generations.
President Zuma said Adams College will add value to the eThekwini Municipality Tourism Project.
“Once completed, we expect that many tourists from within the continent would want to visit this historical site to see the school that has produced so many leaders of our continent.
“It fits in well with government’s promotion of our heritage sites, which become very important for local economic development through cultural tourism. We therefore appeal for stronger partnerships to make all the phases of this project a success,” the President said.
He also thanked partners like Horizon Education Trust, who have already made a commitment to the project.
“Government is also providing support, such as the Departments of Public Works and Arts and Culture as well as eThekwini Municipality. We commend the Adams College Development Trust for its enchanting vision about this school and the concerted efforts to raise funds and revamp it.
“All these efforts should inspire teachers and learners even more to hoist the name of this institution even higher in the education landscape. Education is our apex priority as a country. It is only through education that we can achieve the prosperous society we talk about.
“We believe in education as a powerful weapon that we can use to change our world, as said by Madiba. Our government will always be part of progressive projects of this nature,” President Zuma said.
A rich history
Adams College is the only school in the country that has produced two African Heads of State, government and key leaders. These include the former President of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama and the former President of Uganda, Milton Obote.
Former nationalist leader and Vice President of Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo, was also among the alumni of Adams College.
The college has produced four African National Congress presidents — Dr Langalibalele Dube, Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Josiah Tshangana Gumede and Chief Albert Luthuli.
It produced the first ANC Youth League President – Anton Lembede.
It also prides itself on having produced the father of the Freedom Charter, Zachariah Keodirelang “ZK” Matthews; the first African medical doctor, Dr John Nembula; musical genius Professor Khabi Mngoma; the late former Chief Justice Pius Langa and also the school’s ambassador, AU Commission chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Adams College also produced the presidents of two political parties in the country, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the Inkatha Freedom Party and the late Zephania Mothopheng of the PAC.
The college also prides itself on having two Attorneys-General of African States as former students — Herbert Chitepo of Zimbabwe and Charles Njonjo of Kenya.