Khanyakhaya Introduction


Khanyakhaya is a loose transliteration of "lighthouse"; and the organization's main objectives are to assist communities in the rural Wild Coast with integrating technology and first world education standards with respect to preservation of their own culture, and to establish a Montessori Pre-School and a Volunteer Mentor-Ring network to assist with computer orientation.

The Montessori school will provide:

  • subscription-based and free (sponsored) pre-primary education,
  • instill a love for learning in young children during their foundational years through the famously successful method pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori,
  • an environment conducive to trust and respect
  • educational and vocational support;
  • nutritional supplementation for the pupils,
  • while the Mentor-Ring operation aims to achieve:

    (b) The organisation's secondary objectives will be to achieve relief of stress existing because of the cultural differences in our country though:

  • Ncinci One's Montessori - Thank you Round Table Mthatha!

    • Posted on: 1 September 2016
    • By: Dawn

    The Mthatha Round Table/Transkei Yamaha Funduro was held at Hole in the Wall this past weekend. There were many visitors to the area and the weather was perfect for the event.

    Ncinci One's Montessori had been asked to sing at their prize giving on Saturday evening, as we would be one of the beneficiaries of the event :-) All 14 Ncinci One's were present and at 7.30pm they did their thing. The children sang a few English songs, including the adapted version of "The wheels on the bike go round and round....." and a few isiXhosa songs. Most children participated well.....and only one little girl got stage fright.There were many moist eyes in the audience after the children's performance.

    Ncinci One's Montessori would like to say a HUGE thank you to the Mthatha Round Table/Transkei Yamaha Funduro for the amazing donation of R10 000 pledged to our project - WOW! And Big cheers from the mama's of the children. We will be doing 3-day de-worming for all the children, getting them 2 Ncinci One's Montessori t-shirts each and creating a much needed Culture Learning Area in our indoor environment - happy days all round. Thank you very much for the support and for enabling us to improve our learning environment - we really appreciate it!

    On the nourishment side of things, Ncinci One's Montessori would like to thank Round Table Mthatha for the food donation received. You have really helped our food budget this month - thank you.  Big thanks also to the Mawotsheni Community Project for the kind donation of soya mince and soup - the children enjoy this once a week with Ngusho. Thank you!

    Wishing everyone a happy Spring month!

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Dawn and all at Ncinci One's Montessori


    Ncinci One's Montessori - Happy,Singing Days

    • Posted on: 22 August 2016
    • By: Dawn

    They are happy, busy days at Ncinci One's Montessori and there is a lot of singing going on at the moment. Ncinci One's Montessori is proudly joining the International Day of Peace event, Sing Peace Around the World on 21 September 2016 at 10h30 where we will be joining 64 840 other children globally in singing the song and our children will be singing it in their mother-tongue, isiXhosa. It is joyous to hear them singing in small groups, as they walk home after school.

    Ncinci One's Montessori is also singing at the Mthatha Round Table/Transkei Yamaha Funduro's prize giving on Saturday evening at the Hole in the Wall Hotel. We all did a litter clean up in town and at the River yesterday and the children found a large, dead turtle which had washed up.  A big discussion commenced in isiXhosa and a few of the older children said it might have been plastic that caused his death. 12 Bags of rubbish later, we ended our mission at The Hole with a shisa nyama chicken braai - happy little people, who are now enjoying looking after their natural environment.

    The children attending Ncinci One's Montessori are engaging with all the learning areas at a rapid rate now, and I am having lots of fun making materials..... some of them for the 2nd time round :-)

    On Wednesday last week, I put out a Visitors Book at Ncinci One's Montessori and on Thursday at lunch time we received our first International visitors.  3 Italian travellers drove past and saw the Montessori sign. Being Italian, they were very interested to see a Montessori school in the rural Transkei.......I showed Max and his friends around and explained that we have only been operating for 3 months.  They were very pleasantly surprised and recognized a few of the learning materials.  When they left, they kindly donated R500 to us!  First things on the list are Gardening Tools, Powder paints and Laminating Sleeves - thank you guys!

    Our long time friends and supporters, Stichting Obonto, have once again been super good to Ncinci One's Montessori!  A HUGE thanks to Stichting Obonto and Actie Adoptie at Canesius College for the lovely wooden tables and chairs that you have bought for us. Some of them were delivered on Friday and the children are sitting on the proper furniture with pride - thank you for making our environment more real!

    That's it for now.  Stay well and we look forward to hearing from you.

    Dawn and all at Ncinci One's Montessori



    Ncinci One's Montessori - Gifts and Gales

    • Posted on: 28 July 2016
    • By: Dawn

    Our 3rd term started with a bang, in more ways than one! The first great thing that happened, is that JB's sister, Cindy Owen, from Dog Days Adventures in the UK , gave me a brand new Samsung J5 phone, which is now the school's official, much needed camera.Thank you very much Cindy for a great gift! The children happily returned to school on the 18th of July and on the first day back I asked the children if they had had a good holiday. The one little boy, Solethu, replied, "Ewe, but esikolweni iyam mnandi kakuhlu' (Yes, but my school is very nice!). Wonderful words to hear :-)

    Biblionef SA very kindly donated 25 isiXhosa books to our school - the children are over the moon, as we only had 3 isiXhosa stories.  Thank you very much to Biblionef SA for enriching our environment in the mother tongue of the children - this will help develop a love of books in the children.  We appreciate your support greatly.



    The last bang.....On Monday 25 July, very bad weather hit Hole in the Wall - the kind of weather that flattens power lines and trees.  Early hours of Tuesday morning, the wind and rain had built itself into a squall of note - winds of about 150km/hour - it was Hectic!!!  Our school sign has been totally buckled!

    But MUCH worse..... Our assistant teacher, Corina and her 2- year old boy were hiding under her bed during the storm, when her roof was blown off her house!!! It has been badly destroyed by the storm.  She is currently staying with family members.  If anyone would like to assist with replacing Corina's roof, please  use the school's FNB or Paypal account, with Corina as your reference. If you are able to donate building supplies, please email us.  All help will be greatly appreciated.  


    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Montessori regards

    Dawn and all at Ncinci One's Montessori


    Ncinci One's Montessori - Ends the term on a high!

    • Posted on: 30 June 2016
    • By: Dawn

    Ncinci One's Montessori is really a very special little school with the rural Xhosa children taking true ownership of their school. The 16th of June was a public holiday in South Africa and Friday the 17th was a school holiday in South Africa.  On June the 16th, 4 of the children went to the Assistant teacher's home and asked her if they could please come to school on Friday - Corina gladly obliged.  10 Children attended school on Friday the 17th and I think we were probably the only school in the country that was open.  

    On the 22nd of June, Lauren, Rowan and Quinton from The Kamvalethu Foundation in Cape Town came to visit Ncinci One's Montessori.  They spent time in the environment and observed and interacted with the children at playtime. We then went home for good chats and a crayfish lunch :-)  We are very excited and thankful that The Kamvalethu Foundation has partnered with Ncinci One's Montessori!  They are assisting us with financial support for the staff. Thank you very much from all the staff at Ncinci One's Montessori - we really appreciate your interest, support and friendship. We look forward to walking the next part of this road with partners like The Kamvalethu Foundation and Stichting Obonto with Canisius College's Actie Adoptie. Exciting times ahead!

    The children enjoyed the last day of school on the beach, but were not too happy to hear that school would be closed for 3 weeks.  The love of learning has really started at Ncinci One's Montessori and this makes us all very happy.

    Happy holidays to everyone and thank you to those who have supported our project.

    Dawn and all at Ncinci One's Montessori





    Ncinci One's Montessori - Progressing steadily

    • Posted on: 13 June 2016
    • By: Dawn

    Things have been progressing steadily at Ncinci One's Montessori and we were very lucky to get exposure for our project in the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, as well as a 10 minute radio interview on the Power FM  breakfast show.  I think our name is spreading nicely!  We have put up our new signage at the school (thank you JB) and now bear our proper name :-)  The kitchen has been painted and the fence is currently being made pig-proof.

    We have had 2 new children join us at Ncinci One's Montessori and now have 14 children attending daily, and 12 still on the waiting list.

    Ncinci One's Montessori has opened a FNB bank account in the name of the school - to make payments and donations easier for you. We are still looking for sponsors for 4 children to make our project sustainable.  If any group of colleagues, friends, clubs would like to play a part in positively changing the life of a young, rural child - please contact us.  We look forward to you walking this road with us!

    The children are exploring their environment with confidence and this is wonderful to observe. Stay well and we look forward to hearing from you!







    Ncinci One's Montessori - Montessori in action

    • Posted on: 30 May 2016
    • By: Dawn

    Observation has been the name of the game at Ncinci One's Montessori the past week, and am very happy with what I am observing. The children are becoming fully engaged with their indoor environment and this is wonderful to observe.

    Corina, our assistant, is proving to be an excellent Story Teller, of traditional Xhosa life. She has the children in stitches at story time... 


    We all know how important movement is for small children and how happy they are when they can move freely.......

    A very big thanks from all the Ncinci One's to Round Table Mthatha for the Spar Food Voucher - we really appreciate it and are eating well - Enkosi!

    We are still looking for a few sponsors to join us on this road - we are almost sustainable!

    We look forward to hearing from you.






    Ncinci One's Montessori - Montessori moments

    • Posted on: 9 May 2016
    • By: Dawn

    I just had to share some of the Montessori Moments I had today :-) Oyama has never worked wth the Pink Tower and she built it horizontally today - thinking of Jonathan Woolf's story - i just stood and gazed at her :-)

    Packing and packing away left to right is just becoming the norm - I love it!  

    Wishing you all a great week.

    Dawn and the abantwanas


    iCebo Early Childhood Development Centre - Mngcibe - Mdumbi River - Wild Coast

    iCebo  is an organization that is working towards the upliftment of one of the poorest communities in South Africa.

    Our organisation was established during April 2012 and registered as a Non-Profit Organisation on 4 December 2012. We aim to develop a model pre-school, community library, after-care centre and various other community based projects to assist in the general wellbeing and upliftment of the local community.
    Our preschool opened its doors on 1 August 2013.  At present we are based in a small mud, "borrowed" from a comunity member.  This means we only have one small “classroom” for 30 odd preschoolers and we are expecting enrolements for 40-50 children for 2013.  At present we are renovating and repairing our very own school buildings and hope to be ready by the start of the first term 2014.

    iCebo Early Childhood Development Centre is based in the isolated, rural and under developed coastal village of Mngcibe, Wild Coast (former Transkei), Eastern Cape which falls under the Nyandeni District. The impoverished local community has no access to basic services as the municipal infrastructure in the area is just about non-existent. There is no electricity, no proper sanitation facilities and municipal water supply (which was only implemented in 2012) is seldom in operation and rarely safe for human consumption. The nearest clinic is a 2-3 hour walk away and the closest hospital is 40km away and only accessible by 4x4.

    What is SeaPledge ?

    Make your SEA Pledge today and become part of the SEA Pledge movement. Visit: A SEA Pledge is a commitment everyone can make through a written and or monetary pledge to treat the seas, estuaries, coasts and oceans in an environmentally friendly manner. SEA Pledge is more than just a pledge; it is about achieving sustainability, creating opportunities, impacting lives and changing people’s life choices through Sustainable Education and Skills Centres, which will provide education and skills training to help marginalized people who depend upon the seas and other natural resources to find alternative forms of livelihoods and alleviate poverty, while promoting sustainable practices. SEA Pledge and SEAS Centres will be officially launched during COP 17 in a spectacular, fun event that aims to set world records among surfers, divers, swimmers, anglers, yachters, shipping-lines and many others. Visit: or Email for more information on how YOU can get involved! "

    Volunteer on the Wild Coast

    • Posted on: 27 August 2010
    • By: JB

    We are appealing to enthusiastic volunteers to assist rural schools and promote literacy, computer skills, extramural activities, arts and sports development.

    Experience the magic of Africa and play a vital role in education and bridging the digital divide, while exploring and integrating with the ancient local customs and culture of the Xhosa people.

    The Mentoring Volunteer Project is based on the Wild Coast, and works with junior secondary schools located in and around Hole in the Wall and nearby Coffee Bay.

    Please see: Mentor-ring Volunteer Project for more info.

    You may also be interested in these other Wild Coast Volunteer projects:

    Xhosa Words & Phrasebook

    Xhosa Phrasebook

    You can download this handy printable 9-page Xhosa phrasebook here:

    The booklet contains the following hints on pronunciation, commonly used phrases, and useful English to Xhosa word translations:

    Also see the NEW: Xhosa Live Dictionary  Best online Xhosa - English dictionary. Translates individual words from/to English or Xhosa.

    Pronunciation guide




    like a in hard


    like e in red


    like ee in seen


    like a in all


    like oo in moon


    d, f, h, j, l, m, n

    Pronounced as in English

    s, sh, v, w, y, z

    Pronounced as in English


    Similar in sound to hl (see below)


    always like g in go


    Place your tongue to the side of your mouth and expel the air (like Welsh ll sound)


    A hissing sound made by placing your tongue just above your teeth and ejecting air.


    similar to dge in judge


    similar to dge in judge


    pronounced like "ch" in Reich

    Common diphthongs



    Place your tongue at the back of the teeth and suck in, like when expressing annoyance.


    Place your tongue on the roof of the mouth and suck in, like imitating a clock's ticking.


    Place your tongue on your upper right jaw and pull it down, as if urging on a horse.

    Xhosa Dictionaries and Resources


    NEW: Xhosa Live Dictionary  Best online Xhosa - English dictionary. Translates individual words from/to English or Xhosa.

    Xhosa Translator For translating whole sentences. Doesn't work well with individual words.

    English/Xhosa/English Dictionary Large database and easy to use search engine. No grammatical explanations, and some entries are inaccurate. Better suited for Xhosa speakers learning English, as many entries contain one English word with long Xhosa descriptions.

    Webster's Online Dictionary A list of Xhosa words (and some random phrases) that have been translated from English. Not very extensive. And these resources:

    iKhamanga Cultural Village

    Contact: Mandisa Cell: 084 5925498 iKhamanga cultural village is run by the local Xhosa community of Qolora Mouth. Guests sleep in several large communal rondavels (traditional mud and thatch houses) that can accommodate up to 40 people. Smaller rondavels are available for teachers or group leaders. All meals are provided by the local community who cook traditional food in large cast iron potjie pots. Visitors can learn all about Xhosa culture and join in with the locals in song and dance. A visit from a trained herbalist in full traditional dress can also be arranged. iKhamanga is ideal for school groups and large hiking parties.

    How to create a web page on


    Step 1: Create your page by clicking on "Web Page" below the "Create Content" menu.

    Step 2: Add a relevant subject/title for your page (E.g. your business name).

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    Step 4: Select the relevant categories from the Tourism entry box (E.g. Accommodation, Cottages, Self catered). You can select multiple categories by holding down the [Ctrl] key on your keyboard.

    Step 5: Optionally enter additional (comma separated keyword tags. (E.g. surf, horse riding, adventure).

    Volunteer Africa 32˚ South

    • Posted on: 12 November 2008
    • By: JB

    Really making a difference!

    Come and enjoy some time on the Wild Coast and help our kids with computer literacy, eco-schools (environment) projects, sport and other extra-curricular activities.

    The program addresses the needs of two increasingly important developmental areas of the Eastern Cape in South Africa: Education and the Environment.

    The focal area of VA32° south is the Transkei Wild Coast.

    Under the apartheid government from the1950’s – 1994, the Transkei and other Bantustan "homelands" remained deliberately underdeveloped regions from which the dominant white economic sector could draw on a consistent labor pool who were largely denied access to equal opportunities within society, and were therefore unable to challenge the monopoly at an academic and economic level.

    The region today remains for the most part an undeveloped, rural enclave within South Africa. Access to effective education, resources and equal opportunities are leading challenges facing the communities of the Wild Coast.



    • Posted on: 1 November 2007
    • By: JB

    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence- it is a force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

    "Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it."

    ~George Washington