Limpopo school principal Moloka Knox Matsapolo (right).

  • Limpopo school principal Moloka Knox Matsapolo credits passion and hard work as the reasons he won the provincial lifetime achievement award.
  • Mazzapolo is the current principal and founder of Dendron High School in a rural part of the province.
  • He says he always urges students and teachers to be disciplined, as “this is the hallmark of all success.”

Headmaster of Limpopo’s best school, Moloka Knox Matsapolo, was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award that reflects his passion and hard work during his 36 years of continuous service in the teaching profession.

Mazapolo was honored at the recent provincial teacher awards ceremony held in Polokwane, where educators were recognized in 13 categories, including excellence in teaching in Grade R, Primary, and Mathematics and Science.

The winners will compete in the national competition next month. Teachers from Limpopo have dominated the national awards in various categories in recent years.

Mazzapolo, 60, is the current principal and founder of Dendron High School in rural Bochum, and his school has consistently ranked among the top five successful institutions in the province since it was founded in 2001.

Speaking to News24, Matsapolo, who was born in Bochum, said he joined the local school as a teacher after graduating from Setatolvane College of Education in 1986.

He said:

I was denied the opportunity to do math and science in 10th grade because we didn’t have a teacher. My mother couldn’t afford to send me to boarding school, so I had to study history [in Grade 10].

“Later I became deputy director at Seripa [Secondary School] before I was chosen to found Dendron High School.

“When I got the privilege to become a principal, I wanted my students to do math and science. All the students at my school study math, science, and accounting, and they do very well.”

Mazzapolo believes that Dendron High School’s success was due to hard work, prayer and, above all, discipline, “which is the hallmark of all success.”

“Teach kids that they have to be persistent and that good things don’t come easily,” he said.

“They should believe in themselves, and where there is a will, they will always succeed. This is what I tell my students and teachers.

“I have always dreamed that one day when I am going to retire, I should receive these awards.

“I’m turning 60 this year and it’s time for a lifetime achievement award.”

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