Mrs. Zikhali first became known to Africa Foundation when she applied for support in 1999. For 2 years she had been running a school, teaching 60 children under the shade of trees in Mnqobokazi. Her commitment to and love of children, combined with sustained determination and strong leadership, led to Nkomo School today being a full service primary school for over 1000 pupils, of which she is the principal.
Her community focus meant that she was also integral to the development of Khulani Special School in Mduku. Mrs Zikhali raised funds for its construction and played a key role in the consultative processes with community and the Department of Education. Her involvement has ensured the long term success of the school which serves 300 pupils living with disabilities.
Mrs Zikhali went on to secure funding to build a centre for orphaned and vulnerable children, based at Nkomo School, which provides after-school care for children attending Nkomo and other neighbouring schools.
Recognising the importance of conservation and the role of education in protecting the environment and wildlife, Mrs Zikhali is a leader in the Eco School programme, and Nkomo serves as a training school in the area.
As an ambassador for the Africa Foundation methodology for community empowerment and sustainable change, Mrs Zikhali mentors school principals in the area, illustrating how to take ownership of their own sustainable growth.
Mrs Zikhali is recognised by the judges as a humble leader, visionary teacher and a devoted community member.