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09/10/2017 14:33 SAST | Updated 10/10/2017 13:15 SAST

Meet Jerry Mbowane, The Teacher Whose Science Academy Started Under His Backyard Tree

"You teach one child, you empower South Africa."

Beautiful News

A teacher from Mpumalanga, who for more than 20 years used his backyard as an informal maths and science "classroom", is officially our Man Crush Monday -- and for all the right reasons.

It started in 1990 when Jerry Mbowane, a full-time teacher, started giving additional tutoring on these subjects in his hometown of Thulamahashe.

Seven years later, he resigned from his full-time job to focus fully on tutoring.

The lessons were held under a tree, which he calls "very famous".

But thanks to a generous donation, he has been conducting his lessons in a real classroom since July.

It's not about the money that you have in the bank, it's how many times you have stood up to help your fellow mankind, without expecting anything in return.

In a short film recently made about him, the 58-year-old said people thought it was impossible for students in Thulamahashe to get distinctions. However, he believes anyone can grasp the subjects when taught well.

Over the years, many of his students have attained distinctions and subsequently received financial assistance to study further.

As professionals, they have "come back to uplift their families", something Mbowane is extremely proud of. "You teach one child, you empower South Africa," he said.

Mbowane is of the opinion that anyone with a will to help, can, regardless of the resources. "It's not about the money that you have in the bank, it's how many times you have stood up to help your fellow mankind, without expecting anything in return," he said.