“Good morning, bra,” Lucky said energetically as he walked out of morning assembly.

“Yes, bro. How are you holding up?” Moses said looking down.

“Ah. Mr Malembe and Madzedze, just the people I wanted to see. How are you guys doing? Mr Malembe you look worried. What’s up?” Bonginkosi asked Lucky and Moses.

“I’m good guys, have you heard about the new principal?” Bonginkosi asked.

“I thought it was just a rumor. Guys, this changes everything. How can we adjust because we are used to ruling ourselves?” Lucky asked.

“Oh no guys what can we do? This is not good,” Moses said. “We’ve got to make a plan. Let’s get to class.”

“Good morning mates,” Moses said drawing the attention of the class. The whole class kept quiet while Moses shifted the attention to Lucky.

“Morning class…err…we have something to tell you guys. So as the class advisor I will give this opportunity to our monitor Mr Malembe,” Lucky said passing the attention on to Bonginkosi.

“Good morning, class. Have you heard that we will be getting a new principal?” Bonginkosi told the class.

“Now a person has to wake up early manje?” Trudy asked as the whole classroom began to fill with noise.

“As I was saying,” Bonginkosi continued. “We’ve got to make plans. We can’t just change our routine. Any suggestions?” Zinhle raised her hand to say something.

“Yes,” Zinhle said after Bonginkosi called on her. “When will the new principal be introduced formally?” Zinhle asked.

“Well it’s this weekend Saturday. His name is Imbizo,” Bonginkosi said. “Mancoba said that we should just accept the fact that we are getting a new principal, and we should be patient. We only have a year left in this school, but it will not be easy to adjust.”

The meeting closed with no solid solution. Later that week after school, all the students received a letter about their new principal, Imbizo.

“Ahh mfethu Malembe was telling the truth about Imbizo,” Trudy said to Clementine.

“I knew he wouldn’t lie to us. We have to trust him. Don’t you think so?”

“Depends. He could still lie. He’s no saint,” Trudy said as Sindi joined them.

“Guys, I don’t think the principal is bad. Let’s judge him after observing his leadership not before. Don’t judge a book by its cover remember?” Sindi said.

“Yeah I think you have a point right there, Sindi. We should tell this to our class leaders,” Clementine said.

“Afternoon, guys. The girls and I have an idea,” Sindi said.

“Yes, Sindi we are listening. What is the idea?” The trio responded curiously.

“Let us at least give the principal a chance, and see how he operates because a dead snake may frighten us. Then we will know how to react due to his deeds,” Sindi said.

“Well, it is a good idea. We better address the class as a group tomorrow,” Moses responded. They nodded in agreement and headed off in different directions towards home.

Thursday they summoned the whole class. Moses managed to grab their attention, and then he handed everything over to Lucky.

“Sanibonani class, as we did not come up with a solution on Monday we have been collecting information on how we can overcome this obstacle,” Moses said as he passed the attention back to Lucky.

“Err,” Lucky stammered. “Sanibonani class, I am grateful for such an opportunity from my co-members of the class leadership. As the class advisor some of our classmates came to me with an idea. We all agreed to it, and we hope you will do the same. We think that we should not let a dead snake alert us. So we agreed to give the new principal a chance to operate as he chose to, better understand his weaknesses. Any objections?” Lucky said. No one responded.

“I’ll take your silence as a sign of agreement,” Lucky said and closed the meeting.

After school on Thursday everyone was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new principal.

Skhiphani Magitha?” Moses greeted Madzedze and Malembe.

Mashele konkhe ku-right mfethu – just worried about Saturday,” Lucky said.

“Yaah err…mfethu this Saturday thing is worrying.” Bonginkosi said.

“I wonder how this Saturday thing is going to turn out,” Moses said as he looked down hiding his worried face.

Friday morning came fast enough and all the students gathered at assembly.

“Guys, did you just hear Mr S’thole saying that we have to clean the whole school this afternoon preparing for tomorrow’s function?” Bonginkosi asked.

“Who cares? And who will clean anyway? He can only frighten the juniors since he is not our principal,” Moses responded.

“This is our school, and before tomorrow we are bossing’ in this school,” Lucky said.

“Open the books in your bag Lucky,” Moses suggests. “We want Mr S’thole to think we are studying, and we will tell him we are still writing our homework.”

“Boys let’s go out. You have heard about the cleaning campaign we are having now, didn’t you?” Mr S’thole enquired.

The boys looked too busy to pay courtesy, and then Mr S’thole got closer to the boys. He rephrased his question and the boys responded. “Sir we will be done soon. We are writing the last paragraph.” Mr S’thole didn’t have a response and left the classroom.

On the other hand, the girls were having their own discussion about Imbizo.

“Girls, I think we should consider that we are here to only learn. Not the other way around. We are expected to comply with the terms and regulations the principal will introduce.” Sindi addresses the girls. The all begin to frown.

“I’m with you on this one girl, 100%,” Lindelwa said, but Trudy, Ncobile, Samkelsiwe, Clementine and Nompendulo kept quiet.

Saturday, the “Imbizo” day, came soon enough. The school was crowded with parents and the department of Education stakeholders. Mrs Mubi the circuit manger introduced herself; she was also new as she took on from Mr Biya who recently retired, she then introduced the new principal, Mr Mkhantshwa.

Mrs Mubi gave Mr Mkhantshwa an opportunity to introduce himself and set his goal in improving the matric results.

“I surely will change this school. I cannot do this alone, but with the co-operation of both the educators and the candidates. Those who will not comply will be admitted in the house of justice.” Mr Mkhantshwa started.

The boys knew that their hide and seek days were over.