Rebecca Crook, ‘UMOJA PRIMARY SCHOOL’, 2016, Museum of African Design (MOAD)

In Mr. Mtambo's class, laughter and learning go hand in hand. I sat in a lesson for 30 minutes, mesmerized as students learned about respiration. When a scholar answered a question that was close, but not 100% correct, he would say, "That's not quite right. Can someone elaborate on Aliyah's answer?" Mr. Mtambo held his students to high standards and simultaneously created a joyful and safe environment where students could take risks. These risks lead to further learning.
Just as schoolwas ending, I asked the students if they liked their teacher. "Yes!" was the emphatic response. Says Janet, "He loves teaching us about amphibians and started hopping like a frog". Hajaf proceeded to reenact this particular class as Mr. Mtambo and the class laughed. Their beloved teacher even hopped around for a photo. I walked away from the class impressed with the academic rigour, joy and strong relationships, all of which are a testament of Mr. Mtambo's skill in the classroom.