Where Light Shines Through

Two generations after democracy, South Africa’s public schooling system continues to underperform. Despite some gains, many South African children still don’t achieve basic academic milestones, and teachers are often blamed.

Where Light Shines Through allows glimmers of light to shine through the darkness of the public education story and reveals can-do teachers who are excelling despite the odds.

It explores what we can learn from these teachers to build the quality of the schooling sector and the public sector more broadly – and turns our gaze momentarily away from public officials who are in power, towards those who are in service.

The remarkable stories of sixteen South African teachers from all over the country, illustrated with portraits from the Artist’s Proof Studios, show that while our attitude to life is often informed by our experiences, our attitude nevertheless remains our choice.


Visit the launch of Where Light Shines Through at Love Books.

The book offers this description of a can-do teacher.

More than anything, a can-do teacher cares; she harnesses her resilience and her willingness to evolve to make things happen despite the circumstances. This agency drives her to do the best for those in her care as she helps children imagine and realise their greatest possible selves.

  • If you’re a teacher reading this, does this describe you?
  • If you are a parent, does this describe your child’s teacher?
  • If you are working with teachers, does this describe the people in your team?

Discussion Guides

A guide to encouraging discussion at schools and universities based on WHERE LIGHT SHINES THROUGH.

Sponsored Copies

Sponsored copies of Where Light Shines Through are distributed to teachers and education students to inform and inspire a new generation of can-do teachers.  Put your company name to this book by sponsoring copies today.

Sponsor copies of Where Light Shines Through

Where Light Shines Through


The Witness

Excelling against the odds.

20 Feb 2020

Mail & Guardian

Can-do people achieve despite the odds.

11 Mar 2020

Rosebank Killarney Gazette

Local author pens book about inspiring teachers.

March 16, 2020

Mail & Guardian

It’ll take teachers with a can-do attitude to pick up the school year.

27 May 2020

Daily Maverick

Back to school: How innovative teachers embrace online learning during lockdown.

29 May 2020

Daily Maverick

Back to school: No dress up for “Treasure Island” this year.

 29 May 2020

Radio Islam

A Radio Islam interview about Where Light Shines Through.

May 30, 2020

Times Live

Where Light Shines Through’ tells the tales of 16 remarkable teachers working in SA public schools.

16 July 2020

Morning Live

Book Feature SABC Morning Live

4 October 2020


SAfm Jet Set Breakfast with Michelle Constant.

4 October 2020


702 Clement Manyathela show, paying tribute to our teachers.

5 October 2020

EW Blog Book Review

Celebrating Teachers Who Shine the Light for the Future

30 November 2020

702 Interviews

To acknowledge World Teachers Day 2020 on 5 October, 702’s John Perlman interviewed a Where Light Shines Through teacher every day that week.

Azhar Rajah

5 October

Favour Litchfield

6 October

Prof Sarah Gravett

7 October

Gina Strauss

8 October

Freddy Marubini

9 October

TeachersCAN: Teachers as Change Agents with
Kimon Phitidis

2 June 2021

TeachersCAN: Teachers as Leaders with
Thandeka Sibiya

21 July 2021

Daily Maverick
Gansbaai Academia: The school that enables dreams

4 October 2021