The story of David Samaai:
first black South African to play at Wimbledon
This book is the story of an exceptional man: David Samaai. The author takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the life of Davy (as he was affectionately known by his peers) who began his career in the streets of a beautiful suburb called the Ou Tuin (Old Garden) on the banks of the picturesque Berg River. Due to the Group Areas Act of the apartheid government they were forced to leave their homes. They had to move to the other side of the river to a new town: Paarl East.
Many thought that it was the end. On the contrary, it was anything but game set and match. Because of inspirational leadership, they managed to overcome apartheid and even excelled! David led by example. First, he conquered Wimbledon and then he led his community rebuilding their town, their schools, the mosque and the church. In fact, they rebuilt their entire lives.
Eventually it turned out to be an the chronicle of the political emancipation of a community to which David Samaai was an inspiration, not because he was a legendary tennis player, a gifted musician or a committed school principal and teacher, but because he was and still is an example to any South African.
He left a legacy that with hard work and perseverance you can achieve your dream.
Michael le Cordeur matriculated in 1976 from Bergrivier High School, Wellington, the year of the youth up rise. He holds a BA and Honours degree as well as a Higher Teaching Diploma from the University of the Western Cape, a B.Ed. from UNISA, a Masters and a doctorate from Stellenbosch University and a Senior Management Diploma (cum laude) from Stellenbosch’s Graduate School of Business.
His teaching career spanned 25 years: he is a language teacher by trade, a former Circuit Manager and high school principal. Currently he is professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum Studies in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University. He is the author or co-author of various books, book chapters and articles and presented numerous papers nationally and internationally.
Prof Le Cordeur has served the community in various leadership positions: As chair of the Western Cape Language Committee, he co-authored the Western Cape Language Policy. Currently he serves as chair of the SU’s Het Jan Marais Fund and deputy chair of the SBA and is a member of the Internationale Centrum vir Afrikaans at Gent University.
Prof Le Cordeur received awards from the South African Academy for his contribution to education (2008), the Rector’s Award (2010 – 2014), Stellenbosch University’s Chancellors Award (2014), the SU’s Media Award (2018) and the Neville Alexander Prestige Award for lifelong contribution to multilingualism (2020).