In this series, our staff are sharing their favourite classic fairy tales and the reasons why they’re their favourites. These fairy tales are have been told and retold through generations and have stood the test of time. A fairy tale (wonder tale, magic tale, or fairy story) is a short story from the European folklore genre.
Chenae Nel – Afrikaans Student Success Coach
“Rumpelstiltskin is a favourite classic that I enjoy reading to my two children for the important lessons that this story teaches them. These lessons include thinking before speaking, taking responsibility for your mistakes, and the evils of greed.”
Tshidi Dlamini – Student Success Coach
“My favourite Classic story is Little Red Riding Hood as it reminds me of back when I was in primary school, we had to do a little play and, my team and I chose this story. Back then I attended an Afrikaans school but this task was for our English class. I was so fluent in Afrikaans so this was close to the worst day of my life. Because I was the only girl, I had to play the main character. I really had to study those English lines but, the play did not turn out to be so bad. Now I am fluent in English and I can’t imagine doing it in Afrikaans. That story will always be my favourite classic.”
Bongi Mgolozi – Accounts and General Enquiries
“The tale of Mulan is my personal favourite classic, purely because it is one of the only fairy tale stories where a woman doesn’t need to kiss a man at the end of the story to gain position in society. It’s based on a young girl’s courage and sacrifice which are two virtues and qualities that I believe all little girls should celebrate.”
Georgia Abraham – British International Head Coach
“Honestly, even as an adult I even get teary eyed just thinking about this movie. I would spend every TV opportunity I had to playback the low-quality VCR version of Beauty and the Beast, because it had the ability to evoke this emotion and feeling, one that I wasn’t really sure what to call; all I knew is that it touched my heart in the most magical way. Later in life I came to understand that feeling as empathy.
Belle is a character that cares deeply and you can see this by the way she treats her father, their horse Phillipe, living creatures and even the towns’ people who think that she is “rather odd”. As the story unfolds, Belle shows no convictions towards the physical appearance of The Beast, she has empathy for his situation and what he looks like, but never shows him any pity because of it. She really taught me how to be empathetic and look at others with ‘soft eyes’, not to judge people by the way they look (as more often than not that judgement will be wrong) and make sure you never stop being a good person because of bad people.
For those of you that know me, you will understand why this really resonated so closely to my personal life: My Father was born with a prominent dark birthmark covering half of his face, and it makes him look “rather odd” to other people who always find themselves staring. BUT, his birthmark does not make him who he is!
I absolutely love watching Beauty and the Beast as an grown-up, probably better to do so alone as the word-for-word reciting and singing drives others mad! It’s a magical blend of books, singing, romance, falling in love and talking furniture, I mean what’s not to like?!”
Allegra Whitehouse – Student Success Coach
“My pick for this would have to be James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.
I read this book thousands of times as a kid, it is a fantastic story with wonderful characters and is total escapism! It is also a beautiful story of an unhappy child finding their happy ending at the end of the tale. Plus, magical giant peaches!”
Vicky Moraitis – Operations Director
“The Wizard of Oz is one of my favourite spiritual teachings. As I got older, I learned that the yellow brick road was so much more than just a simple path to walk on. I had an “Aha!” moment when I realised that it referred to going up the path and looking all outside yourself only to learn that what you’ve been looking for, has always been “right here” within yourself. Dorothy’s journey can be a catalyst to live an authentic life filled with heart, brains and courage – “There’s no place like home” is the call to a profound journey of self-discovery and untapped potential. Her journey through a magical land is the key to our own inner-life’s journey and toward becoming the essential human we were always meant to be. She reminds us that with a little bit of courage (and a great pair of Ruby Slippers), we can accomplish anything that we set our minds to do.”
Janessa Leita – founder and CEO of Think Digital Academy
“My 3 boys always loved “You Are Special” and in their love for this special little story, I found my favourite classic. This story about love and the heart of God introduces the idea of what being special means and whether that matters. The central issue in the story is about whether the opinions of other Wemmicks should determine how Punchinello feels about himself. “You Are Special” reminds us that we should never judge our own worth based on the opinions and judgments of others, and that God intended each and every one of us to be special.”
Tina Welman – Head of Quality Assurance
“My favourite story is The Secret Garden – as a little girl I lived in my own fantasy world. I did not have many friends and preferred plants and animals for company. I always wished I would stumble upon a secret space that no one else knew about.”
Lumari Coetzee – Student Success Coach
“The Little Prince is truly an amazing piece of work! I remember reading it for the first time when I was 13 years old.
The Little Prince tells the story of a pilot, who after crashing and being stranded in the desert, meets the Little Prince. Through the exploration of the Little Prince’s journey to other, strange planets and the inclusion of characters such as the rose and the fox, The Little Prince takes a deep, introspective look into the nature of humanity, greed and love. You can see the struggle of the people to trust (fox) , the meaning of love (rose) and how people waste their lives without love.
What makes The Little Prince a classic work is its ability to explore important themes such as love, possession and ownership in ways that everyone can understand them. I remember being a young girl and being overwhelmed by the unconditional love the boy had for his rose. And to have a child grasp such grand concepts is truly what makes this classic fairy tale more than just a fairy tale! The Little Prince is full of simple, beautifully imagined truths.
“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” (The fox enlightening the Little Prince.) ”
Cassidy Wiseman – Head of Customer Service
“Matilda is one of my favourite stories, as it is the first book I ever received and read all by myself. I particularly love this story as it is a reminder that there isn’t anything you can’t do, if you put your mind to it.”
Kristal Williams – Grade 10 FET Assessments Navigator
“Tikki Tikki Tembo is a story that I love because of the big long name that Chang’s brother had. My cousins and I would spend much time debating how to pronounce that long name and would read it over and over again. The moral behind the story really enters the realm of Chinese folklore and stresses how important it is to treat everyone as special and important.”
Jessica Poalses – Grade 12 FET Assessments Navigator
“I really enjoyed Jack and the Beanstalk! It made a big impression on me and taught me that when opportunities arise, you have to seize them. If you work together, you can achieve more, as seen by Jack and his mother. This story could also mean that you should listen to your parents, if you know something is wrong (even if you justify it), it remains wrong.”
Karen Williams – Grade 11 FET Assessments Navigator
“This is simply one of my and my daughter, Krissy’s favourite stories from her childhood. I had to take it out of the Library several times and read it to her over and over again. The rhyming couplets, which are used make it so much fun, and the story line, teaches the lesson that family will always have your back – no matter how different each individual in the family is.”
Ingrid Rauch – Head of FET Phase
“Heidi’s story resonates with me due to troubling times in my life when I lost my mother around the same age. Heidi was the little girl who showed me that even if the world is crumbling around me that positivety, perseverance, curiosity, and love for nature and animals makes the world around me feel magical. She showed me that material things are nothing compared to memories, exploring, and learning new things every day.”
Veronika Von Kloeg – FET CAT and LO Student Success Coach
“The Three Little Pigs is one of my favourite classic stories because the lesson learnt in this story became such a big part of my personality and how I do things. Don’t be lazy because hard work and dedication pays off. It is also all about the balance of first you need to work hard and get things done, then you have time to enjoy the things in life you worked so hard for. This is a life lesson to be learned by any child nowadays.”
Tyron Lehmann – Student Success Coach
“I enjoyed Hansel and Gretel as a child because of the images it created; wandering through the forest, finding the cabin made of sweets, and the strange old woman who lived there. It was also a good cautionary tale: Don’t trust strangers, even if they treat you well.”