Growing up in Phake village, Bongani Xaba always excelled in Maths and Science subjects, most of his peers unfortunately did not. After passing his matric in 2006 from Mabothe Senior Secondary School, he took 7 year gap before furthering his studies at the University of Zululand where he studied and obtained a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science (Bed in Computer Science and Mathematics FET). He has always been passionate with teaching mathematics even during the time when he was still at home prior to his studies.

Nerds and Geeks a tutoring service focused on mathematics and sciences subjects.
Image: Facebook

Nerds and Geeks is a tutoring service which was founded in 2018 by Bongani Xaba, to-date it comprises of a team of five (5) tutors. The organization is based in Phake, they offer classes on Saturdays at a Mabothe Senior Secondary. For now they focus mainly on mathematics and science subjects, they also tutor other subjects depending on the need and availability of tutors in high school. With mathematics they have plans to work with learners from as early as grade 8.

“Due to lack of information, I could not go to university the following year after my matric, but I did not give up on my dream” said Bongani. He completed his degree in 2018. Prior to the establishment of Nerds and Geeks, he was volunteering at Mabothe, this just goes to show how passionate this young leader has always been about mathematics and teaching in general. Mr Xaba saw the ever growing need for his services hence he formalized and established this organization.

The growing disconnect between the old teachers with the young learners also perpetuated the need for this service, someone who the kids understands and can relate to in terms of language and culture makes it key for this services. Learners need someone who makes mathematics fashionable, not someone who is unable to make it fun and heavily relies on old teaching methods, it cannot be. Tutors are also important in ensuring the establishment and reinforcement of a positive teacher/learner relationship in the classroom because the more the learners understand the better ways to deal and solve mathematical equations; the more they become more confident and safe in their schoolwork. This relationships are the cornerstone of a student’s maturation process.

Due to lack of human and non-human resources (especially lack of capital), the service is based in Phake. But they are considering expanding to other villages in due course with neighbouring Mmametlhake at the top of their list as parents and learners from that side have made numerous enquiries for the service. Nerds and Geeks continuously looks to attract and grow its staff proponent. To be eligible to join the organization as a tutor one needs to go through and pass their rigorous criterion selection test, one of the key elements they consider for one to become a tutor with them is to have passed matric (minimum) with at least level 5 for each subject they would like to tutor.

Nerds and Geeks with Amasobode Foundation after hosting a successful 2021 career guidance at Mabothe Senior School.
Image: Supplied

The service is not free, learners are required to register prior to admission into the program, a once off registration fee amount of R50 is paid. From then henceforth, a fee of R80 per month is paid per subject being tutored. With the money paid, by-monthly learners are provided with lunch worth R20 meaning out four Saturdays the learners come to school and receive lunch while learning. The food is brought inside the premises of the school to safeguard the learners against the outsiders and also to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (covid-19).

Nerds and Geeks has been working and collaborating with an organization called Amasobode Foundation from KwaZulu-Natal, which assists with Personality Tests and Career guidance’s. The two organizations have been working together since 2019, last year the career guidance could not take place due to the nationwide hard lockdown.

The world is in the 5G technology within the fourth industrial revolution, Nerds and Geeks also has plans to go virtual in their teachings. They have plans to go digital and reach more people, Team TVM wishes Nerds and Geeks all the best in their future endeavours. Follow them on Facebook at NERDS and GEEKS.

Click here to listen to this interview.

Some of the learners who have signed up for the tutoring program, many whom go to Mabothe and others from nearby schools.
Image: Supplied


  • June 15, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Wonderful piece of work, thank you so much for covering this great organization by youth during the youth month. Inspiring

  • June 21, 2021 at 7:40 am

    There is so much passion detailed in this body of work, from The Village Mag putting inspirational endevours like this to the fore and to leaders like Bongani Xaba who are looking to uplift the level if education in core subjects like these. This is truly a course we have to support and help expand.


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