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Special screening: Under Four Trees documentary

Cross and Zikhali during filming of the documentary at Nkomo Primary School.

All UCOP staff is invited to a special screening of the documentary “Under Four Trees.” This inspiring film captures the true story of how Nomusa Zikhali was named principal of a school in rural South Africa only to find out that the “school” was just an empty field with 60 children sitting on the ground. Overcoming many obstacles, Zikhali built Nkomo Primary School under four trees, creating a place that nurtures and educates local children fighting hunger, disease and loss of parents.

Immediately after the screening, Zikhali (who is visiting the U.S.) and the film’s co-director, Suzanne Cross, who works at UCOP as a charitable asset administrator, will discuss the events portrayed in the film as well as the state of education today in rural South Africa.

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 18
Time: 3 to 5 p.m. (Documentary is one hour; discussion follows)
Location: Franklin 5320

Seating is limited, so please RSVP to to reserve a spot.


Today Nkomo Primary School is an educational model, crafted by an innovative woman through perseverance and love. Filmmakers Cross and John Simpson have visited the school several times since 2002 and have seen firsthand the huge growth it has undergone and how it has changed the lives of local children and their community. Read more about Cross and her involvement with the school.

Zikhali has also been a strong advocate of the UC Santa Barbara Unite to Light solar study light, distributing 4,500 to her school’s children thanks to the generosity of UCOP staff. More information at:


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  1. Lena Zentall October 3, 2017 Reply

    Thank you, Suzanne Cross for making this film and bringing it to UCOP!

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