The Metro South Education District honoured the top performers from the matric class of 2019 at an awards ceremony on Saturday January 25 at Spine Road High School in Rocklands.
District director Granville Stander told the matriculants to make use of every opportunity.
“Now that you have finished school, there may be a way you can give back to your family and community. Your teachers have been there to give you the best and teach you the best.”
He said pupils were going into a world where they could choose what they would like to be, but they needed to do it diligently and with excellence.
Abigail Dolf, 19, who now lives in Kuils River, and Joshua Hendricks, 18, from Westridge, received the award for pupils who succeeded despite facing barriers.
Abigail lived in four different homes in her matric year. There were many times she could not get to class. She was even told to rather get married and go to work, in her matric year. A friend at her school, Westridge High School, took her in, in October last year in Colorado Park. Abigail is currently studying at Camelot College in TygerValley.
Joshua and his family were evicted from their Rocklands home in 2017 and have moved several times. He was separated from his parents with no one to look up to, he said.
He looked after his sister, 16, throughout their moving. Then, in Grade 11, his marks improved and he was always in the top 10 in his school and top in maths.
“Looking after my sister kept me going, I was motivated to work very hard,” he said. He is currently studying management at College
of Cape Town in the Cape Town CBD.
Kamva Goso, 18, from Philippi, who was the district’s top achiever in the 2018 exams, was a guest speaker at the awards on Saturday.
Kamva attended Intsebenziswano Senior Secondary in Philippi and is now an actuarial science student at the University of Cape Town.
He got 100% for physical science and geography and 99% in mathematics, with an average of 95% in matric.
He said he was just an average person who had average marks before he gained confidence, became focused and studied very hard. He said he kept repeating the words, “Into isemntwini in isiXhosa meaning, it’s all in me”, and taught himself to be positive.
“When I struggled, I asked for help, and I encouraged others to do the same. I impressed the whole nation with my marks. My community was very proud of me and I felt like I was part of a dream,” he said.
Kamva said studying at UCT was an adjustment and he felt despondent when he started last year.
“The transition is real, no matter who you are. You must be independent, willing and eager to work. Control your life in such a way that you have discipline and responsibility,” Kamva said.
He told the matriculants to never settle for mediocre results.
“You are worthy, you have purpose and stay on top of your game, do your best,” he said.
Alex Boettger, from Wynberg and Jaden Corker, 18, from Lavender Hill, received the District Directors’ Award. Alex, who is in a wheelchair, could not attend the event to receive his award.
Jaden achieved eight distinctions at South Peninsula High School in Diep River. “You need to be consistent throughout the year. The most challenging part was not being distracted, but working hard and persevering kept me going,” he said.