Determined to defy the odds

2014-01-07 00:00

SEPARATING from his father at a very young age taught him to stand alone, and to work hard and not to depend on anyone else.

Those were the principles Siyanda Mabaso (17) of Emhlwaneni High School in Ladysmith employed when he prepared for his final exams.

“I was raised by my mother and grandmother, because my father left us when I was very young,” said Siyanda, who achieved eight distinctions, in Zulu home language, English first additional language, Afrikaans, maths, life orientation, geography, life science and physical science.

“Even when I was studying, I worked hard and I worked alone and that has helped me to achieve my results,” he said.

Siyanda said he was proud of his results. “Although I had worked hard and had expected to get good results, I am still shocked at doing so well, I am very happy.”

He said next year he hopes to study geology at the University of Cape Town.

The top achiever hoped to leave behind the legacy of education. “Growing up and living in the rural areas you are not exposed to a lot of things … What I want is to encourage the children coming after me to dedicate themselves to education.”

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