Durbs’ top achievers

2014-12-31 00:00

MANY of Durban’s brightest are leaving the province to attend universities across the country and some even abroad.

But a common thread that bound them all together — despite their wide interests in future careers — was their strong work ethic, time management and willingness to sacrifice.

From dropping music and ballet lessons, cutting back on sport to watching fewer movies, these young minds revealed that to be in the top you had to work really hard — continuously.

St Mary’s DSG had, in the top five ­percent of achievers in the country, six pupils, followed by Durban Girls’ College with three pupils.

St Mary’s DSG matriculant Megan Payne called her class of 2014 “a very smart year”.

She will be studying to become a teacher because she “wants to make a difference”. Payne admitted that her choice of teaching was at first unpopular as she was deemed too clever.

“I want to teach in South Africa and of course at St Mary’s. I love my country,” said Payne who is off to Stellenbosch.

She will be joined by class-mate and top pupil Rachel Piggott, who has ­aspirations of becoming a human rights lawyer.

“I am doing a degree in Social Dynamics. I see this as an opening to various possibilities,” said Piggott.

Another St Mary’s top achiever Julia Conradie is off to UCT to study business science. Full of confidence, she intends to open her own companies in the future and even design good gym equipment.

Courtney Morris from Thomas More College is leaving South Africa in February to join her parents in the United Kingdom. She hopes to study medicine, starting with a BSc in biochemistry.

She said partly what put her in this direction was having suffered from lead poisoning during her high school career.

“I realised what it meant to have good medical care from a first-hand experience and I wanted to help others. I have always been a bit of perfectionist. I find the medical field mentally challenging,” said Morris.

Muhammad Amod from Clifton College will be pursuing a future in accounting through Wits University, but admitted that not all was smooth sailing.

“With the support of the teachers, I managed to elevate my science to an A and after years of battling with Afrikaans, in my final year it clicked.”

Fiona Watt from Durban Girls’ College, who has been provisionally accepted to study medicine at UCT, said she is ready to “move on” from high school.

As a musician and ballet student, Watt said the final year was “a lot harder”.

“It was six months of intense work and then exams one after the next. It was tiring. I am ready to see what else is out there,” said Watt.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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