Maths whizz kids bound for Bulgaria

2013-05-24 00:00

TWO Maritzburg College pupils will be flying to Bulgaria to participate in the Bulgaria International Mathematics Competition at the end of June.

Nkanyiso Mthembu (16) and Mbonomuhle Mncwabe (14) will be joined by Shandukani Mulaudzi from Cape Town and Arthur Qampi from Durban.

The group will be representing the South African Mathematics Foundation.

Smiling broadly, the College boys told The Witness it would be their first trip overseas.

Last year when they went to Cape Town for the maths camp that led to the Bulgaria trip, they went in an aeroplane for the first time.

“I’m very excited,” Nkanyiso said.

Mbonomuhle said he discovered his aptitude for maths while he was in Grade 4 at Scottsville Primary School.

His passion for maths was ignited by his teachers and family who said they realised his potential.

His parents saw his potential at a young age, he said, “and persuaded me to do my best as it might take me places, like this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Bulgaria”.

The Grade 9 pupil said the trip was a wonderful opportunity.

Nkanyiso fell in love with maths before he even knew what a classroom looked like.

His sister, Nonkazimulo, used to teach him during the school holidays when he was a toddler.

“The first time she showed me her school stuff was when I was four years old. Both my sisters even made me play with their dolls,” he laughed.

Nkanyiso thanked his mentor, teacher Mike Bechet.

The Grade 10 pupil said this year he had ­only lost three marks in all his maths tests.

The modest Mbonomuhle said he “usually” gets 100%.

Both boys said maths was fun and games to them.

Mbonumuhle’s advice to his peers is to have fun while doing maths, to focus in class and to work hard.

Nkanyiso said that when children did maths they should imagine that they were doing their favourite thing.

“Try to be creative, ask questions, help others and have fun,” was his advice to pupils who think the subject is difficult.

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