Limpopo top achievers look up to Minister Masutha

2016-01-06 06:44
Top achievers Selby Rihlapfu and Ntshuxeko Maluleke from Rivoni School for the Blind in Limpopo. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Top achievers Selby Rihlapfu and Ntshuxeko Maluleke from Rivoni School for the Blind in Limpopo. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Polokwane - Two bright matriculants from Malamulele in Limpopo may just give Justice Minister Michael Masutha a run for his money.

Ntshuxeko Maluleke and Selby Rihlafpu, who are the second and third best performing students respectively from schools with special needs both have goals of studying law and reaching the highest levels within the fraternity.

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The 20-year-olds spoke to News24 on the sidelines of an event honouring 21 of the country's best performing students hosted by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

"I realised that we all can do it. If he [Masutha] can be a minister, we all can be," Maluleke said.

"And if there was no one like him [in cabinet], we would still disadvantage ourselves and exclude ourselves in many things."

Minister Masutha, a qualified lawyer also from Limpopo, is partially sighted as a result of being born with cataract in his eye.

Maluleke said he had made a number of sacrifices during 2015 to ensure that he did not lose focus of his end goal, which was performing well during his final exams.

"I want to be a lawyer... I'm good at defending myself so I think it would be easy for me to defend other people."

The two were both students at Rivoni School for the Blind in Elim, Limpopo and gave credit to their teachers, principal and parents for the solid support they gave them throughout their studies.

Despite the poor infrastructure at the school, they were adamant they had received quality education.

"In Grade 8 and 9 there were no books in our school, even now the infrastructure is very poor but teachers are very good," Maluleke said.

"So if we get the infrastructure at that school, that school may be the best."

‘It was very, very hard’

His friend Rihlapfu agreed, saying their teachers' dedication to their success was a major ingredient in their final performance results.

"It wasn't easy, it was very, very hard. We had to work very hard, day and night, holidays, weekends etc" he said.

"For me, it was very hard because my eyesight started to decline very rapidly, faster than ever before.

"It was hard to study so I got assistance from [Maluleke] and from the school principal and the teachers. I would like to thank them very much, they've done something very great for me."

Rihlapfu said seeing Masutha in his current role as a minister encouraged him to dream bigger.

"He makes me very proud because in other areas, people like myself, who other people call disabled while they are actually people with special needs, are challenged [by society].

"It makes me realise that we are not disabled, we are just people with special needs and with the best talent, so what we need is assistance from the department [of education], the community and other organisations."

Read more on:    polokwane  |  education  |  matric 2015

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