Nkandla’s brightest star bags 7 distinctions

2017-01-05 22:00
Sivikelo Nkosi of Bizimali Secondary School in Enhloshani village, Nkandla, has bagged seven distinctions. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Sivikelo Nkosi of Bizimali Secondary School in Enhloshani village, Nkandla, has bagged seven distinctions. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban - A Nkandla pupil got seven distinctions, despite learning by candle light, in one of the country's poorest schools.

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“The only source of light we had was candle light and a small generator from the school which kept us going from 18:00 until 22:00 at night,” Sivikelo Nkosi, of Bizimali Secondary School in Enhloshani village, Nkandla, said on Thursday.

The school has no running water, electricity, sanitation, or basic necessities. Many pupils depended on candles to get them through the 2016 matric academic year when the petrol for the generator ran out. The rural school is one of the poorest in the country.

Nkosi bagged seven distinctions. He has been accepted to study medicine at the University of Cape Town and at the University of the Witwatersrand. He wanted to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology.

His journey to success began in Grade 10 at Tisand Technical High School, in eSikhawini. He was not doing well, and left for Bizimali after a friend of his got six distinctions there and began studying law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Dedicated teachers

In 2014, Nkosi repeated Grade 10, hoping for better results. His maths results improved, which he said was due to the dedicated teachers.

“This is a school in a deep rural area with no electricity, water, sanitation, and we had to share a rondavel with four other schools. It was hard."

The dedication of the teachers motivated the matriculants to work hard. The principal, NZ Ntuli, and his colleagues were up at 06:00 and ran the school until late.

“We did not have an ending time.”

Pupils would get a break at 15:00 to go home, eat, wash their uniforms and then return to school to continue learning.

“We came back to school at 18:00 and would go on until 22:00. Some educators would push from 22:00 until midnight.”

He said pupils were expected at school at 06:00 every morning. However, the teachers made it easy and were always supportive.

Extra classes

Matriculants had extra classes on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.

“We also had winter classes. We did not go home. We would stay at the school studying.”

Ntuli had a message for matriculants in better-resourced schools who were struggling with their studies.

“You are very lucky to access those resources that you have. Make sure that you work very hard and follow your dreams so that you can succeed in your careers, so that you can build your legacies.

“Always remember where you come from, your background, and everything will happen for you.”

His desire for success kept him going when life got unbearable.

“My love for medicine, my community and the poor background that I come from motivated me. I had no choice but to study and one day my family will have a doctor and everything will be stable.”

The eldest of five children said he would be the first in his family to go to university. Once he had qualified as a doctor, Ntuli intended returning home to build a surgery for his community.

He said attention was being given to diseases like tuberculosis, while women were dying from cervical cancer.

“I would like to change that,” he said.  

Romal Naidoo, of Danville Park Girls High School in Durban North, was the overall top achiever in the province.

Her message for the 2017 matrics was: “Have faith in God, work hard and persevere no matter what”.

She intended studying medicine this year, but she was not yet sure where.

Read more on:    durban  |  education  |  matric 2016  |  good news

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