Raisethorpe’s proud five

2016-01-06 11:00
Ulika Ballilal achieved seven distinctions.

Ulika Ballilal achieved seven distinctions. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Some shed tears of joy, some screamed and some kept their cool when they were told they were among the top achievers on Tuesday.

Five pupils from Raisethorpe Secondary School, Ulika Ballilal, Nicolin Govender, Lexia Michelle Naidoo, Muhammed Ismail Patel and Sonal Sewrathan, all achieved seven distinctions in the matric final results.

“It feels so unbelievable. It was a really stressful year and it all seemed like it happened so fast,” said a tearful Ulika Ballilal.

Ballilal will be studying Accounting at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year.

Ballilal said her mother was her biggest supporter through her matric year and sacrificed her time to help her.

“I really want to thank her,” said Ballilal.

Lexia Michelle Naidoo said her teachers were very supportive toward all the matriculants and hosting a fun day at school shortly before the final examinations was the break they all needed.

Naidoo advised future matriculants to study from the beginning of Grade 11 “so the finals in matric don’t feel as difficult”.

“The year was very challenging and quite stressful, but with good friends and a good support structure, I had an enjoyable year,” said Naidoo.

She said that although her studies were a priority, she always made time to play chess, table tennis or soccer.

“I love sport and that was my escape. When you are studying, you have to have a balance and that is what keeps you sane,” said Naidoo.

Muhammed Ismail Patel, who also achieved seven distinctions, said he did not think he was going to make it through the year, but owes his success to his support system.

“My family and friends and teachers were there every step of the way to support me. I want to thank them all,” said Patel. He said his matric year gave him “memories to last a lifetime”.

“The past year’s papers really helped a lot during the final examinations.

“I also sacrificed my social life and cut down on my sporting activities to concentrate on my studies,” said Patel.

He said he figured that his best time to study was early in the morning and he would often wake up at 4 am to start studying.

“Everyone has their own study methods and many people like to study late at night, but you just have to do what works for you,” he added.

Patel will be studying Mechatronics, a combination of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, at the University of Cape Town this year.

“My biggest dream and where I hope to see myself in 10 years is qualified and happy.

“I want to be able to give my family everything that I can and that is my aim in life,” said Patel.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

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