Matric helped make us who we are, say personalities

2011-01-08 19:34

A 29-year-old established artist and entrepreneur like Siya “Slikour” Metane is not the first person one would picture slogging through a history exam.

And rightly so, it seems. More than 10 years after completing matric at Dawnview High School in Germiston, Slikour doesn’t remember the details of his results but says: “I will never forget that I was a great history student but got an E, and I was a bad Afrikaans student but I got a C or D.

“I wasn’t called to be an A ­student. I guess that’s why I am now releasing CDs.”

He still gets nightmares about ­being unprepared for an exam, he says, and asserts that life is about being prepared for anything.

What he took away from school was a sense of how important is the space created for children in which to learn and grow.

“I think we should worry less about the kids and more about ­ourselves not creating an ­environment that is inspiring to push kids to do great things.
Kids don’t have real heroes that they want to be like, especially in the townships,” he says.

Radio DJ Koula (29) was head girl in her busy final year at Sunward Park High School in Boksburg.

When she wasn’t flexing her developing radio voice in ­debating and public speaking, ­Koula was a self-classified “nerd”.

“From an early age, my mom taught me to go and look up answers for my homework, instead of her just telling me the answers herself. She taught me the best isn’t always the easiest or quickest way.”

As it turns out, 21-year-old Lunga Shabalala, the face of Calvin Klein South Africa, had brains as well as looks when he was in Maritzburg College in KwaZulu-Natal.

Driven to impress his father, who was headmaster at another school, Shabalala obtained three distinctions in ­matric.

Quite impressive, considering that he says he “was not interested in getting As, and was more worried about girls than ­school work”.

Someone who has remained close to the institution since she matriculated in 1974 from Mariazel High School in Matatiele, Eastern Cape, is Minister of Basic Education ­Angie Motshekga (55).

Her best subjects were English and history, she remembers. ­

Motshekga dropped science – her worst subject – in matric “to avoid failing it”.

“I was actually quite good at school because I wanted to get out of Matatiele,” she says. 

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