A top matric takes planning, work

2008-12-29 00:00

SUCCESS is sweet and hard work does pay off, but you have to plan to succeed.

That was the general feeling expressed by a group of matriculants and top achievers from local schools in Pietermaritzburg who were lucky enough to receive their matric results yesterday amid the confusion surrounding the release dates of results in schools.

Eloïse Dippenaar (18) of Hoërskool Voortrekker was the best in her school with nine distinctions.

Dippenaar said it took sheer determination and hard work to get her to the number one spot.

“When I saw my friend in The Witness last year after being one of the top students in the province, I said to myself, ‘That will be me next year’.”

She will be studying a B.Com in accounting at the University of Pretoria next year and has received a bursary from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Despite his love for accounting and mathematics, one of Carter High’s top achievers, Colin Mkhize (17), didn’t expect to receive 100% aggregates for both subjects. “I was baffled by the exam. I thought I’d get an 80 [percent] or something,” he said.

Mkhize achieved eight distinctions.

“I didn’t go to mad parties and stuff like that … but I had a lot of support from my friends and family,” he said.

He was awarded a bursary to study towards a bachelor of science degree in analytical chemistry by the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust at Rhodes University next year.

His friend from primary school, Edward Otto (18), topped the list of academic achievers at Alexandra High. He achieved nine distinctions.

“It feels nice to have that stuff out of my brain,” Otto joked. “You cram and revise and revise some more. I’m glad it’s over so I can just relax.”

Otto said that he was driven by the desire always to do better and that he would be joining the Destiny Project, a community service project, next year until he is certain about his career choice.

For Nontokozo Mkhwanazi (17) of Ridge Park, a former Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High pupil, the news of her six As was like music to her soul.

As many other pupils who did well in the exams, she had to plan to succeed in achieving her outstanding results.

“When I started with grade 8, I just couldn’t care less how I did at school. But in grade 10 I had to wake up and make a decision that I’m going to do this because I don’t come from a rich family. I realised that my parents were paying R8 000 every year for me to be in school and I decided to work my butt off.”

In addition, Mkhwanazi said, she had a desire to become a chartered accountant (CA), which had helped her to get focused. She is most proud of clinching a 98% pass in maths and will be studying towards B Com at the University of KwaZulu-Natal next year.

Another CA hopeful is Ummi Kulsoom Rawat (17) of Maritzburg Muslim Schools for Girls.

“When I received my results I was so excited I started shaking. I knew I was going to do well, but we have tough competition in our school. I made a chart for myself at the beginning of the year that I stuck in my room stating that I would get seven As. And that is what I did!”

She received one pass at 80% and the rest of her results were at 90%. She said she is “a lover of numbers” and B Com Accountancy is the “natural option”.

Deepika Dhilrhaj (17) of Woodlands Secondary managed six As. As the second of three children, she said she is the first in her family to do so well in her final matric exam.

Her strategy, she said, was blocking off the negativity and using her spirituality as a driving force.

“I have always been a hard worker, but it is always nice being rewarded for your hard work. I’m very pleased and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teacher and my parents.”

Another top achiever who was awarded a bursary was Heather Secondary’s Keshav Singh (18), who got seven distinctions. Next year he will study mechanical engineering at UKZN — all costs paid by Transnet. “It was a hectic year,” he said. “We still fooled around in grade 11. This year we studied even harder.”

Singh said he didn’t expect to do so well and that he had a lot of help from his peers, family and teachers. He was under pressure to perform — particularly in maths — as his father is a mathematics teacher.

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