Chasing their dreams

2014-12-30 00:00

AS matriculants all over the country anxiously await their final exam results, some past matric pupils have been making a name for themselves.

With their high school careers behind them, some students find the transition from high school to university challenging.

Abongile Nyokana (22) matriculated from Raisethorpe Secondary in 2010 with eight distinctions.

Her dream was to study civil ­engineering, although her parents were disappointed that she chose not to go into medicine.

Nyokana began her degree in civil ­engineering at the University of ­KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College campus and stayed in residence until completing her degree in 2014.

Although Nyokana had eight distinctions under her belt, she says she found university life difficult at first.

“It wasn’t easy. It is more about being disciplined than being an excellent ­student,” she said.

“You are your own person and it is up to you whether you attend lectures or not. You are the one who has to tell yourself to get up and go.”

Nyokana said she received full funding from the South African National Roads Agency Limited for all four years of her degree and she worked hard at staying on top.

She will graduate cum laude early next year, and says she may have already secured herself a job in Pretoria in 2015.

She is to complete her Masters ­degree at Wits University.

Westville Girls’ High School 2010 matriculant Londi Ngema has already formed her own dance company at the age of 22 years.

Ngema, the founder of Blackbird Productions, graduated from the University of KwaZulu-Natal last year and immediately started making a name for herself.

She said she received two distinctions for Zulu and Dramatic Arts. The rest of her results were average but she was dedicated and passionate about drama and flourished at university.

Ngema has acted in three plays at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, and next year she will present plays that she has written at the festival.

“If you find exactly what you love, it is easier,” said Ngema about life after high school.

“University can be tough but it also depends a lot on your support system and where you see yourself in the ­future.”

Ngema said her Blackbird Productions team were excited about performing at the festival next year but finances for transport were an issue.

“Chasing down a dream is the hardest thing to do. There are so many speed bumps that want to discourage me and financially this could derail me.”

Ngema said she had received some funding from the National Arts Counsel to complete her honours in drama at the New York Academy of Drama in America next year.


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