Hard work pays off to net these ‘brains of the city’ 45 distinctions

2011-01-06 00:00

CALL them the brains of the city, because between the five of them, these pupils raked in 45 distinctions, with each getting nine As in the government schools’ 2010 matric examination.

Rivahl-J Ramlall, Yashvir Rugbeer, Richard Brombacher and Christopher Smith all from Maritzburg College, together with Preyanka Pillay from Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School, all managed to get distinctions for every one of their nine subjects written in the National Senior Certificate last year.

For Pillay (18), the news came unexpectedly as she says she did not predict she would do as well.

She is still undecided about her career path, but has secured a place to study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) this year.

Smith (18) said he went into the year conscious of how important it was to his future. However, he was also determined to make it a year to enjoy. “It was a hectic year, but it was also very enjoyable. I won’t lie, I guess I’m blessed with brains. But for me it was about enjoying myself because I knew it would be the last year with my mates.The essential thing for me was to relax and not get stressed out.”

He attributes his success and the person he is to his two older brothers, five and three years his senior. Both are studying to be chartered accountants. He has abandoned the idea of also becoming a CA and will study actuarial science at the University of Pretoria, since he doesn’t think having three CAs from one home is “cool”.

While his brothers got four As each, Smith won’t be rubbing it in their faces since “they had our parents but I had two older brothers as well”.

Close friends Ramlall and Yashvir have lived 500 metres apart all their lives. Not only that, they have also been at the same school for their 12 years of schooling. For Ramlall (18), his biggest challenge during exams was TV, which he decided to cut off completely in the end.

Yashvir (17) believes the secret to his success was balance.

“I stuck to my normal routine. I am blessed with parents who didn’t put pressure on me because they knew I would do my best. But hard work always pays off. That is why we are sitting talking to you,” he told The Witness.

Ramlall will study mechanical engineering at UKZN, while Yashvir is still deciding between UKZN or the University of Cape Town to study medicine.

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