KZN’s best pupil: ‘I’m no genius’

2013-01-04 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL’S top achiever laughed out loud when she was called a “genius” and “bookworm”.

She was quick to deny she was either, but rather a hard worker.

Jyoti Maharaj (18), the deputy head girl of New West Secondary School in Newlands, Durban, was not only the province’s top matric pupil of 2012, but was also named as the top female pupil in mathematics and physical science.

Her face glowing, despite a long day of being photographed and interviewed, she said: “It still feels unreal. I was hoping to do well, but this exceeds my expectations.”

Maharaj attained 99% in physical science and her lowest mark in all her eight subjects was 91%, in maths paper 3.

“I don’t actually think I have brains,” she modestly told The Witness.

Maharaj said she had drawn up a study timetable at the beginning of the year and harnessed all her discipline to stick to it.

During the exams, her routine after school would be to get some rest, have something to eat and then be glued to her books.

“All you need is to be self-motivated. It all comes down to hard work.”

Her advice to those still studying was that pupils should put more emphasis on their weaker subjects.

Her “weaker” subject was Afrikaans, which she managed to pass with 94%.

For this youngster, the future is bright and a tough decision awaits — to choose between a career in accounting or medicine.

But she said she didn’t think she had the “guts” to become a doctor.

And although universities are lining up to have her, she said she had chosen to study closer to home, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

“I’m cautious about going to Cape Town,” she added

Maharaj ’s mother, Asha, said she was over the moon about her daughter’s achievements.

“It hasn’t sunk in,” said the proud mother.

“When I was in matric, I battled.”

She said her daughter’s intelligence was a gift.

Denying that her daughter was a bookworm, she said Maharaj would watch television, play on her PlayStation and listen to music before getting stuck into her books.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.