Richmond’s Nonjabulo showered with prizes

2011-01-07 00:00

BEFORE she could even leave the Durban International Convention Centre yesterday after the announcement of the provincial matric results, Richmond’s Nonjabulo Ngcongo had already been offered at least one scholarship.

This is because the 17-year-old chemical engineer hopeful took the award for being the top girl in maths and science in KwaZulu-Natal in last year’s matric results.

A dumbfounded Nonjabulo slowly made her way towards the stage to claim her price amid loud applause and a standing ovation. The petite teenager had to be assisted with her prizes off the stage.

Nonjabulo received special awards in the physical science and accounting categories as well as being named the top girl pupil in maths and science purely on merit.

The pupil from Indala High School in Richmond was still in shock when she found herself flanked by reporters who all wanted a private moment with her.

“I never expected this. It is a big surprise,” she told The Witness.

She will study chemical engineering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year. While she had already secured a full scholarship with another company she was offered R100 000 by SAB at the meeting.

Asked how she believes she managed to score so well considering that she comes from what is essentially a rural school, Nonjabulo said she studies hard. She and two of her siblings depend only on her mother’s salary for support. Her older sister could not study at tertiary level since they couldn’t afford it.

However, her mother managed to set aside a hard-earned R150 to enrol her daughter for extra classes for maths, science and English. “I asked my mother to enrol me for extra classes because I did not want to depend on one source. My school has a science lab but it is as if it doesn’t exist because it is never used. There are no resources.’’

Nonjabulo can look forward to attending a maths and science camp that will be held in Pennsylvania in the United States in June.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would ride in a plane. I’m very excited.”

The top matric achievers were presented with laptops, cellphones, printers and money, amongst other rewards.

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