Story of two brothers and their amazing teacher

2014-02-17 00:00

TWO brothers have followed their dreams to study chartered accounting thanks to the remarkable dedication of a humble accounting teacher and the support of the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants, who arranged bursaries for them.

Lungisani and Kwanele Hlophe both attended the Tshanibezwe High School in Bergville and were both tutored by Ntombenhle Mbanjwa,­ who taught Lungisani in 2011 and his younger brother Kwanele two years later.

Both brothers scored 100% passes in the accountancy­ paper in their matric exams. In Lungisani’s case, this was a particularly notable achievement as he didn’t do well in accounting in the previous year.

Mbanjwa convinced Lungisani that he had the potential to do well and when he applied himself in the finals he was shocked to see how well he had done, scoring a perfect 100%.

In 2012, this dedicated teacher went the extra mile and even paid for her pupil to catch the bus that would take him to university because his family did not have the money.

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants offered Lungisani a bursary to study at the University of the Western Cape where he is currently in his third year. Mbanjwa told The Witness that her former pupil still keeps in touch and sends her copies of his university results.

Following in his elder brother’s footsteps, last year Kwanele also scored 100% in his matric accountancy paper under the tuition of Mbanjwa.

“I really owe Mrs Mbanjwa a lot,” said Kwanele during his first week at the University of the Western Cape where he is registered to study for a B.Comm. degree. “She taught us so well and we now can follow our dreams.

“I wanted to do as well as my brother and I knew I would have to study very hard. We did a lot of revision and when the exams came I felt confident,” he said.

Mbanjwa, who is still teaching at Tshanibe­zwe High School, said she was on maternity leave last year when Kwanele was in matric and she took time off from her new baby to come to school and help the substitute teacher.

“The children were prepared to put in their time for extra lessons so I was prepared to give of my time,” said Mbanjwa, who lives more than an hour’s travel away from the school.

“Kwanele was not focused in Grade 11 but in his matric year he had become more serious and had decided he wanted to go to university like his brother. He did very well and his studying paid off as he obtained four distinctions and 100% in accounting. When the children do well it makes me feel good.”

Hlophe told The Witness that university life was very different.

“It is strange, but in a good way, and everything is so different to what it was like at home. But now that I am here I will still have to work hard to make it happen.”

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