“OUR dedicated teachers should take credit for the results I have achieved.” That’s according to Philile Mbona (18) of Heritage Academy in Pietermaritzburg. She scored eight distinctions, for English home language, Zulu first additional language, mathematics, life orientation, business studies, geography, life science and physical science. “We had a very good teacher. We were struggling with maths and she helped us a lot, made us buy study guides and gave us extra lessons. “She made us realise that if we want to achieve, we need to work hard … Our teachers helped me achieve this.” Philile said her grandmother had also had a very strong influence on her, by making her set high standards for herself from early. “I knew that I always had to work hard. I gave up my social life and I did not have as much fun as my peers were having … but I knew what I wanted to achieve.” Next year Philile will be studying medicine either at Stellenbosch University or “at the University of KwaZulu-Natal because that is closer to home, but I will go where I get a bursary,” she said. Medicine is not the only thing on Philile’s mind; political activism is another. She said reminding the youth of the sacrifices made by past leaders so that the current generations enjoy their rights is something that is close to her heart.