From dire beginnings, deaf Thabethe excels in everything

2016-01-07 11:15
An overjoyed Sthembiso Thabethe.

An overjoyed Sthembiso Thabethe. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A pupil from the KwaThintwa School for the Deaf in Cato Ridge has passed with three distinctions, while the school’s other matrics each achieved a distinction.

Principal Dr Mavis Naidoo said, “For deaf pupils to achieve such commendable results is no easy task. I firmly believe that this proves that all pupils have the potential to succeed if they have access to quality education in a learning enriched school.”

The school achieved a 100% pass rate for the fifth consecutive year.

Head boy Sthembiso Thabethe, of Bhobhonono in Cato Ridge, scooped three As. His ecstatic uncle, Nkosingiphile Thabethe, said the family was “over the moon”.

He said Sthembiso lost both parents at a young age and he had a history of lengthy hospitalisations which impacted on his academic progress. “But his resilience and focus was undeterred. The family will continue to support his goal to become a teacher.”

When he first came to Kwathintwa at the age of nine, Sthembiso was placed in the remedial class as he needed support to develop his speech after losing his hearing due to an illness.

Naidoo said Sthembiso has “outstanding intelligence” and from a young age exhibited “an extraordinary sense of purpose and direction for his future”.

“Sthembiso was forced by his dire circumstances to mature far beyond his years and it is through these tough circumstances that he was determined to turn his life around and learned to appreciate and value life and education.

“Throughout his academic career, he exhibited an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He would spend his time reading, researching, watching the news and generally always searching for more. He is also an excellent sportsperson. Despite his deafness, he pushed through these physiological boundaries and always saw himself as able to achieve way above the bar that was set for him.”

Naidoo said Sthembiso’s family had been very supportive and understood the value and importance of education.

“From Grade 11 he would attend extra classes with the Grade 12 pupils and he would say he is preparing himself for the year ahead. He was never a shirker, always wanting to excel in everything he did.

“When he finally did his matric, he pushed himself even harder, aiming to achieve the best results. In his final year, 2015, he was unanimously elected as the school’s head boy,” she said.

— Witness Reporter.

ABOUT KwaThintwa

KwaThintwa School for the Deaf was established in 1981 by the late Archbishop Dennis Hurley. He was in a place called Thintwa when a deaf boy touched him. He realised that the boy was deaf and was not in school. He then opened the school and called it KwaThintwa. The school is a public school on private property owned by the Roman Catholic Church.

The school starts from Grade 0 and goes up to matric.

Principal Dr Mavis Naidoo said their children are from impoverished backgrounds and parents barely afford school fees. “We form partnerships with business and other organisations to ensure funds.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  matric

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