Matric results: Six distinctions for Joburg pupil who wanted to make her ill granny proud

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Maliha Khan matriculated from Parktown High School for Girls.
Maliha Khan matriculated from Parktown High School for Girls.
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  • A pupil at Parktown High School for Girls set her mind to achieving good marks after her grandmother suffered a devastating stroke before her June exams.
  • Maliha Khan said her grandmother cared about her doing well in school and used to call her and pray for her during exams.
  • Khan passed matric with six distinctions and hopes to study BCom Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Wits University.
  • Matric NSC results: Here's when and how to check yours on News24

Having watched her grandmother suffer a stroke a month before her June exams, many in her shoes would have lost hope. However, 18-year-old Maliha Khan used her circumstances as motivation to succeed and pass matric.

Her dedication has paid off, and Khan, a matriculant from Parktown High School for Girls in Johannesburg, now finds herself among the top matric achievers in 2022 after bagging six distinctions.

She got distinctions in English, Mathematics, Afrikaans, Physical Science, History, Geography, and Life Orientation.

Her path to these good grades was marked by a difficult period after her 83-year-old grandmother, who was visiting them in Gauteng, suffered a devastating stroke in May 2022, a month before her June exams.

"My grandmother lives in Polokwane, Limpopo, but endured her stroke while staying with us for a week. That was a big change, but my family helped me through that and made everything work."

Despite this, Khan knew she could not give up and instead used the situation as an opportunity to make her grandmother proud.

READ | Matric results: Covid-19, load shedding and natural disasters - what matriculants overcame

"My granny has always cared about me doing well in school and has always been helpful where she could. She would call me on the phone in the other years when she was well to pray for me during the exams, and that felt like something I could do for her. I had to try my best in matric because I knew that that was what she wanted for me," Khan added.

She said the constant visits to the hospital to see her grandmother helped to keep her sane because it ensured that she was mentally in a good state and did not lose motivation and become distracted.

According to Khan, her matric year was one of the most overwhelming times of her life due to the workload, but things like learning new study techniques and doing extra lessons outside school ensured her grades were high.

"I struggled quite a bit with Physics but the teachers at Horizon Star Academy tuition centre were helpful, and I got to spend more time on concepts I struggled with, finding my weakness in certain subjects, and focusing on those was quite helpful for me," she added.

And like any matric pupil, Khan regarded the final stretch as the hardest as she had to fight through burnout and anxiety.

"The final stretch is always the hardest, making me anxious. Things like crocheting, reading and yoga helped," she said.

With her new horizon looking bright, Khan hopes to pursue a BCom Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

It is important to remember that this period may not be positive for everyone who wrote matric exams.

If you or someone you know is at risk, reach out: 

Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567

SADAG Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837


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