The big split: Wits and UCT beckon for twin matriculants from Benoni as they pursue different paths

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Benoni twins Lebogang and Lebo Tshabangu are ready to study at different universities.
Benoni twins Lebogang and Lebo Tshabangu are ready to study at different universities.
  • Twins Lebogang and Lebo Tshabangu say they're ready for their big split as they prepare to attend different universities.
  • They both got two distinctions in the 2022 matric exams.
  • One will be heading to Wits to study medicine while the other will study teaching or computer science at UCT.
  • The 2022 matric results are available now on News24! Find them here

Benoni twins Lebogang and Lebo Tshabangu have aced their National Senior Certificate exams and are ready to go their separate ways as they prepare to start a new chapter at university.

The twins, from Unity Secondary School in Daveyton, will be heading to different universities and will be away from each other for the first time.

They attended the same schools but were in different classes since Grade R, but in Grade 10 they started attending the same classes.

After being together for so long, they will have to find ways to cope while being apart. Lebogang is heading to the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg to pursue medicine, while Lebo hopes to study computer science or teaching at the University of Cape Town.

The twins said they were finally ready for the big split.

"We feel like it's time for us to go our own way and explore life as people and see if we can survive without each other. But we will call each other."

The twins have a lot more in common than just their looks.

They both scored distinctions in Life Orientation and Business Studies. They are proud of their hard work and reaching this point in their lives together.

"We would not have gotten here without each other. While our love for each other is not visible, we know we love each other," Lebo said.

"Our bond got us here because we supported each other. Our love was at home and at school. We encouraged each other to do our best at school, and when we saw that one did better than the other in a certain subject, that person will help the other to make sure we maintain our marks," Lebo added.

Looking back at her matric year, Lebo said her marks fluctuated, but she strived for excellence through hard work.

"Term one was filled with adjustment. I didn't do so great. I also wanted to make it into the top 10. Unfortunately, I didn't, and even then, I still could maintain my marks.

Lebo added:

In term two, I pushed, and in term three, I saw improvement. Some marks went up and some went down. Term four was when we applied a lot of pressure and worked hard.

Lebo said knowing her strengths and weaknesses helped her to work harder on the areas where she needed to.

The twins said matric was very challenging, especially at the beginning of the year when they realised they would have a heavy workload.

"It was difficult, and everything was new for us, and there was a lot of pressure. We were overwhelmed by everything, and when we got home, we had to do a lot of homework and study at the same time. But once we got to term two, we started adjusting, and things got better," Lebogang said.

The twins suffered their greatest loss when their mother died in 2021 after being ill for some time.

Lebogang said:

When my mom got sick in 2020, we were tasked with the job of looking after her, and we were so young, but we did it – me, my [twin] and my older sister. We took care of her, bathed her every day, fed her and made sure she slept well.

She said the experience taught her patience and how to nurture the sick, which inspired her to study medicine.

While they will be starting a new journey in their lives, they would have wanted to share this moment with their mother.

"My heart is broken that she is not here. I had hoped that she would see us getting to matric, even getting into the top 10," an emotional Lebogang said.

"You would wish she was here to see all of that. But she is not here to see it all."

She said while she could not experience her mother's support, she was glad to have had her siblings to cheer them on and celebrate their triumphs.

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