A promise to himself to have sleepless nights studying and to sacrifice using his cell phone helped Mconjwana High School pupil Mnqobi Shange scoop seven As for matric.
Trying circumstances like virtually unusable toilets, massive class sizes and other infrastructural problems have once again not stopped the Mpophomeni school from getting the best out of its pupils.
The Witness wrote last year that the school had disgraceful toilet facilities, a problem which continues to this day. But a combination of a dedicated staff body and hard-working pupils saw the school achieve an admirable performance.
Mnqobi (18), who could not hide his joy, said he was delighted with his results.
He got As for Zulu, English, Maths, Geography, Life Orientation, Life Sciences and Physics.
“I was kind of expecting it. I worked hard all year and I made a promise to myself to have sleepless nights and to make sacrifices,” he said.
Mnqobi is from Eshowe but moved to the area so that he could live with his uncle, Khulekhani Dlamini, also a Life Sciences teacher at the school, because he had heard about Mconjwana’s record of producing good results.
“My uncle showed me how the teachers motivate pupils to work hard and get good marks.”
He said the school battled with poor resources, but hoped the situation would change for future years.
“I want to do medicine at the University of Cape Town or at UKZN,” he said. “I always wanted to be like [U.S. neurologist] Dr Ben Carson.”
Said Dlamini: “The teachers value hard work and make sure we try to get good results. That is the only thing that can change pupils’ socio-economic situations because many are from poor backgrounds.”
The school’s principal, Matandokuhle Ngobese, commended Mnqobi. “He’s a gifted kid but doesn’t just rely on that — he also works very hard.
“It makes me speechless just how hard our teachers work. I don’t need to push them,” he added.
Matric classes for 2020 have already begun at the school.