From mathematics to stem cell research, mechanical engineering to medicine, KZNs top matrics are ready to reach for the stars.
As KZN premier Sihle Zikalala, along with Education MEC MEC Kwazi Mshengu and Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, revealed the top ten matrics at a function at the Anton Lembede Mathematics & Science Academy in La Mercy on Friday, the successful candidates tell a story of hard work and dedication against the odds.
This year’s top matriculant is Cade Sayner, from Kingsway High School in Amanzimtoti. His recipe for success is a lot of hard work. “It’s a cliche, I know, but spending the time doing past papers pays and burning the midnight oil pays off. I drank way too much coffee.”
Sayner aims to study computer science and mathematics either at UFS or UCT.
It has been a stressful year, says Sayner, who missed some trials because he had Covid. “I had to rewrite. It was super stressful. I can see how Covid has affected so many people.
“I have to credit my parents and my sister, who had written matric. She gave me advice and was a lifeline. And my teachers were stone pillars in my education,” said Sayner, who also went to Toti Primary School.
Sport too played a role, with Sayner scooping awards for cricket and waterpolo. “It’s important to keep a balance. Physical activity helps clear the mind,” he said.
Second was Iman Khan from Port Shepstone Secondary who plans to study medicine at UCT.
She credits her success to being consistent, confident and her hard work. That, and the support of her parents. The star performer wants to end up at the cutting edge of medicine. “I want to go into genetic research. I think about how much we don’t know and how there is so much more to discover in the field of stem cell research and auto immune diseases,” she says.
Number three on the list of top achievers was Nosipho Mdlalose from Bethamoya High School in Madadeni, Newcastle, who unfortunately was not at the Premier’s function.
Joint fourth were Danica Govender from Westville Girls’ High School and Samir Rughbeer from Westville Boys’ High School.
Govender, who scored 8 distinctions including Advanced Maths, said it was a very difficult year with the deaths of two close family members. The pandemic and the rioting in July all added to stress loads.
“I just pushed through and made it work. Having a balanced lifestyle is very important; I made sure I had time with my family to destress,” she said.
She intends studying medicine at UCT.
Rughbeer scored seven distinctions and will study mechanical engineering this year. “This year was a lot tougher than Grade 11 and I started to feel the stress and wanted to meet the expectations of all around me,” he said. “I relied a lot on my friends. They were my anchors. It’s important to surround yourself with people who support you.”
Number 5 was Dev Anilkumar of Port Shepstone High School. With 7 distinctions, he is going to study medicine at UCT and his favourite subject is maths. “It has been a very difficult year but with the help of teachers and family, I was confident I would be able to succeed,” he said. His recipe for success is time management. “Always take breaks and plan ahead, revising your work as you go,” he said.
Number 6 was Kial Parmanand from Kharina School, Umgungundlovo, with wasMhlengi Shange seventh from Menzi high School in Umlazi, Eli Jordon Govender eight of Northwood High School and Neha Ramjuan of Kingsway high School completing the ten.
The Independent on Saturday