Limpopo has produced some of the country’s 2017 top achievers in matric, five of whom were among the 22 matric pupils who on Thursday received over R3 million in bursaries, laptops and sponsorships for their outstanding academic achievement.
According to the Matric results released by the Department of Basic Education, Limpopo has the highest number of top national achievers, followed by the Eastern Cape with four top achievers. KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape came third with three top achievers each. Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Northwest and the Free state have one top achiever each.
Included in the Limpopo top achievers are Takalani Bambela (18) from Tshivhase Secondary School in the Vhembe district who came out as the number one national achiever in Mathematics and Physical Science. He is followed by another Limpopo pupil -19-year-old Khodani Wonderful Nemalamangwa from Thengwe High School in Mutale. The area was previously part of the Vhembe district but is now part of Thulamela and Musina Local municipalities. Both schools are no-fee schools situated in poor rural communities.
The Vhembe district – a very poor rural area – has previously shown its resilience despite the problems it has gone through. In 2015 the area was swept by violent protests against the decision by the Municipality Demarcation Board to incorporate it into a new municipality including Malamulele. The protest saw the burning down of at least 24 schools and a complete standstill in learning. This led to the Limpopo Department of Education organising study camps for matric pupils in preparation for the final exam. A school in the area – Nesengeni Secondary School – then shocked everyone by attaining a 100 % matric pass that year.
Included in the top five achievers is 17-year-old Musiwalo Kutuma from Sinthumule Secondary School a rural no-fee school in the Makhado district.
Another top achiever from a poor rural school in Limpopo is none other than 17-year-old Boitumelo Ngoepe who the top national achiever from Dendron Secondary School – a no-fee school in the Capricorn district municipality.
The 17-year old told Inside Education before the matric results announcement on Thursday that her strategy for being a top achiever included using past question papers to revise her work and assess her readiness for the final exam.
With her favourite subjects being mathematics, Physical Science and Accounting, Boitumelo intends studying actuarial science at the University of Cape Town this year.
Included in the national top achievers from Limpopo is also Anza Tshipetane from the famous Mbilwi Secondary School – also in the Vhembe district. Mbilwi is well-known for its 100% passes in Maths and Science and has since been dubbed “the breeding ground for future scientists.”
Anza who loves Maths and Lifes Sciences intends to study medicine at the University of Cape Town. Her strategy for achieving high marks in her favourite subjects included ensuring that she completed all the tasks given to her as part of the syllabus and then consulting with the teacher to close any knowledge gaps that she may have discovered.
Representing Western Cape as top achievers in Physical Science are Matthys Carsten (18) from Durbanville High School and Janke Van Dyk from Belville High School. Not only is Matthys also a Maths and Accounting enthusiast – he also studied music. He intends becoming a rare soulful actuarial scientist from Stellenbosch University. Janke intends studying Chemical Engineering also at Stellensbosch University.
Representing the lush Mpumalanga province is the confident and lanky 18-year-old Thalente Ngobeni from Acorn Oaks Comprehensive High School. Thalente – who disclosed to Equal Education that his learning strategy was to wake up early in the morning and get stuck into his books.
“Many people believe in staying up the whole night reading. This does not work for me. I prefer studying early in the morning.”
Thalente also wants to move to Cape Town to study actuarial science at the University of Cape Town.