OVERCOMING family losses and having to travel long distances to school, George Mkhabela (17) proved hard work really pays off when he was named the top matric student in the uMkhanyakude District last Friday.
This young lad of Ikusasalethu Secondary School in Nkombose Reserve, outside Mtubatuba, not only passed with flying colours, but earned a sterling seven distinctions – outshining all pupils in the district.
Even though he had to cope with two deaths in his family while preparing for his examination, he kept his eyes on the prize – qualifying for university entry.
Throughout the academic year Mkhabela had to share one book with his fellow classmates for each subject, but managed to source additional study material from libraries and nearby schools.
‘Studying in class alone is never enough, you always have to go out and look for previous question papers and other materials.
‘It was very tough being in a rural school which has no resources, but it was up to me to make sure I get the information they don’t have. My teachers did all they could and the rest was up to me,’ he said.
Mkhabela received As in agricultural science, life science, maths, physical science, life orientation, IsiZulu and English.
According to this bright youngster, while preparing for his final examination he set his own study timetable, conducted study groups and was able to absorb more information while teaching others.
According to school Principal Mr Biyela, the school is bursting with pride since the news of Mkhabela’s results.
‘Apart from working hard throughout the year, he also played a huge role in the lives of other learners.
‘We are situated in a place where there is drug abuse and young children consume alcohol, but this young man ignored all that and focused on what mattered the most.’
Mkhabela must decide between two universities which accepted his application – University of Cape Town and University of KwaZulu-Natal – where he will study mechanical engineering.
He hopes to come back home and assist his community once he has qualified as an engineer.
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