Durban - They come from homes with no electricity or water.
Their school has no library, science laboratory or computer centre. But the matric class of 2013 at Velangaye Comtech High School, in Nkandla, have come out tops.
They are proof that dedication and hard work pay off – with several pupils obtaining six distinctions.
Nondzuko Mncadi, 16, was ecstatic at achieving six distinctions. She said she worked consistently throughout the year.
During the school holidays matric pupils stayed over at the school to ensure maximum study time. This is part of the school’s holiday programme.
Nondzuko said: “It’s sort of like a camp. But we study instead of burning wood and telling stories,” she said.
She said she was indebted to her teachers. “They are very dedicated. They were with us every day at study camp. They even cooked for us.”
An elated Kwandokuhle Mthethwa, 17, also achieved six distinctions. She was grateful for the camp because studying at home was a challenge.
“At home we have no electricity. I used to study by candlelight. I also had to wake up at 2am to go to the river to bath before I attended school.”
Both pupils have applied to the University of KwaZulu-Natal to study mechanical engineering.
Nkosisiphile Ndlovu, 17, wants to become a doctor.
He is also a step closer to realising his dream after obtaining six distinctions. He had not been consistent throughout his school career, but decided to pull up his socks in matric, when he noticed the dedication of his peers. “They all inspired me to work harder and to do my best,” he said.
Siyabonga Jili and Manjate Marta said they were not surprised by their results – also six distinctions. They had worked hard and were expecting the best. “Some of us had to move closer to school and pay R200 rent a month to stay in huts.
“We left our families but it’s all been worth it,” they said.
School principal, Dr Ngogi Mahaye, said he was proud of his pupils. “Excellent performance has become a culture and tradition at our school.”
There were 42 distinctions among the school’s top seven achievers. “We are a rural school with no resources but our pupils pushed themselves to work hard and the teachers put in the extra hours,” he said.
Last year the school boasted 119 distinctions among its 350 pupils.