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Durban - Despite the odds, two pupils from very different but poor backgrounds could well see their dreams of becoming doctors come true after they both achieved seven distinctions.
Nondumiso Mkhize, 18, of Velangaye Comtech High School in Nkandla, in Zululand, was abandoned by her parents when she was very young and raised by her grandmother and disabled aunt.
However, despite her rocky start in life, she focused on doing her best at school and this year was rewarded with exceptional results. She says she would now love to meet her parents to show them what she has managed to achieve.
On Wednesday Nondumiso became tearful when she heard of her results and thanked her principal, Ngogi Mahaye, and her teachers for helping her.
Mahaye told The Mercury yesterday that he had expected his pupil to do well. “She was part of winter programmes, learnathons, readerthons and Operation Vimba Ivila (a programme to motivate pupils to study).”
He described her as a “humble and respectful soldier”.
Nondumiso broke her school’s academic record by achieving seven distinctions in English, Zulu, maths, geography, physical science, tourism and life orientation.
She has been accepted to study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year and hopes to receive a bursary to realise her medical dream.
“I have always wanted to be a doctor. Helping people always puts a smile on my face.”
Anele Bhengu, 18, from Zwelibanzi High School, lives in a shack in Umlazi with her extended family. To make it through matric, she got up at 5am every morning to be in time for her first class at 6.30am.
On some days in matric, Anele only had four hours sleep, as she led study groups and motivated her peers.
The teen scooped distinctions in Zulu, maths, life orientation, accounting, geography, life sciences and physical science.
She has also applied to study medicine at UKZN, and is waiting to hear if she has been accepted.
“I am very thankful to my teachers for their help.”
Her school principal, Sibusiso Maseko, said he had expected Anele to do well, as she had been outstanding from Grade 8.
- The Mercury