Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schafer addressed the top performing grade 12 students of 2018 at Leeuwenhof. Pictures: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
The human spirit is an incredible thing.

The top-scoring matrics in the province were honoured at the premier’s residence on Thursday, but the real heroes were not the ones who scored multiple distinctions and above 100% aggregate pass marks.

No, the real heroes were the ones who triumphed over adversity to achieve their senior certificates.

You will read about Trazeen Mbidlana, who was molested in Grade 11, and then raped in Grade 12 on Monday.

You’ll read about Kamva Goso, whose father abandoned his family a short time ago, leaving young Kamva to fend for his family, working part-time jobs to put food on the table.

You’ll read about Keisha Ruiters, a leukaemia sufferer who sat for her final exam on November 26. She died on December 4. She achieved a 74% bachelor pass.

You’ll read about Lance Minnie, whose Mitchells Plain home burnt down with him in it. He suffered severe burns across 90% of his body trying to save two people from the blaze.

These are a few examples of what the human spirit can overcome, and the power to do so lies within us all.

My father always says you can either blame your failures on your circumstances, or credit your circumstances for your successes. Attitude determines altitude. Perspective is everything.

If you are looking for inspiration, look no further than the Class of 2018.

We salute you.

* Lance Witten is the live editor for the Cape Argus.

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