Yolisa Nzimela, of Durban Girls’ High School, will study towards a business science degree at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Yolisa worked through past exam papers, and also taught other pupils, on her way to scoring eight distinctions.
Friends Lethukuthula Khumalo and Sandisiwe Nxumalo, of Velangaye Comtech High School in Nkandla, followed a strict learning routine throughout the year.
They passed with eight distinctions each and paid tribute to their teachers. They will study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).
Lethukuthula's motto was to do extraordinary things to excel. She worked hard throughout the year and assisted other pupils. She urged matric pupils to use their time wisely.
“I consider it a victory. My family struggled financially and sometimes I went to school hungry. My grandmother, Thulisiwe Khumalo, played a pivotal role by believing in me,” Lethukuthula said.
Sandisiwe spoke of three study routines initiated by the school, which were adopted by the pupils and which contributed to their success: Khahlelingubo (kick the blanket), Vimbivila (stop the lazy ones) and Gonqa (attending study camps that ran from Friday to Sunday).
“My mother was retrenched from work recently and I went through some hard times.
"Our school infrastructure improved from not having windows and doors to becoming a modernised school.
"Our teachers encouraged us to excel in whatever we do,” Sandisiwe said.
Zahra Persad, of Durban Girls’ High School, achieved seven distinctions, attributing them to her smart studying methods. She excelled in English, Afrikaans, maths, life orientation, geography, life sciences and physical sciences.
She is waiting for confirmation to study civil engineering at UZKN, and has already been accepted to study civil engineering or genetics at UCT.
Zahra advised matric pupils to summarise their work and to highlight important facts. She also advised them to take regular breaks while studying.