Nolwazi Mkhatshwa from Hoer Volkskool Heidelberg Picture: Handout/Supplied

Johannesburg - She wrote and published a book at the age of 13.

And when The Disappearing Act was published, she carried on writing.

Since Grade 8, Nolwazi Mkhatshwa, a pupil at Hoër Volkskool Heidelberg, has been getting the highest average marks in her grade.

She has often been awarded trophies and certificates for the hard work she put into her studies.

But the fact that she has been top of her grade throughout the years hasn’t made Nolwazi complacent. In fact, the 18-year-old matriculant worked very hard last year because she wanted nothing less than seven distinctions.

She got eight distinctions in her mock exams, which she said was the result of dedication, sacrifice and hard work.

From the beginning of the year, she made a decision to cut down on television and stopped going out with friends so that she could focus on her studies.

She was also given time off from a lot of chores, which meant that the cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry fell on her mother and younger sister.

“My mother said I should rest and focus on my school work. I had a lot of time to plan and revise and also focus on my work. I told myself at the beginning of the year that I had to sacrifice and give up fun things and my afternoons to study,” said Nolwazi.

There was always that nagging fear of not performing to the best of her ability, said Nolwazi, who plans to study medicine as she wants to make a difference.

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The Star