The confident pupil who recently matriculated from Star College in Durban, Sfundo Manyathi, who this year aims to pursue Actuarial Science at UCT. He scored a spectacular As in the NSC matric exams. Picture: Supplied

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. This was the idiom young Sfundo Manyathi, a star achiever in the 2017 matric exams, said most accurately summed up is life and, more particularly, the last three years of high school.
Sfundo told The Mercury of his journey to achieving top marks in the 2017 NSC exams.
“I was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with Star College, which opened doors to a new and improved life for me,” said Sfundo. “I was taken from a relatively poor township (Ntuzuma), where everything was jovial and easy, to a place where everything was challenging and serious.”
Sfundo said despite the independent school being the best thing that had happened to him, it presented a number of challenges.
One of those was trying to fit in, socially and academically. 
“It took a while for me to change my colours from street smart to academically smart, making new friends all around the school and most importantly, knowing and loving my teachers,” the charismatic student said.
Sfundo was offered a full scholarship, free stay in the school’s dormitory, free books…

He said people at the school were generous with help and emotional support throughout his schooling there and he wanted to make his teachers proud.
“In the end, not only did I make Star College proud, I also put smiles on (the faces of) my family, teachers and, importantly, myself. I was also part of the soccer team, particularly a striker, which supports my claim that scoring is part of me.”
Sfundo scored big in the matric exams - notching up 8 As in the NSC exams out 9 subjects, obtaining As in accounting, mathematics, Zulu, life orientation, physical science, life science, engineering graphics and design and AP Maths. 
“Now I’m off to yet another new odyssey - the University of Cape Town to major in Actuarial Science,” he said looking at his prospects for 2018.
He says: “I’m planning to be a ‘hit’ there and up my game even more to pay for the missing A and the results that did not fully satisfy me.”
Sfundo offered his thanks to all the staff at the school for supporting him.
The principal, Osman Karayvaaz, said Sfundo was a great motivation and inspiration to other pupils.