Grace Bible Church’s matric achievers awards an inspiring affair

Grace Bible Church’s Presiding Bishop Mosa Sono and his wife MaBishop Gege Sono with the reciepients of the church’s matric Annual Achievers Awards 2023. Picture: Grace Bible Church

Grace Bible Church’s Presiding Bishop Mosa Sono and his wife MaBishop Gege Sono with the reciepients of the church’s matric Annual Achievers Awards 2023. Picture: Grace Bible Church

Published Feb 8, 2023


Pretoria - The Grace Bible Church’s Annual Achievers Awards 2023 were nothing short of inspiring for the matric “Class of 2022”, who will no doubt be driven to excel as they begin life in the higher education sector.

From the moment singer Tele started proceedings with a beautiful rendition of the Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman classic Time to Say Goodbye, it was clear the audience was in for a celebration fitting for the event that was marking its 21st anniversary on Sunday.

The audience, thousands of (them) watching from the church’s branches across the country and online, were mesmerised and in celebratory mood by the time programme director, veteran broadcaster and Grace Bible Church Minister Ike Phaahla officially delivered the opening remarks.

Phaahla said the results of the matric Class of 2022 reflected the resilience of the pupils and nation.

Dr Keabetswe Molelekeng, a past recipient of Grace Bible Church’s Annual Achievers Awards. Picture: Grace Bible Church

“This group withstood the impact of Covid-19 as they learnt the new methods of learning and adjust on how to apply themselves.

“They missed the most crucial time of their schooling during the hard lockdown in 2021 and had to catch up as they prepared for 2022 exams.

“Catch-up lessons and study groups were established. All those measures required perseverance and will-power. They gave up on their social lives because there was a bigger price at the end of it all, which demanded work, that they wanted to claim,” he said.

Phaahla said they withstood all the harsh conditions.

“We know that they did not make it on their own, but with the support of parents and their schools.

“The educators worked hard despite the shortcomings in some of the schools to produce the fine human beings that we are celebrating.”

He said with Grace Bible Church turning 40 this year, it was significant that the matriculants were celebrated accordingly.

“We are a church that seeks to make a difference in our nation, and this is one way of being socially relevant. Our trademark is prayer, and it has been applied throughout the school career of the celebrants,” he added.

“We know that not all of us are academically gifted. That is why we encourage educators, parents and career guidance counsellors to make children understand the other difference career paths that are available, which resonates with who God has created them to be.”

He urged those who did not achieve distinctions not to despair, adding the the world had a place for their talents.

“Those who did not make it at all, we encourage you to register to write again, work hard and focus on your future goals because this is just a temporary setback,” Phaahla said.

He told the group their future was theirs to conquer.

“We have hosted your peers on this platform who have achieved lots in life. We also are going to call you back to hear your stories once your have completed your studies. All your achievements are there to glorify God.”

In the same spirit, some of the past recipients shared testimonies of the journey they had travelled.

Among them were Dr Keabetswe Molelekeng, a former children’s ministry and sign language team member at the church.

Another, Katlego Mahlo urged the matriculants to try to do things they enjoyed when they got to tertiary institutions.

“If you want to eat three pizzas because you wrote a difficult test, go for it,” she said.

Phaahla urged them to join the right student societies, choose right friendships and get the right mentors.

“This can be a difficult transition to manage,” he said.

The other past recipients who spoke included Nonhlanhla Selahle, who studied in Cyprus, and Nhlanhla Selahle.

The top learners from each region in Gauteng received trophies and R30 000 grants. They were Motlhabe Kgontse of Mohloli Secondary School in Sedibeng region, Precious Lungile Tshabalala of Mamellong Comprehensive in Ekurhuleni, Matimba Manganyi of Letlotlo Secondary School in Tshwane, and Olwethu Modao of Joburg. Modao wrote matric at Letsibogo Secondary School.

From the West Rand region, Agnes Mahlaku of Thutokitso Comprehensive was the recipient.

Sibusiso Mathebule of IR Lesolang Secondary was named top learner in Gauteng.

Top learner in sign language was Bongiwe Mkhatsha of Filadelfia Secondary School in Tshwane, while Selobane Thulane, also of Filadelfia, was best visually-impaired learner.

Grace Bible Bible Church matriculants recognised were Selahle Gontse Tshegofatso of Waterstone College, Mokhere Mohao (Hoerskool Die Adelaar) and Meshack Vumi Mbokota of Hilton College.

Top performing schools were Thuto Pele in the West Rand, Thandukwazi in Sedibeng, Ribane Laka in Tshwane, Lesiba in Ekurhuleni, Raymond Mhlaba in Soweto, and Forte in Joburg. The schools received a trophy and R30 000 each.

Letsibogo Secondary School, number one in Gauteng, was awarded a trophy and R40 000.

Grace Bible Church Presiding Bishop and founder Mosa Sono thanked the volunteers and his wife MaBishop Gege Sono for organising the event and putting the event programme together.

He thanked the members of the church, saying all the grants came from the offerings that they had given every Sunday during services.

“I am hoping as you listen to some to the recipients of the previous years, you can be grateful that you all played a role in inspiration of the children,” he said.

To the Class of 2022, he said: “I hope you were able to listen to what past recipients said because you are going where they are. I hope you are able to take some lessons from them.”

Pretoria News