Ekurhuleni teen obtains 8 distinctions despite turmoil caused by Covid-19
Johannesburg - An Ekurhuleni matriculant has proved that hard work pays off after obtaining a full house of eight distinctions despite the turmoil caused by Covid-19.
Sinazo Mthethwa, from Saheti School in Bedfordview, told The Star that her matric year, like many others, was turned upside when the Covid-19 pandemic struck South Africa last year.
“We had to quickly adapt but without the support of my family I wouldn’t have been able to navigate matric,” she said.
The 2020 matriculant said that the pandemic added to her existing study challenges.
“I didn’t have a private place to study at home, so I was forced to study at the dinner table and my mom was also working from the table. I was sharing the space with my little siblings, too, so it was kind of hectic,” she said.
Mthethwa said despite the adjustments, she grew closer to her family.
“Through that experience, I also saw how supportive my parents were because they never allowed the noise level to rise above a certain point, so that I could concentrate,” she said.
The support that her family gave her and her determination to work proved to be fruitful as Mthethwa obtained eight distinctions and a 90.1% average in her final high school examinations.
The 18-year-old achieved distinctions in Accounting, English, isiZulu, Life Orientation, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Advanced Programme Mathematics.
The Saheti School confirmed that Mthethwa had been named a Commendable Achiever by the IEB, ranking within the top 5% of IEB candidates nationally in five or more subjects. She was also ranked within the top 1% nationally in English.
Despite the challenges, Mthethwa says she was in a privileged position to be able to learn remotely, compared to many other matriculants who did not have access to the internet.
Mthethwa said 2020 was a bit of a disappointment because the pandemic had prevented her from participating in activities at school, including tennis and the school’s outreach programme.
“I had to learn to adapt, and instead of playing tennis, I started exercising at home because that was all I could do … I was really saddened that I couldn’t participate last year because I enjoyed it,” she said.
The top achiever is hoping to study actuarial science at UCT, Wits or the University of Free State. “I’ve always had a love for Maths and it’s definitely blossomed in high school with me doing AP Maths and hardcore Statistics. I definitely enjoy it,” she said.