Focus, determination and discipline were some of the key factors that helped Boikgantsho Mabeleng succeed in matric at Forte High School.
Boikgantsho, who was among the top 10 learners who performed well in her preliminary exams, said she had been unprepared for some of the hurdles she had faced but she had persevered.
“My academic year was both exciting and stressful. I got to learn many great things but that came with an unbearable workload. The worst of all the things that came with matric was the morning and afternoon classes, a pile of homework and all the class tests I had to write.
“I experienced challenges and went through a lot of pressure, and to be honest, I was not prepared for that.
“After seeing my preliminary exam results, I was shocked. I had seen a decrease in performance in most of my subjects on my June exam results, hence I could not believe how I managed to get such good marks. I felt proud of myself, not only for the improvement but because I also became part of the top 10.”
Boikgantsho said one of her most memorable moments was when she performed exceptionally well at school and was taken out to a restaurant as a reward for being a top learner in life sciences.
Another was when she was chosen as one of the top learners to visit Happy Island, because she had done well in a course.
And a third was when she had breakfast with the principal on an occasion organised at her school when the top 10 learners received a modest gift as a token of appreciation for their efforts.
Boikgantsho said her mother had supported her throughout her school career.
“Through all the challenges I faced, my mother would hold my hand and pray with me. The prayer and support were what gave me strength to hold on, push and always keep my head up.
“Though my mother would never help me with solving X, she was always there to support me throughout my academic journey. Even to this day, she is always there to help calm me whenever I start feeling anxious about my matric results.”
As for her future plans?
“My wildest dream is to create the smartest machine that will be able to perform tasks that are beyond human imagination. To not only learn about the physics that govern our universe but to discover new things and new ways of explaining it. And to maybe one day be on the list of physicists and scientists that created a new path in the world of science.”
Boikgantsho has applied to the University of Cape Town and the University of Witwatersrand and plans to continue developing her abilities in mathematics and sciences to help bring more effective and sustainable solutions to the problems the planet is facing.