It was "high fives" all around at Brescia House Girls Catholic School in Johannesburg with five sets of twins putting on a stellar performance in the matric exams.
The top-performing girls have been high achievers throughout their high school career. In Grades 11 and matric, they were all awarded full academic colours.
The first set of twins, Mokgethwa and Mokgethi Mkalipe, started at Brescia House School in Grade 8.
“Thwa and I are fraternal twins. Not only do we not look the same, but we also have different interests,” said Mokgethi, who was also the school’s head girl.
“People always assume that twins are very competitive, but Thwa and I are the complete opposite. My mom always emphasises that our 'c' word in the house is not competing with each other, but complimenting each other.”
Mokgethwa agreed, saying: “Having my twin sister with me throughout my schooling has been extremely advantageous for me as I've always had a piece of home with me wherever I went. I always had someone to fall back on.
“Being a twin also allows me to go through life with someone who is going through similar challenges,” said Mokgethwa.
Mokgethwa achieved eight distinctions in accounting, AP maths, English, Zulu, life orientation, life sciences, maths and physical sciences. She was also among the top candidates in maths.
Mokgethwa plans to study accounting, while Mokgethi - who obtained six distinctions (in English, history, Zulu, life orientation, life sciences and maths) - plans to study medicine.
Identical twins Aimee and Nicola Wheeler are not only academically gifted, but have also shone on the sports field. They both achieved full colours in swimming and half-colours for athletics.
“The team spirit at the school is just incredible,” said Aimee.
Nicola recounted completing the Odyssey in Grade 10 with her sister. The Odyssey is a 400km hiking/cycling/canoeing adventure on the Garden Route, which takes place during the April holidays. It takes about 20 days to complete and the pupils are off the grid for its duration.
Aimee obtained five distinctions (in Afrikaans, English, geography, history and life orientation). Nicola achieved four distinctions (in Afrikaans, business studies, English and life orientation).
The other sets of twins - Alexandra and Jessica Amsinck; Caryn and Julia Bishop; and Alexandra and Nicole Cromme - started Grade R at the school in 2000. Both the Bishop girls agreed that the favourite part of their schooling career was the special friendships they formed, as well as their Grade 11 leadership camp.
Caryn and Julia obtained eight distinctions each and both will attend Stellenbosch University to study for Bachelor of Accounting degrees. Caryn achieved distinctions in accounting, AP maths, Afrikaans, English, geography, life orientation, maths and physical sciences. She was also among the top candidates in accounting, geography and maths.
Julia got distinctions in accounting, AP maths, Afrikaans, English, geography, life orientation, maths and physical sciences. She was also among the top candidates in maths, geography and accounting.
The Amsincks will travel for a while and possibly study overseas. Jessica achieved four distinctions (in Afrikaans, consumer studies, life orientation and maths). Alexandra obtained two distinctions, in Afrikaans and visual arts.
The Cromme girls are looking to Tuks, where they are hoping to study a BSc Physiotherapy - with both twins hoping to specialise in paediatrics.
Nicole got six distinctions in Afrikaans, English, geography, life orientation, life sciences and maths. She is also one of the top candidates in geography. Alexandra obtained five distinctions, in geography, life orientation, life sciences, maths and physical sciences.