After having lost her father to pancreatic cancer a year-and-a-half before her final year, learner Razeenah Laher put her faith in God to help her pull through her matric year and come out with top marks in his honour.
Razeenah, a Parktown Girls learner who was part of the 2023 cohort of matriculants, describes her journey through matric as “enlightening and bittersweet”.
She went through many ups and downs that taught her valuable lessons in and out of the classroom – lessons she said she would rely on as she embarked on the next chapter of her life.
She said her matric journey was more challenging than she had expected but she took comfort in God, her faith, and her support system, especially during her toughest days.
Razeenah said even though she achieved five distinctions in her preliminary exams, she found preparing for the prelims difficult because she battled to find internal past papers to use for revision.
“I personally felt more prepared going into finals due to the mountains of resources that were easily accessible that I worked through.
“The thought of a prosperous and successful future kept me motivated. My dream of being able to serve humanity in whatever path I embark on pushed me to work hard and allowed me to remain dedicated through even the most challenging times. I believe that matric is a cornerstone that will lay the foundation of the bright future I hope to have.”
Her biggest motivation, however, was the desire make both herself and her parents proud.
“I’ve been dealing with the loss and grief ever since he (her father) lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. For me I think the most important thing was my support system, having my friends and family around me helped keep me motivated get me through the loss. Acing matric has been an accomplishment to me as I have worked hard despite having gone through this great loss. I wanted to work hard to achieve not only my dreams but also my dad’s dream and to work hard to make him proud.”
The 18-year-old had this advice for the Class of 2024: “Believing in yourself is the most important thing because if you believe that you can achieve anything you will achieve everything.”