On Thursday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and MEC of Education in the province, Debbie Schäfer, waited on the feet and hands of high-flyers and geniuses who made it big at the 2016 National Senior Certificate examinations.
Zille had a swell time congratulating and smiling all round with the top matric achievers, as well as outstanding schools in the 2016 National Senior Certificate examinations in her residence.
Overberg in Western Cape was the best performing district in the country while the overall top performer in the country, Conrad Strydom, hails from Hermanus in the Overberg. What a genius!
Another star, Siphelele Xabendlini, who came from a previously disadvantaged school, achieved the top position in the Western Cape in Physical Science – in fact, he was pre-eminent in the world of maths and science.
The dapper-looking 18-year-old said his smashing record ‘slipped into his hands’ the moments he realised that winning is not some special rule that is reserved for some lucky heads; despite coming from a disadvantaged school.
He moved to Cape Town (Browns Farm informal settlement) in 2014 from Eastern Cape after his father insisted that education in Western Cape is much stronger than in Eastern Cape. The 18-year-old had refused all offers to move out of the area, including one from a member of staff at his school, citing his love for his family as a reason.
Xabendlini told reporters: “I live in a shack, and I didn’t have a laptop with fancy programmes from the internet to help me. I worked hard and studied only with my textbooks, Paper Video [educational resource] and The Answer series.
I told myself, winning is not some special rule that is reserved for the lucky among us. Winning is a reward you receive when you have put in the hard work when no one is watching. Winning is for champion attitudes and champion hearts.”
Presently, he has been accepted to study business science and analytics at UCT and hopes to open his own insurance company one day.
Really, the Western Cape top performers had it all good on Thursday. A big congratulation to the lads and lasses for making W.C proud.