IT is well-documented how rural and township schools continue to lag behind in study materials and other educational aides. While this cannot be disputed, a pupil from an indigent school in the KwaDeda area of Elandskop gave life to the mantra “when it rains, it pours”. Langsyde Combined School’s Nqobile Nzimande defied all odds and put Msunduzi on the map by coming second in quintile 2 category schools as she achieved 7 As, scoring 100% in mathematics, 99% in physical science, 94% in English and economics, 93% in life sciences and orientation and last but not least 85% in isiZulu. This exceptional achievement led to the minister of basic education Angie Motshega inviting her to attend the awards ceremony for the best achievers nationally in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
Speaking to this newspaper, Nqobile said she has aspirations of studying Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town, where she has been unreservedly accepted. She also revealed that what made her to succeed was pure, good old hard work as she intended studying at a university.
“I have high hopes that my achievement will elevate dreams of township and rural learners. It is rather worrisome for me when I see my peers not prioritising studying while others are nonchalant about it as they say there are no job opportunities anyway. We can utilise education as a tool to elevate and emancipate the rural and township areas that we come from,” she said.
Nqobile said she received a call informing her about her achievement and inviting her to the ceremony on the 31st of December last year. She says that this left her in awe and gasping for air as she had never dreamt, in her wildest dreams, that this is stuff that is deserving of people leaving in rural and indigent areas, especially with it being a national publicised event.
“I am used to watching on the television others being honoured and recognised but I never envisioned it being about me and my achievements, said Nqobile.
Another contributory factor to her success, she added, is time management, a trait she had to instil upon herself.
You reap what you sow
A visibly ecstatic Phumzile Nzimande, Nqobile’s mother, said she is short of words or resources to thank her daughter for her achievements. She then pleaded with businessmen and philanthropists to come to the party and assist her daughter as she does not have a bursary and cannot afford tuition for UCT.
“Whoever assists her will not regret it as my daughter fully applies herself to her school work. Her success has also shown me that it is critical for parents to fully support their children with their school work, although it also helped her that her father with a former mathematics and science teacher,” said Mrs Nzimande.
She added that Nqobile was already equipped with solving complex maths formulae at a young age, thanks to her father’s intervention but was quick to admit that although she is over the moon about her daughter’s achievements, it pains her that her daughter may have to go and study far away from home.
“I have always known that Nqobile is a star-performer at school from the time she was in lower grades as teachers constantly appraised me on her progress but what also used to scare me is that this child received so much praise for her academic performance that I thought she could effectively just go crazy, concluded Mrs Nzimande.
performers in the Msunduzi jurisdiction as it achieved a 98.84% pass rate amongst the cream of the crop, placing at number 5 overall but also toping all township and rural schools.