Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
1 minute read
5 Jan 2018
7:05 am

#MatricResults2017: Differently abled and definitely capable

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Katlego Manono, 18, who refuses to identify as disabled, says being born without arms was never a hindrance in his education.

Katlego Manono from Martie Du Plessis School in Bloemfontein is one of the country’s top achieving matric students of 2017, 4 January 2018. He is hoping for at least 3 distinctions, results will officially be released tomorrow, 5 January 2018. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

He was one of 21 pupils identified by the department of basic education as the top achievers in last year’s exams. The pupils were honoured in an awards ceremony held by Education Minister Angie Motshegka and the SABC yesterday.

Manono said his goal was to achieve at least three distinctions to further his dream of studying law and was surprised to be among the top achievers.

“I wouldn’t say throughout my career because my only problem was the wrong crowd but in 2017 I told myself I’m doing this for me. To put it in perspective, I was almost in jail because of my crowd. So now that I’ve changed my ways, I think I did what was best for me.”

Katlego, from Mandela View, Bloemfontein, studied at the Martie Du Plessis School, a special education facility. He learnt to write with his feet from an early age and said his upbringing was otherwise normal.

“I wouldn’t say I see myself as disabled, I see myself as differently abled.”

Katlego’s message to “differently abled” pupils was to adopt the same philosophy.

“I would say, so what if you are like that? Rather work on bettering yourself.”

The bubbly teenager who studied Life Sciences, Business Studies and Computer Application Technology said he would apply to study law at the University of Free State.

“I feel like there is a dent in our justice system. If I work hard enough I can close that gap.”

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