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Beating the odds through dedication and prayer

Local Matric 2022 graduate with distinctions gives advice to the Matric Class of 2023.

A career in mechanical engineering beckons for Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) learner, Simangaliso Zondi, who notched up seven distinctions in matric and was awarded at the EMSS awards ceremony held on February 11, at Fairvale Secondary School.

An alumnus of Umbilo Secondary School, Simangaliso comes from a large religious family who believe that prayer opens closed doors.

Financial challenges were a constant while growing up, especially when his mother, a single mom raising four children, was retrenched and they had to live on social grants for a long time.

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“My mother eventually got a job as a part-time cashier, but money issues were a major concern over my matric year, especially transport money to get me and my twin sister to school,” he said.

Not one to give up, Simangaliso achieved an impressive 88% in mathematics and 83% in science and harbours ambitions to study mechanical engineering at Wits University so that he can use his tertiary skills to uplift his family and those in poorer communities.

“A positive attitude allows me to look at any problem knowing that there is a solution out there. I always believe that if you look deep within yourself, you will see the light that will guide your next step in life.

“I attended Engen Maths and Science School classes every Saturday in Grade 12, and teachers helped me understand how to approach exam papers in the best way as they revised past papers almost every week.  My advice for the Matric Class of 2023 is to remember that you can control how hard you work, but sometimes, you cannot control the challenges you will face.

“You are in for one of the rockiest rides of your life.  You must prepare yourself for the physical and mental strain and give it all you’ve got so that you don’t have any regrets.

“Don’t see failing to reach your goals as defeat. Learn something from the experience and then go back to the drawing board,” he added.

Simangaliso says listening to music helps him deal with stress, and when things get tough, he thinks about what he wants his future to look like, which motivates him.


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