Despite being one of three children surviving on her grandmother’s pension, Amahle Ndlovu was able to obtain distinctions in all her seven subjects.
The Mconjwana High School pupil, who stays in the rural area of KwaDulela near Mpophomeni, was lost for words to describe how she felt.
“It was very tough, but I am just happy that all my hard work paid off,” she said.
Ndlovu’s parents died before she started school and she was left in the care of her grandmother, who she says has dedicated her entire life to making sure she has everything she needs.
“We don’t have much at home, but my grandmother always made sure I had everything I needed, especially if it was school related. She even ended up in debt ensuring I had everything I needed,” Amahle said.
In addition to the tough financial problems at home, the teenager was also faced with a lack of resources at school, which made it difficult for her and her classmates to learn properly. “We don’t have a lab at school and we always had challenges when we had to do science practicals.
“Sometimes we went to the Midlands Community Centre and sometimes we moved on from the topic without having done the required experiments,” she said.
Soft-spoken Amahle said she was excited about the year ahead, especially after she learned her matric results were excellent.
“I would like to study medicine and have applied to several universities. My only worry now is getting a bursary as I have no means of affording tuition.
“Despite that I am really happy about everything and want to continue making my grandmother proud,” she said.
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Ndlovu told The Witness that her grandmother had broken down and cried when she heard that she was among the top achievers.
“She’s very happy. I am also happy and glad that I have set a positive example to the younger children at home that listening to uGogo pays off.
“I want to work even harder so that I too can take care of her like she has taken care of me.
“If I go far away from home this year to study I will carry her in my heart just like she has carried me my whole life,” said Amahle.
She advised other youngsters who also come from underprivileged homes to use the opportunity of going to school well.
“It’s really up to you to work hard and prosper,” she added.