Johannesburg — Twelve long years of blood, sweat and tears proved to be worth it on Wednesday as the country's top matric achievers were honoured for their sterling efforts in a an award ceremony held after the official announcement of the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam results.
The evening seemed to belong to Limpopo as the province produced 15 of the 27 top achievers. Prizes were also awarded in recognition of the learners' exceptional performance in Maths and Physical Science, among others.
The coveted top spot in Science went to Ngoanapedi Mmadikgetho Komane from Glen Cowie Secondary in Limpopo, who also got the first place spot in Maths.
Following closely on her heels was Madimetja Kamogelo Mamasela from Pax High School, also in Limpopo. Madimetja also scooped second place in Science.
The young man has set his sights on becoming a doctor as he plans to study medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He said he would not have come this far without hard work.
"I started studying at the beginning of the year. I was so focused and inspired to achieve these results," he beamed.
Another learner who had plenty to smile about was Sinjun Cherilyn Singh from Ladysmith Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal. Sinjun was awarded first place in the category of most improved learner.
She wants to become an actuary and like Madimetja, will also be studying at UCT. There can be no doubt that the young lady knows the recipe for success.
"Focus and determination is what it takes. Set your goals and work towards them," she said, motivating the class of 2013 to start preparing early for their exams.
Pratisha Sevsunker from Mountview Secondary in KwaZulu-Natal got first place in Quintile 4. She plans to study BComm Accounting at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
She encouraged this year's matrics to work hard and stay focused.
Sarisha Chetty from Danville Park Girls' High in KZN was awarded first place in Quintile 5. She dreams of becoming a doctor as she looks forward to studying medicine at UCT. She said belief in herself is what kept her going.
"It also took humbleness. Never think you have done your best; always push yourself to do more," she said.
Prizes were also awarded to:
Ngoana Mokomane Diale, Dendron Secondary (Limpopo): Top Learner in Quintile 1
Madimetja Kamogelo Mamasela, Pax High School (Limpopo): Top Learner in Quintile 2
Ngoanapedi Mmadikgetho Komane, Glen Cowie Secondary (Limpopo): Top Learner in Quintile 3.