ANNASTASIA Mukanda from St Boniface College in the Kavango Region is the best Grade 12 NSSC ordinary level candidate for 2012.
"I am just a normal girl from Rundu," says Annastasia modestly. "I am still in shock, I did not expect this, I am still trying to process it."
Annastasia says apart from studying hard, she enjoys dancing and watching television series like 'Hellcats' and 'Secret Circle'.
She also enjoys reading romantic and adventure novels. "Reading is very important. It helps the mind to grow."
Hard work, determination and working towards your goal: that's her recipe for success, and she says with this in mind, anyone can do it.
For those who did not make it, she says there is always a chance. "There is no end to school, you can go back and and try again to make it." And for those who made it, "Continue working hard."
Annastasia will be studying law at the University of Namibia and aspires to become a defence attorney. She says she was driven to become a lawyer when her father was sent to prison in 2010. "We were not able to get him a lawyer soon enough before he passed away last year before my April exams," she tells The Namibian. "I couldn't give up."
This determination landed her the top spot in the national examinations.
Annastasia is one of nine children. "Coming from a poor family, you really have to work hard. My mother is my biggest inspiration. She couldn't make it in school and started working as a bricklayer to support us through school."
Andreas Hungamo also from Rundu, who is the second-best performer, says he was motivated since Grade 11 to at least reach the top five.
Asked what his recipe for success is, Andreas says: "I read a lot, I enjoy studying and the teachers have been very supportive."
He plans to become a chartered accountant through the University of Namibia. "I have a passion for it and I enjoy dealing with numbers. Maths was my favourite subject at school."
Other candidates in the top ten are Matheus Taapopi from Maria Mwengere Secondary in third place, Ndahambelela Matheus from Haimbili Haufiku Secondary in fourth place, Bernhard Mukuve from St Boniface College in fifth place, and Selma Shikukumwa from St Boniface College in sixth place, Makili Eunike from Haimbili Haufiku Secondary in seventh place, Martha Siwombe from St Boniface College in eighth place, Carlos Diniz from St Boniface College in ninth place and Joaquim Dias, also from St Boniface, in tenth place.
St Boniface has been the top-performing school in the country for four years in a row. Its principal, Mary Yesubasna, attributes the school's success to hard work, commitment and discipline by pupils and teachers alike.