Without the support of his mother, Thulo Serobe says he wouldn't have made it through 2017.
Serobe, the former head boy at St Stithians College in Johannesburg, bagged seven distinctions in the IEB examinations - making him the school's top performer.
"My mom very big time helped me. She and my sister were kind of my core motivation the past year," Serobe tells News24.
Serobe passed matric with his twin sister Piro, who also went to St Stithians College.
"They would come speak to me when times got tough. They are very wise and would speak through things and help me make sense of a situation."
Serobe's mother, Verna Bouman, said she believes his faith in God provided a solid foundation to excel academically.
Bouman added that she was proud of her son, "who has inspired so many".
"It was a very long hard year with twins in matric. They are both very different, experiencing things differently as a male and a female, but their foundation is based on Christ which made everything 10 times easier."
She said she would miss her children when they leave.
"I am sad to see them go yes. They'll be leaving soon, but I look forward to seeing them blossom and develop so beautifully to achieve greater things," Bouman added.
Serobe has been accepted to Pennsylvania University's Wharton business school, where he'll be studying economics.
He is set to depart for the US in August.
"I have always been very passionate about business since a very early age - I am already involved in business incubators and trade on Easy Equities," Serobe explained.
"My ultimate goal is to one day be a global entrepreneur which solves global problems and add value to the world, not just here in South Africa - but in Africa and Europe."
While he described 2017 as the "hardest year of his life", Serobe says it was important to always have a bigger goal to work towards.
"Whatever your goal is in matric, make sure that it isn't just achieving academically," Serobe says.
"Make sure you can see the bigger picture, where you are heading towards, and have hope in the future - bright things lie ahead."