SOME of the students who are top performers in the 2017 National Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC), yesterday said there was no secret to their success but commitment, focus, parental support and their faith in God.
After scoring an average of above 82%, five candidates from St Boniface College shared their academic experiences and plans with The Namibian yesterday.
The St Boniface College candidates spoke to The Namibian in Windhoek after the education minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, had announced the results.
Hanse-Himarwa said they ranked schools according to the number of candidates who sat for the examinations.
She also said that they ranked private and government schools separately.
St Boniface College scooped the number one spot, while St Paul's College was second with Elcin Nkurenkuru High School in third place in the private schools' ranking.
On fourth position was the Swakopmund Private School, and Oshigambo High School took up the fifth place.
Rukonga Vision School came up at the top of the government schools' ranking. It was followed by Rev Juuso Shikongo Senior Secondary School, with Negumbo Secondary School in third place.
Delta Secondary School and Gabriel Taapopi Senior Secondary School scooped up the fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Muupa Kabajani (18), the overall best performer, said there was no magic to her success apart from studying three times a day, setting goals for herself and staying focused.
"I am still getting used to the news that I am the best performer. I am very excited and happy and proud of myself. I never expected I could do it, but you know what, miracles do happen," Kabajani said.
The Katima Mulilo-born Kabajani said she plans to study medicine specialising in oncology at the University of Namibia's medical school.
Kabajani's choice to study oncology is hugely influenced by the fact that she lost her father to cancer, the youngster told The Namibian. "That is something I had been striving for since my dad's passing on in 2015. This is everything I have dreamed of, and I am glad my dreams are finally coming true," she said.
Her mother, Elizabeth Mwamba, said she was happy and very proud of her daughter's achievement.
Mwamba also said that it was her responsibility to see that Kabajani did not have any time to play around and that she even made her study during holidays.
"I used to monitor her and encouraged her to draw up a timetable," she said.
Mwamba encouraged other parents to have a hands-on approach when it comes to their children's education.
Paulus Iyambo (18), who emerged second, said his mission when it came to his schoolwork was to make his parents proud.
Iyambo said that his recipe for success was drawing up a study schedule and allocated time for different subjects.
"I applied at the Namibia University of Science and Technology to study mechanical engineering," Iyambo said.
Seventeen-year-old Marion Mupiri, the third-best performer, wants to study Chartered Accountancy at the University of Namibia. Mupiri said her success was all about giving her utmost best and working hard from the very first day.
"It is all about determination, perseverance and the fear of God. I also had the support of my mother who motivated me to give my very best," Mupiri said.
The fourth best performer, Sarah Meesher (18), noted that her achievement was a result of studying and giving all her best from the first day.
Meesher also said procrastination was not an option and that it was all about having confidence as well as seeking assistance from the teachers.
However, Meesher said she almost lost hope after losing her grandmother while writing the examinations.
"It was difficult for me. I did not expect to even make it into the top 10. However, I had the assistance of my teachers. They knew me very well as I used to seek their help every day.
"Most importantly, I prayed a lot. I applied to study dentistry at the Unam School of Medicine, but since it is a new course, I am still waiting for my letter," Meesher said.
Augusta Boikanyo (18), also from St Boniface was delighted to be among the best performers.
Boikanyo said her hard work and perseverance finally paid off. She said she intends to study physiotherapy at the University of Namibia School of Medicine. Top performing candidates at government schools are Trendy Masule who scored 81,6% from Max Makushe Secondary School, in the first place, Marichen Heibes from Paresis Secondary School came in second place with 81,2%, while Mwaimbehafo Paulus is the third best performing candidate representing government schools, also from Paresis Secondary School with 81,0%.
Also from Max Makushe Secondary School was Karolina Kumbwa in the fourth place with 80,7%, while Nande Paulus from Epako secondary school was fifth with 80,2%.
The Namibian could, however, not get comments from top performers representing government schools.