Learners who faced the hardships of under-resourced schools, coupled with the challenges brought by Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, proved that they could rise to the occasion in the face of adversity - and succeed.
First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
When his village experienced load shedding in the middle of the night, matric pupil Kamogelo Brandon Senoa would turn on his cellphone torch so he could continue studying.
This week the 18-year-old from Ga-Mamaila reaped the rewards of the long hours spent swotting in the backyard shack that doubles as his study and bedroom.
The pupil from Mmantutule Senior Secondary school in Mesopotamia, a village in the Waterberg district of Limpopo, passed matric with three distinctions: mathematics, life orientation and life sciences.
The Waterberg region, one of the remotest areas of the province, emerged as the best-performing part of the province in the 2020 matric results, with an average of 77.5%. It was followed by Vhembe East with 77.1% and Vhembe West at 72.7%. The province itself was placed seventh, with a 68.2% average, just above Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.
Brandon's home, a two-bedroom brick house, a zinc shack that serves as a kitchen and...