Candles lit the way for top matric achiever as load shedding hit hard

Despite experiencing power cuts while preparing for her final Grade 12 exams, matric top achiever Nthabiseng Lefophana resorted to using rechargeable lights and candles to study for her exams.

Dressed in her school uniform with a blue blazer embellished with countless badges and smiling from ear to ear, the 18-year-old from Bokamoso Senior Secondary School in Polokwane, Limpopo, said she is excited to be one of the top achievers of the 2023 national senior certificate matric group.

Among the country’s 34 top achievers

Lefophana was among 34 top achievers who were hosted by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. They were hosted at a ministerial breakfast session at the MTN Innovation Centre in Fairland, Randburg, on Thursday.

Motshekga was accompanied by Deputy Education Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule and Basic Education Department director-general Hubert Mweli.

The 34 top achievers were accompanied by their parents and family members. They were dressed in their school uniform with blazers adorned with a variety of badges.

Lefophana said she believes she obtained distinctions in all her seven subjects.

Over the moon

Her matric subjects were: Sepedi home language, English first additional language, mathematics, life orientation, life sciences, physical science and geography.

“I am over the moon and obviously so happy to see myself in this position. I am honestly so proud of myself. Looking back at how much work I put in, I am just very proud of my accomplishments. I’m and thankful to myself and family, teachers and everyone who supported me. I just feel the love and joy,” said Lefophana.

She said her parents, teachers and classmates played a pivotal role in her performing exceptionally well in matric.

“My parents were my biggest support system. They would give me daily motivation and always tell me to do my best. My teachers would call me aside and tell me to do my best. They would also rectify mistakes and tell me I am doing a good job when it comes to my academics. I cannot forget my peers as well. Having so many brilliant minds like them helped me a lot,” said Lefophana.

Load shedding was biggest challenge

Lefophana said load shedding became a hindrance during the course of her preparation for her final matric exams.

“Load shedding was a challenge. It was very difficult studying during load shedding. When there is load shedding, the first instinct is to go to bed. But I had to persevere and remind myself of where I wanted to be after studying.


“My parents bought a few rechargeable lights. I would put those on my desk so that they can face my books and so that I can be able to see. I would use candles sometimes if the rechargeable lights were not charged,” said Lefophana.

Lefophana said she plans on studying computer science at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) this year.

Dream come true for Moshabi

Jonas Moshabi, 18, from Seritarita High School in Mokopane, Limpopo is also one of the top achievers. He said he is excited to be part of the top performing crop of pupils.

“It is exciting and overwhelming. It has been a dream for me since I was a bit younger. This literally shows that all the hard work and sleepless nights I put in throughout the entire year paid off,” said Moshabi.

He said study groups and sharing information with his classmates came in handy for him and helped him to perform well.

Moshabi plans to study medicine at the University of Cape Town this year. 

Discipling pays off for Müller

Melissa Müller, 18, from Rhenish Girls’ High School in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, was flanked by her grinning parents. She said she is grateful for the support her parents gave her during her matric year. 

“I am extremely happy and so grateful to be here at this event. It is just an amazing feeling. I have always had a lot of discipline and I developed very good time management skills from the good work ethic. This helped me throughout my studies and my matric year, which was extremely good,” said Müller.

Müller plans to study mechatronics engineering at Stellenbosch University.

Pass rate to be announced

Later on Thursday at 6pm, Motshekga will announce the pass rate for the 2023 matric class at Mosaiek Church in Fairland, Randburg.

The matric class of 2022 achieved a 80.1% pass rate, an improvement of 3.7% from 2021.

In 2021, the matric pass rate was 76.4%, while in 2020 the pass rate stood at 76.2%. The new pass rate is slightly lower than the 2019 pass rate, which was at 81.3%.


Visit SW YouTube Channel for our video content

Latest News