Lomso Dumezweni from Dutywa in the Eastern Cape is a step closer to achieving his goal of becoming a medical doctor.
The 18-year-old was selected as one of the country’s 33 top achieving pupils from the matric class of 2019. They were invited to a meet-and-greet breakfast with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at Vodacom World in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Tuesday morning.
Dumezweni attended Nyanga High School in Ngcobo and is the sixth child in a family of eight children.
Describing his journey in matric, the teenager said he worked under pressure from both his family and school.
He said he had to work hard to reach and beat the record of his older brother who was also a top achiever at Nyanga in 2016, and was honoured at the provincial awards.
“At school there was also the record of Avukile Nkayi, who matriculated in 2018 and was also at the national awards. So everything I did this year, I knew that people looked up to me with the hope that I would maintain the standard,” he said.
Growing up in a home where his father is unemployed and his mother an educator, Dumezweni said he spent most of his time at boarding school. He added that his parents did their best to assist him with everything he needed to help him do well with his grades.
“I spent most of my time this year at school, studying. I think I only travelled home three times. I got all the support from my parents because they wanted me here today.”
The teen said he has always been confused with which career to pursue. As he grew older, he saw that a lot of members of his family were ill, which inspired him to finally make up his mind to study medicine at the University of Cape Town.
“The decision to study medicine has not been easy but I noticed that many people in my family who suffer from chronic diseases are uninformed about the diseases. Many of my family members have died from it and I believe I can be the first doctor in the family to help them,” he said.
‘Pride of the nation’
Delivering her address at the breakfast, Motshekga congratulated the top achievers, saying they were “the pride of the nation”.
Motshekga said the top achievers were the hope of the country who would contribute in taking the country forward.
“We’re celebrating you as the country’s assets which are going to take us and the country to a different level. We don’t have to panic about the 4th industrial revolution because here are the people who are going to drive it. We are not panicking,” the minister said.
She also highlighted that it was important to note that upon analysing the 2019 results, schools from rural areas and those servicing poor communities were now improving and producing some of the best results.
“We are beginning to see the signs that the bottom is shaking and every child is not left behind.”
Motshekga also encouraged the matriculants to continue representing the country when they are at university, and not drop the ball.
The official announcement of the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results is expected at 18:00.