‘I didn’t believe it,’ says KZN matriculant after being named top science pupil

04 January 2018 - 21:15 By Nico Gous
Timera Naidoo talks to Times Live after receiving the for Top Physical Science at the announcement of the pass rate of the Matric class of 2017 at the SABC offices in Aukland Park, Johannesburg.
Timera Naidoo talks to Times Live after receiving the for Top Physical Science at the announcement of the pass rate of the Matric class of 2017 at the SABC offices in Aukland Park, Johannesburg.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Shocked. That was how Timera Naidoo from Port Shepstone Secondary felt after it was announced she was the top matric learner in Physical Science for 2017.

“I didn’t believe it.”

Naidoo‚ who took English Home Language‚ Afrikaans First Additional Language‚ Mathematics‚ Life Sciences‚ Physical Sciences and Accounting for matric‚ tried to study when the house was quiet.

“I would sleep during the day and then study at night or make sure I remained focused when I studied.”

She ensured she understood the work and asked more questions if she was in doubt.

Naidoo said she did not have a set routine in her studies.

“You have to be flexible. You have to sleep. Sleep is important.”

She remained motivated by telling herself: “If other people can do it‚ so can I.

“I didn’t stop believing in myself.”

She enjoys painting and art.

Her mother‚ Unitah‚ is one of her role models.

“Even when I didn’t believe in myself she told me‚ ‘You know‚ you can do it’.”

Her other role model is the late struggle icon Nelson Mandela.

“He dedicated his life to this country‚ so I thought I could use some of my dedication to my work to achieve these awards.”

She advised the matrics of 2018 to set “realistic” goals and not to give up halfway through the year.

“Keep going. Even if you want to give up‚ just keep going.”

Naidoo is going to study medicine this year at the University of KwaZulu-Natal‚ because she wants to serve the community and “give back to the people that raised me”.


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