‘After I lost my father, I worked harder to achieve my dreams’: Matric top achiever
After losing her father in 2017, Tshilidza Manwadu decided to work harder to accomplish her dream of becoming a medical doctor.
“Before then I wasn’t doing really well academically, but the moment he died I told myself I was going to work hard to achieve the things he couldn’t achieve,” she told TimesLIVE on Tuesday morning.
Manwadu, from Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo, was invited to the 2019 top achievers' breakfast with basic education minister Angie Motshekga. The function was held at Vodaworld in Midrand.
A total of 790,405 candidates sat for 147 question papers in 7,416 examination centres nationwide.
A further 212 pupils wrote at correctional facilities.
“Right now I don’t know my results, but I am thankful to be here today,” Manwadu said.
She said schooling in Limpopo was difficult. A lack of resources was one of the main challenges, with pupils having to buy their own study guides and books.
“The teachers are trying very hard to help us, but most of the schools are overcrowded, so it’s very difficult to overcome the challenges we face.”
Manwadu said her elder sister was one of her greatest mentors.
“She motivated me when I felt like giving up and she was always there to give me encouragement.”
Manwadu said she was hoping to study medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
She said her dream was to help and inspire those around her.
“Through my medical career I am also hoping to start organisations to empower women.
“I want to help my mother, because she has been a single mother trying her best to support her children.
“I want women to realise that their backgrounds don’t determine them. All they need to do is believe in themselves.
“If you believe in yourself and work hard, you can achieve anything,” she said.