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Meet Raymond Mamabolo, Gauteng’s top performing township pupil

21 January 2022 - 15:54
Raymond Mamabolo is Gauteng's top performing township pupil in 2021.
Raymond Mamabolo is Gauteng's top performing township pupil in 2021.
Image: Anthony Muchave

The mother of a matriculant who is Gauteng’s top performing township pupil is grateful her son bagged the prestigious award — and landed a fully paid bursary from the provincial government for his entire university career.

Speaking to the media on Friday on the sidelines of an award ceremony to celebrate the achievements of top pupils in the province, Marischen Mamabolo said her son would have had to join the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) queue or pin his hopes on getting a bursary to study further. 

Raymond, 17, is her eldest child.

The pupil from Chipa-Tabane Secondary in Cullinan collected an array of awards at the ceremony, including top pupil in mathematics, physical sciences and life sciences and for top pupil in the Secondary Schools Improvement Programme.

He obtained distinctions in all his subjects, namely Sepedi, English, mathematics, life sciences, physical sciences, geography and life orientation.

Mamabolo told TimesLIVE he was planning to study actuarial science at the University of Cape Town. 

Besides the fully paid scholarship awarded to him and 54 other pupils who were honoured as Gauteng’s best, Mamabolo also walked away with R10,000 from the Industrial Development Corporation, a laptop, Wi-Fi router, trophies and certificates. Harmony mining group added a varsity start-up combo to the mix, gifting all pupils with heaters, fans, kettles, blankets and irons to assist their move to university.

While he was extremely proud of his achievement, working hard was nothing new for the star pupil.

“I started in the lower grades. I was focused and determined. By the time I got to grade 12  I was ready. At the beginning of grade 12 I already knew most of the stuff because I had mastered it in the lower grades,” he said.

Getting to school early and leaving late became his daily routine.

“I would practise maths and science every day,” he said.

Sharing what he believed was the biggest hurdle of his matric year, Mamabolo said they had to play catch-up on all the work they had not completed in the grade 11 year.

“That was a challenge because I like to be ahead of my teacher. There was a lot of work to catch up.”

On his achievements, he said he was over the moon and in disbelief but also excited about what lay ahead.



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