No science lab? No obstacle to Mpumalanga star

09 January 2011 - 02:03 By PREGA GOVENDER

Bonginkosi Mnisi may not have had the benefit of a science laboratory at school but that did not keep him from scoring full marks in maths and physical science.

The 18-year-old from Makhosana Manzini High in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, is the only pupil in the province to bag distinctions in both maths and physical science.

His school is situated in the region which has earned the dubious reputation of producing the country's worst results for the past two years .

Only 5117 of the 12761 pupils who wrote passed the exams in Bushbuckridge last year while a dismal 3897 of the 13811 candidates passed in 2008.

The son of a truck driver, Mnisi also achieved distinctions in life sciences and Xitsonga and B symbols in agricultural science, life orientation and English first additional language.

Mnisi had considered a medical degree, but now has his sights set on either astrophysics or actuarial science, he said.

Mnisi, who lives in Belfast Trust, which is between Skukuza and Hazyview, attributes his phenomenal success to burning the midnight oil.

His elder sister Sheila is a cashier at a supermarket while his other sister, Kulani, is a secretary at a laboratory at Rob Ferreira Hospital in Nelspruit.

"I feel great. I am very happy. I don't know what to say," said Mnisi, when asked how he felt about his remarkable achievement in maths and physical science.

He said he had developed a love for maths and science from a very young age.

"It's all about loving what you do. I love maths and science and I was very committed and focused at school," he said.