Challenges overcome

Ethel Kubalasa, left, hugs her daughter, Vuyiswa, to congratulate her on her excellent matric results. Vuyiswa is the top matriculant at The Leadership College, achieving a 92% average.
The Leadership College (TLC) and the school’s top matric performer have proven once again that challenging circumstances do not diminish success.

Vuyiswa Kubalasa, 17, attained distinctions in all seven of her subjects, passing with an aggregate of 92%. Her scores include achieving 98% for physical science, 97% for accounting, 94% for mathematics, 93% for life sciences and 90% for life orientation. She lives in Philippi and shares a two-bedroomed home with her parents, two brothers, grandmother and cousin.

According to teacher Saadiq Albertyn, Vuyiswa has been a top achiever, since Grade 8.

“Vuyiswa has religiously scooped the top achiever award every year for both mid-year and end-of-year awards. Upon the release of the 2018 National Senior Certificate (NSC) individual matric results, Vuyiswa’s results really produced some surprises. These results have been achieved purely on the hard work and determination of both herself and excellent teachers. It goes without saying that Vuyiswa has excelled on pure merit solely with the support of passionate and hard working teachers who were willing to sacrifice their time for the learners,” Mr Albertyn said.

Her mother, Ethel Kubalasa, said her daughter had been a hard worker since her primary school days.

“I am a very proud mother. My eldest son is studying at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), and he also went to school at TLC. God blessed me,” Ms Kubalasa said.

Vuyiswa has been accepted to study Actuarial Sciences at Wits and Stellenbosch University accepted her to study towards an Engineering degree. She is yet to decide which way she would like to go, Vuyiswa said.

Principal Yousuf Atcha said everybody at the school worked with a “great sense of determination”, even though they started last year off with “some degree of uncertainty”.

He added: “Despite all the social upheavals of the community, we embrace the challenges and we do deliver.”

A statement from the school reads: “Vuyiswa’s result is a notable achievement for the school as it indicates hope in the wake of high rates of crime, poverty and unemployment. This also serves as an indication to many, that with the right guidance and passion of the teachers, anyone has the ability to excel despite the challenges. TLC continues to strive towards effecting positive change in a community riddled with gang violence and drugs through providing a quality education for all.”

The Leadership College is a private, no-fee school in Sherwood Park, and faced its own set of challenges last year.

Director Ashra Norton said it was the most challenging year in the history of the school, which opened its doors in 2010.

“In 2018, we were on the brink of closing the school. We were evicted at the end of 2017, and we had to move to a place where we did not know where to place classrooms,” she said.

Despite the challenges, the school relocated from Manenberg to Sherwood Park and erected containers which are being used as classrooms on the mosque’s premises.

It is for this reason that the results of the class of 2018 are even more significant to the school.

“We cannot afford outside tutors, and the results achieved are purely the school’s results. Despite the challenges, we have been divinely guided,” Ms Norton added.