Friendship inspires ‘average pupil’

Ryan Nipper was the top matriculant at Star College Bridgetown, with nine distinctions.

The top matriculant from Star College Bridgetown, believes there is truth in the saying that one becomes the company you keep.

Ryan Nipper, who lives in Bishop Lavis, passed with nine distinctions, and for eight of his subjects, he scored more than 90%.

The aspiring cardiovascular surgeon said, however, that he had been an “average pupil” for most of his schooling, but this all changed when he befriended Mahmood Arend, his classmate, who had been the top achiever at the school since he started there.

Mahmood, along with fellow Star College Bridgetown matriculants, Abdur-Razaaq Matthews, Moegammad Taahir Hartogh, and Mogammad Raees Robertson achieved eight distinctions each. Other top achievers at the school also include Onur Alp Ozkaya, Mohamed Azhar Sonday, and Uzair Munshi with seven distinctions, and Aghmad Salie and Esa Gamiet achieving six distinctions each.

Ryan lived at the school’s residence for two years, as transport from Bishop Lavis to Bridgetown was a challenge. Despite the difficulty of being away from home, he still managed to excel.
“Mahmood and I became friends at the end of Grade 9. He was always the top achiever, and when we started our friendship, my marks got better,” said Ryan.

“I aimed to do good, but I was pleasantly surprised by my results. In preparation for my examinations, I did not focus on the text books, instead I revised old exam papers. I also maintained a good balance between studying, and enjoying a social life,” Ryan said.

He is the second eldest of five siblings. He has an older sister and younger triplet brothers. He has been accepted to study medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT) , and hopes to specialise in cardiovascular surgery.

“I chose medicine, as I am intrigued by life science and the human anatomy,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to his teachers, who he said were very supportive, and “went out of their way” to help him.

His mother Maureen Nipper, said Ryan had “tough competition”, as there were many good pupils at Star College Bridgetown.

“I expected him to do good, but I didn’t think he would be the top achiever. I was overwhelmed when we went to school for his results. I shed a few tears of joy. It wasn’t easy to get here, as Ryan and I had to make a lot of sacrifices. However, if we could do it all over again, I would, because he is very dedicated and worth the sacrifices. Being a single mother makes this even more special. I would like to give a special thanks to his teacher, Talha Osmanoglu, who came to our house to encourage Ryan. He came here in the rain during winter time, only to find out how he could help Ryan,” Ms Nipper said.

Deputy principal Ahmet Kayya, said the school was very proud of the pupils’ excellent results.

“They did exceptionally well and we are so proud of our boys. Not only did we achieve a 100% pass rate as usual, but also a 100% Bachelor’s pass with 3.96 distinction per matriculant, which is quite pleasing to us,” Mr Kayya said.