Steadfast learner’s studies halted by his personal circumstances

LIMPOPO – Tshililo (17), from Duvhuledza village near the Kruger National Park, passed Gr 12 at Milton Mpfumedzeni Secondary School with distinctions in mathematics, science, life sciences, life orientation, Tshivenda and a B in English and geography.

He is still wandering the streets of Duvhuledza trying to convince local business people to assist him with funds. He is the youngest in a family of five, whose parents died when he was still young, and was left in the care of his grandmother.

“Things have been difficult since the death of our parents. My two brothers and two sisters never passed Gr 12 and they rely on piece jobs for survival. I rely on my grandmother’s monthly grant and it has been a difficult journey so far.

“Poverty is not just something I read about in newspapers, it is something I know about because I live it,” he said. “I applied for admission at Wits and received an SMS that I must come and register, but I don’t have the money.” During the announcement of the Gr 12 results in Polokwane, Education MEC, Ishmael Kgetjepe, applauded Tshililo for obtaining full marks in mathematics.

His geography teacher, Cedrick Madida, said Tshililo is a highly disciplined person who has lived in poverty for a long time. “He stays with his grandmother in a house without windowpanes. He did well at Duvhuledza Primary School and was always a top learner, and when he came to Milton Mpfumedzeni Secondary, he was always in the top five,” he said. Spokesperson for Thulamela Municipality, Ndwamato Tshiila, said the municipality offers a bursary, but it is already too late, Tshililo should have applied when it was published in the newspaper.

CV approached Mashudu Ramaano, Chairperson of Domba Trust, for assistance and the board is going to consider the matter.

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Nyambeni Mandiwana

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