By CELANI SIKHAKHANE
Nongoma, the host town of the Zulu Monarch in Northern KwaZulu-Natal has officially ended the mourning period for the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, and restarted work on a high note by awarding bursaries to the top achievers of the class of 2020 matric.
The event, held at the local town hall on Thursday, was supposed to take place last month but it had to be postponed after the news of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu’s passing.
About 65 Matric pupils were awarded with bursaries and the certificates by the mayor of Nongoma, Albert Mncwango. Some of the top achievers had obtained rnine distinctions in their results and they are already studying in different institutions of higher learning.
Lindokuhle Nkosi from King Dinuzulu High School, who obtained nine distinctions was among the top achievers who were still amazed and joyfully about their matric results.
Nkosi is now studying Medicine at Nelson Mandela School of Medicine Campus under the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He told reporters that the journey was not easy especially after they were forced to study at home and online.
“It was very defficult to udjust our minds to the new system which was forced on us the Covid-19 outbreak which resulted in the country going on lockdown. We were then told that we have to work online to keep up with the syllabus.
“To us as rural kids, the situation was totally horrible because at some point we would find ourselves struggling to have data or poor network connections in order to be in touch with our teachers online,” Nkosi Said.
He believes that as rural kids they have to be celebrated since they made it against bigger odds. Mncwango said it was a historic moment to them as leaders and the whole community to celebrate the achievements of these learners.
“The class of 2020 had huge challenges which among them was the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore we didn’t expect much from our kids but they surprised us with distinctions. Some of them did well in such a way that they also represented our District of Zululand on a National level and the KwaZulu-Natal Province as top Achivers. That is why today we decided to honour them, ” said Mncwango.
Mncwango also revealed that as Nongoma Local Municipality, they have assisted more than 300 matric pupils in the past three years so that they could be able to further their studies at institutions of higher learning.