Sunday, 06 January 2019

by Mogomotsi Selebi

The loud and blaring music from a drinking hole next to the home of a Free State learner did not put him off as he stormed to five distinctions.

Thekiso Mokoena 17, from Bolata, QwaQwa, managed to get 100 percent in Physical Science and 99 percent in Mathematics. Mokoena’s is an inspiring tale of sheer determination and hard work defeating adversity.

Thekiso Mokoena 17, from Bolata, QwaQwa.

“Our home is right next to a tavern. They would play their music very loud, especially on Fridays and weekends, which made it very difficult for me to study. It was not only the music, but also the loud voices of patrons.” Mokoena said on Friday at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein.

The Free State department of education held a matric well done function, honouring the top 100 Grade 12 learners in the province.

“I would just simply block all the noise out and focus on my work. I knew what it is I wanted and I worked hard on achieving that.” Mokoena said when asked how he dealt with the thumping noise from the speakers and the loud speaking of beverage gulping patrons.

In addition to this, Mokoena’s family life was not easy at all. His mother is unemployed and his father only managed to find a job late last year.

“It has not been the easiest of times for my family, but we are survivors. The one thing I am grateful for is that my parents, despite all our hardships, always ensured that I always had a meal.” he concluded with maturity that far surpasses his years.

Mokoena, for his troubles, has received a bursary and will be heading off to the University of Pretoria to study medicine. He also received a cellphone, laptop and ipad.

Meanwhile, Molelekeng Mokoena, also from QwaQwa, bagged seven distionctions, including 100 percent in Physical Science, 99 percent in Mathematics, 97 percent in Geography 93 percent in both Life Orientation and Life Sciences.

Molelekeng Mokoena, also from QwaQwa.

Free State Education MEC Dr. Tate Makgoe said he was extremely proud of the learners.

“These children are the pride of our province. Their achievements have proven once again that hard work pays off.” Makgoe said.