Intelligent with an attractive smile, Hlanganani Mathebula (17) is a young woman who is going places after being named Seshego-based Maseala Progressive Secondary School’s Top Learner of 2017.
Besides having a love for numbers, Hlanganani also loves debating and was captain of the debating team. Clearly she is an excellent leader too, as she was last year’s head girl.
She achieved two distinctions in matric for Maths and Maths Literacy.
Hlanganani was in two minds as to what to study. “It was between accounting at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University or dentistry at University of Witwatersrand. Eventually I decided to pursue a B.Com in accounting. Since my father is in medicine and my sister in engineering, I thought I should also follow my own path; business and economics. I chose accounting because it took me a year to realise that I have a passion for it.”
She says she will pursue dentistry after completing her accounting degree. She admits with a wide, perfect smile that dentistry attracts her because “so many people compliment my smile. If my smile is like this, why not give other people smiles like mine?”
Hlanganani says she studied from 20:00 until 03:00 every night with just a few short breaks in between. On Saturdays she tutored some of her friends. Her favourite study snack is lemon creams.
“My advice to this year’s Grade 12s is to start studying immediately. Time waits for no one. If you wait until the prelims to study it will be too late. Study from day one.”
She is the second child of six children and says her motivation was her parents, Solani and Tebogo Mathebula. “My dad is a professor of optometry and he is definitely my role model.”
Her parents and grandfather Frederick Letlalo were proud to attend a prize-giving ceremony at the school in Legae la Batho Ext 65, Seshego on
3 January. “I am so immensely proud of Hlanganani and I know she will do well in whatever she does in future,” Letlalo said and her parents agreed.
During the prize-giving ceremony, much praise was heaped on Hlanganani by school principal Trust Chimhundu and director of the board of governors Alph Mohlahlana.
“Studying until the early hours of the morning definitely paid off for you, Hlanganani!” said Chimhundu.
“Congratulations Hlanganani! Let’s not forget to thank your parents for their trust and support,” Mohlahlana said.
Speaking on behalf of educators, principals and board members, Gladys Mohlahlana told Hlanganani she had made her school proud and left a legacy for others to follow in her footsteps. “Go and represent us well out there and remember, we will follow your success. We want to be connected to you until you are somebody,” she concluded.
Story and photos: KAREN VENTER