When Jessica Jezi came home from her job at a local supermarket each day, she’d know exactly where to find her youngest son.
“I would go straight to Aphelele’s room and that’s where I’d find him studying,” she said.
The Eastern Cape Department of Education named Aphelele Jezi top HDI learner in the Sarah Baartman District for Matric 2017. He and his mom enjoyed VIP treatment at the MEC’s and Premier’s Awards Ceremony at the ICC in East London.
“I’m so proud,” Jessica said. “Aphelele is so hard-working.”
Aphelele’s school is Ntsika Secondary School in Joza, classified by the Department as a historically disadvantaged institution (HDI). He achieved distinctions for Maths, Physical Science, Life Sciences and isiXhosa, with his other three subjects in the 70s (English, Life Orientation and Geography). Ntsika made it into the top five performing schools in the District.
Big sister Babalwa was just as proud. “He’s positive and self-motivated,” she said, as she explained how Aphelele used to set himself targets for marks for exams and assignments – which he usually exceeded.
“Hard work and prayer see him through!” Babalwa said. The family attends te nearby St Joseph’s Catholic church.
The family was still beaming when Grocott’s Mail visited them at the Extension 4 home. Aphelele is the last born of two brothers and a sister – Thembalethu (34), Thandisizwe (28) and Babalwa (23).
“I worked really hard for it,” said Aphelele, who also has a part-time job as a private tutor.
He will enrol for a BSc at Rhodes University this year, majoring in Physics. Nuclear engineering is his goal, but he also wants to qualify as a teacher through Rhodes University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
“I want to give back to those coming after me,” he says.
Aphelele Jezi’s tips for the Matric Class of 2018
* Start studying immediately – from Day One of the school year.
* Be focused and avoid the temptation to drink, or smoke, or go out every weekend.
* Don’t forget to take time out to relax and have fun.
* Make it a habit to tackle your homework as soon as you get home from school each day.