Hard work pays off for pupil

The principal of Vista High School, Charline Little, is pictured with Takundamunashe Donovan Dahna after he opened his results to reveal five distinctions

Takundamunashe Donovan Dahna of Vista High School in Bo-Kaap was nervous when he went to get his matric results, but little did he know that he was the top pupil at the school, walking away with five distinctions.

“When I opened my results, it was a little bit unbelievable,” he said.

Takundamunashe was one of many matriculants accross the country who received their matric results on Thursday January 5.

Takundamunashe, who lived in a one-room dwelling in Mfuleni, had to travel more than three hours a day to get to school.

“Sometimes I would come at home after dark, and I wouldn’t have enough time to study. My mother also recently had a baby, so when my mother watched TV or when the baby was crying, I couldn’t concentrate because it was distracting.”

Edgar Moolman, a Grade 12 teacher who lives in Springfield Terrace, took Takundamunashe home one day after an academic competition.

“It was then that I saw where he lived, and I asked him how he gets to school, he explained and I thought to myself: ‘That is three hours of travelling every day’.

“I thought that is probably the reason he had only been getting 60s, and not what we thought he was capable of.”

Mr Moolman then spoke to his wife and to Takundamunashe’s mother, and they agreed that he could stay with the teacher during the final matric exams. “That way he didn’t have to travel, and it was quiet. He also had access to a computer. I knew he was capable of so much more.”

Takundamunashe said he was very grateful for Mr Moolman’s offer. “I had my own space and I could study properly whenever I wanted to.”

Mr Moolman said when Takundamunashe showed him the results, he was very excited for the pupil.

“I asked him, ‘What do you think worked?’ and he said, ‘I didn’t have to travel and it was quiet’. Also, it worked because I could keep tabs on how long he was studying and when he had to take a break. He worked so hard, I had to remind him of study breaks.”

Mr Moolman said he would take in a student again if need be. “Sometimes it’s not academic guidance, it could be other things that the child needs. and I’m very proud of him.

Asked what he wanted to do after school, Takundamunashe said he had been accepted to study at university, but had to cancel his plans to study hospitality management because he has to raise funds to go home to Zimbabwe where he will have to apply for a study visa.

Mr Moolman said Takundamunashe needed about R20 000 to return home and get his documents in order.

“I am bothering a few of my friends to get him going, which is a challenge, but I am determined to find a way.

“Takundamunashe thought I had helped him, but he actually helped me to see the potential in a child and helped me aim to unlock that potential. I am very proud of him and I want him to study. I hope that we will get it together.”

He appealed to anyone who could assist Takundamunashe to contact the school at 021 424 7430.

Vista High School obtained a 91.4 matric pass rate, almost 20 percent up from last year’s 74.3 percent.