Limpopo top matric achiever hopes to improve communities using passion for maths

Johannesburg – Takalani Bambela from Limpopo’s Tshivhase Secondary School has told News24 that he wants to get into actuarial science to contribute not only to business and community development, but the economy as well.

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Maths and science have been stressed as subjects of importance as South Africa has been ranked as one of the worst performers in the world in both subjects.

This did not deter Bambela, who was announced on Thursday as the top achiever in the maths, and maths and science categories. He achieved third position in quintile 2.

He told News24 that he has been accepted at the University of the Witwatersrand to study towards a degree in actuarial science in 2018.

The bespectacled youth said he loves maths and is looking forward to using his passion for the subject to give something back to communities and provide a platform for young minds.

He said he hopes to do this by also opening up his own businesses which he hopes will help improve rural communities.

SEE: The top matric achievers of 2017

"With actuarial science, I will be able to use the mathematical skills which I would have attained ... to help local businesses assess and manage the risks that they will encounter along the journey of their businesses.

"This will result in local businesses growing ... then there will be more inflow of money into our country resulting in our economy growing," he said.

Bambela’s achievements did not come easy.

"It was all about hard work and getting support from my teachers and my parents, they always motivated me to study hard throughout the year and not let my dream vanish because of societal situations and my background," he said.

'My pillar of strength'

Bambela explained that he didn't come from a well-off family and that he persevered through the help of his 56-year-old grandmother who took him in. He said without her, he would not be where he is.

"My stepfather didn’t want me so I went on to live with my grandmother and from there on, my grandmother looked after me, she supported me, she was always there for me, she was my pillar of strength throughout my schooling career so I am very thankful to her," he said.

INFOGRAPHIC: #MatricResults2017 at a glance

Bambela encouraged this year’s matriculants to look beyond their current situation and to aim ahead.

"They must see themselves in the future achieving big things."

He said this vision should then motivate them to overcome any challenges which they will encounter.

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