Class of 2021: Striving for Excellence

Class of 2021: Striving for Excellence

By Busisiwe Nkosi, District Manager, Gauteng and North West

The Gauteng and North West region has truly demonstrated true resilience, successfully completing their matric after two years of interrupted learning. The North West and Gauteng Class of 2021 achieved an overall 90% Matric pass rate, a collective 112 distinctions. 60% of the learners achieved Bachelor’s passes and 87% achieved tertiary eligibility. These results are a true show of resilience as the Class of 2021 triumphed despite the school closures and constant interrupted learning. 

Zooming into branch performance, the Diepsloot branch achieved an impressive 97.4% pass rate, with 87% of the learners in the branch achieving a Bachelor’s pass and an impressive 48 distinctions. 98% of the learners are eligible to study at tertiary education institutions. The shining star from that Diepsloot branch is Kelebogile who obtained seven distinctions in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, English First Additional Language, Sepedi, Life Sciences, Life Orientation and Computer Applications Technology, this included 100% for both Mathematics and Physical Sciences. He was recognised and awarded as the top learner in Mathematics and Physical Science in Gauteng by the Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Premier David Makhura.


“I joined IkamvaYouth when I was in grade 10. As much as I was doing great academically there were arrears in my life that were challenging me and affecting my mental health. IkamvaYouth assisted immensely in that regard through psychosocial interventions and affording me tutoring when the need occurred. The career guidance sessions also helped me narrow down my career choices. I am happy I joined the IkamvaYouth family and hope to repay the faith bestowed upon me’’.


Carrying the torch for our branches in the North West are our Ikageng and Mahikeng branches who produced excellent results this year. Our Ikageng branch once again shone bright with a stellar 98% matric pass rate. This year yielded the highest number of distinctions for the branch with the matrics getting a combined 20 distinctions. The branch also managed to obtain 58% bachelor passes and 81% eligible for tertiary.

The Mahikeng branch class of 2021 achieved outstanding results. The branch managed to attain a 93% pass rate, which shows a 5% improvement as compared to the previous year’s results. The class of 2021 has collectively attained 5 distinctions with 54% of the cohort attaining a bachelor’s pass.


The Ebony Park branch achieved great results with a collective pass rate of 84%. The branch managed to bag 53% bachelor passes, 23% diploma passes, and 7% higher certificate passes. The branch was able to produce an astounding 8 distinctions.


The Ivory Park Branch 2021 Matric cohort achieved a 75% pass rate. The branch achieved 16 distinctions with 3 learners receiving distinctions on core subjects including Mathematics, Business Studies and Accounting. Out of the 75% of learners who passed matric, we are pleased that 69% are eligible for tertiary education with 33% obtaining a bachelor’s pass, 36% diploma and a further 6% obtaining a higher certificate.

Our Mamelodi branch achieved an impressive 92% matric pass rate, a collective of 15 distinctions, with 2 learners attaining 2 distinctions each in Mathematics and Physical Sciences respectively. The branch bagged 24 bachelor passes, 9 diploma passes and 1 higher certificate pass. 89% of the learners are eligible to pursue a degree or diploma qualification in tertiary this year. Enormous effort has been made by the branch staff and tutors who have laid the foundation for our learners to have such an impressive performance.


We are now in the process of placing the class of 2021 into tertiary and other post-school opportunities. The cohort has already shown great resilience at such a formative age, we are excited about their future, as they will make a mark in our country. 

Well done Class of 2021. 

The Triumphant Class of 2021

The Triumphant Class of 2021

By: Delphino Machikicho

Minister AG Motshekga accurately described the 2021 matriculants’ academic experience when she said, “…the Class of 2021 will remember their Grade 12 year as one of challenge and triumph. The challenge was coping with the unknowns of new Covid-19 variants and managing its subsequent effects on learning. The triumph was overcoming learning loss and maintaining high academic discipline. The results of the class of 2021 is a triumph for the learners who participated and the society that supported them.”

Our Ikamvanites certainly triumphed and they deserve to be celebrated. After two years of disrupted learning and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of the COVID-19 pandemic they would have been forgiven for calling it quits. However, we saw their resilience and commitment to education. Our tutors were the Superheroes throughout the year. They provided not just quality academic support but displayed a high level of pedagogy of care. The results are a reflection of the amount of effort that was exerted throughout the year. 


The blossoming of the Atlantis branch is a marvel to witness, they achieved a record-breaking 100% pass rate! Even more impressive is the 90% tertiary eligibility that the Atlantis grade 12 learners attained. The leadership of the Atlantis branch persevered through the teething pains of the branch growth and now they are reaping the rewards. The tutors that have created a family environment make the branch so welcoming for all learners. The collaborative spirit of the school leaders from all our feeder schools has been humbling. We even have some of the teachers that sacrifice their Saturdays to come and tutor with us. The Atlantis Principal Committee has been supportive and we constantly glean from their wisdom. 


If consistency was a branch, then it will be Kuyasa. Again this year, they achieved a 100% pass rate with all the 31 learners eligible for tertiary education. The branch has harnessed the power of peer-to-peer learning in their Big Friday sessions where learners collaboratively attempt past exam papers under the watchful eye of the amazing tutors. 


The Makhaza branch significantly improved its pass rate to 78% from 66% in the previous year. There is an all-around improvement, the number of learners eligible for tertiary education improved by 30%, this cohort has 71% of the learners eligible for tertiary studies. Enormous effort has been made by the branch staff and tutors to have an upward trajectory with the learner performance. 


One of the heart-warming stories from our 2021 cohort, is the story of Uthandile from the GugsComp branch. She had joined our program in 2020 mid-year when she was in Grade 11. She had failed Grade 11, but the school progressed her to Grade 12. Throughout 2021, Uthandile persevered through the year with great diligence towards her studies. She attended all tutoring sessions, where she struggled she called on our ever-present tutors. Now she received her final grade 12 results and she achieved a Diploma pass. Uthandile’s story is proof that after-school programmes are essential to bridge the education gap. In addition, the values of resilience and dedication are important for learners to achieve their desired results

The GugsComp (Gugulethu) branch operates like a well-oiled machine, they exemplify a holistic approach to developing a well-rounded learner. The partnerships that the branch has with organisations like Amandla Safe Hub affords learners access to sporting facilities, leadership and other life skills workshops. They managed to achieve a 92% pass rate with 50% bachelor passes and 28% diploma passes. This is an improvement from the previous matric cohort that achieved an 89% pass rate. 


The Nyanga and Masi branches also performed exceptionally well with 81% and 84% respectively. Both branches have been consistent over the year assisting learners to achieve quality passes. The Nyanga branch has had an admirable mentorship partnership with 2U, this partnership has given learners a rare opportunity to learn from 2U employees. One of the top-performing learners at the Nyanga branch Sihle shared, “…we couldn’t come to school but IkamvaYouth was helpful as they formed WhatsApp groups. We would bring difficult questions to the group and the tutors would help us. This helped us to continue with school when schools were closed. 


We also had online mentoring and sometimes face to face. My mentor would ask questions about my career and they would help me to make choices about my tertiary journey. My mentor also couriered Maths Mind Action textbooks for me because I was struggling with Maths. I would like to say thank my mentor for their wise words, patience, and keep on helping others and may you be blessed.”

As the Western Cape region, we are delighted by the great results our learners achieved. The improvement year on year is evidence that the continuous improvement of our model and implementation yields results. We have had subject advisors training our tutors to improve their facilitation skills, this has given our Superheroes more artillery in their arsenal. We are confident that our learners will continue to triumph and get even better results. We appreciate all our partners that walk this journey with us, may we not tire to empower the children of Africa to attain dignified livelihoods.



We are an army of young people, changing the face of education in under-resourced communities, one Mathematics question at a time.  Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. This year, once again, we celebrate a year of hard work, as Ikamvanites produce stellar results. 

We are proud to share with you that our Matric class of 2021 achieved a 90% pass rate. Of the 543 learners who wrote their matric 487 passed, achieving a collective 258 distinctions. The matric class of 2021 started Grade 11, a crucial year of their schooling career, at the beginning of the lockdown in 2020.  This meant that many learners were at school less than 50% of the year and the only support that they were receiving at home was from IkamvaYouth via online tutoring sessions and support. 

Nationally, the matric class  of 2021, achieved a 76.5% pass rate. We recognise the unique challenges faced by this cohort over the past two years; such as the implementation of class platooning which caused learners to miss 50% (or more) of school. We witnessed better resourced schools distributing textbooks  and conducting online learning, while learners in communities we work in had to self teach with no resources. lt is, therefore, commendable that the national cohort managed to achieve these results when 80% of learners attend under-resourced schools.

As we celebrate our learners’ pass rate, it is also important that they ultimately access post-school opportunities that will enable them to earn a dignified living.  We are proud to share that 54% of learners achieved a Bachelor’s pass, and 79% achieved tertiary eligibility. We will now provide intensive support to last year’s Grade 12 learners to ensure that they access post-school opportunities.

Our CEO Hope Chidawanyika said:  “Year on year, our matric results are a true testament of the power of after-school tutoring support programmes such as ours.  We are extremely proud of the 2021 cohort who braved through two years of interrupted learning to achieve great results. The learners in our programme work extremely hard and every day they teach us all something new about what people can accomplish if they’re just given the opportunity and the support they need to reach their goals. I am excited about their future”. 

Our regional performances are also noteworthy. Our Gauteng and North West region achieved a 90% pass rate and a collective 112 distinctions. One top learner from the Diepsloot Branch, Kelebogile was amongst the province’s top performing pupils. Kelebogile was honoured by the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, at the recently held Matric Breakfast. He received 2 prestigious awards for his remarkable 100% pass in Mathematics and Physical Sciences as well as for achieving 7 distinctions.

Our Gauteng and North West District Manager Busi Nkosi says, “We are extremely proud of the achievements of our top performer Kelobogile, He is a great example of ‘your background does not define your achievements’. We are privileged to not only impact Kelebogile but all learners who go through our programme by providing a consistent and stable safe space that motivates them to remain committed to attending sessions despite the many challenges they may face. Through their resilience, they conquered”

Our Western Cape region also produced great results, achieving an 88% pass rate across all five branches. Two of our branches in the region, Kuyasa and Atlantis achieved 100%. The Western Cape is where the IkamvaYouth story began. We are proud of what this region continues to accomplish, through building a strong community of dedicated tutors, nurturing relationships with parents, collaborating with schools, teachers, and subject advisors, as well as partnerships with local organisations.

Silubonile, a learner from our Nyanga Branch had this to say, “The IkamvaYouth programme helped me get rid of a bad habit, I was not studying at home. IkamvaYouth offered us a place to study so I would get a portion of my time at school during lunch and after school to study in their lab. The tutors helped us with tips and helped me realise my learning and study styles which equipped me to study at home. I have now passed my matric, and I am going to study B.Com Accounting at the University of the Western Cape”.

Our KwaZulu Natal/Eastern Cape region also achieved impressive results achieving a 93% pass rate across the three branches. Worth mentioning is our Joza branch, in Makhanda where 96% of the learners passed, 65% achieved a Bachelor’s Pass, and 83% are eligible for tertiary. In the Eastern Cape where pass rates have been low, passing matric is a huge accomplishment, and achieving tertiary eligibility means an opportunity to change the trajectory of these learners’ lives. 

We are extremely proud of all these achievements, showing the effectiveness of after-school interventions. Not only has 2021 produced great results, but a five-year analysis of our results have also shown an improvement in our programme’s success, particularly our Bachelor’s passes that have steadily grown from 38% in 2017, to 54% in 2021. We continue to refine our model and ensure learners in our programme produce quality results.

We would like especially to thank the over 700 IkamvaYouth volunteer tutors, who continue to show up for the learners. Many are in tertiary and in jobs, however, they still share their limited time with the learners.  We recently caught up with Simthembile who matriculated from Nyanga Branch in 2018 and is now a tutor. She had this to say:  “With the support that I received at the branch when I was a learner, I knew that I had to pay that forward to others. Our tutors then taught us how to support each other and I had to give back.”

Our Board Chairperson Putukwane Madisha says, “To the IkamvaYouth team and volunteers, congratulations for your great work. It is through your hard work and passion for the education of young people that we are able to consistently achieve great results, and ensure quality passes for learners who have such scarce resources at their disposal. I would also like to thank every one of our donors, for investing in our work, and all our implementing and thinking partners for walking the journey with us. Lastly, to the learners, your commitment and effort has shown in these excellent results. Congratulations and see this as a first step to uplifting yourselves, your families and your communities to a brighter future.” 

Again congratulations Ikamvanites, we look forward to seeing many of you making a mark in the next chapter of your lives!



Dear Friends and colleagues

As 2021 draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to look back at the year, to celebrate with you our successes, reflect on the hurdles we triumphed over, and update you on new frontiers we have crossed.

I am excited to share that in 2021, we completed the second stage of our minimum dosage research. The research confirmed that the longer an Ikamvanite is part of our programme (ideally seven terms) the better their performance in matric. Our matric results were a true testament of the effectiveness of our model. We started 2021 with a big celebration. Despite the school closures and disruption, our 2020 Matric cohort achieved an 88% pass rate. These are learners that had been in our programme for the recommended minimum time, meeting attendance rates.

While 2020 was a year that demanded us to rethink our work and find resources to support our pivot strategy, all our work in 2020 has supported us into 2021. We have continued to support young learners in under-resourced high schools with in-person and online academic support, as well as career guidance programmes. Our work is now more important than ever as we are already beginning to witness and project the long-term effects of schooling disruptions on our learners.  According to the NIDS-CRAM research released this year, the learning losses caused by these disruptions will take decades to recover from.

Organisational sustainability was a critical part of our forward looking plans. The fundraising landscape has become difficult in recent years, particularly exacerbated by the pandemic. This has invited us to think urgently on our own fundraising and income generating activities. We are excited to share that in 2021, we put together an advisory committee, to assist with our sustainability efforts. With the input from the advisory committee, we are looking to grow our self-generated income portfolio, leveraging on our existing model and resources to ensure we increase our reach and impact for the foreseeable future.

2022 brings to a close our three-year strategy and we are looking forward to bringing the team together, to carve our new three-year strategy taking us to 2025. We are excited about this chapter, and to witness the impact of these new plans on the learners in our programme.

As we reflect on the past year, and look to the future, I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to:

  • Our volunteer tutors; who are at the front-line of our renowned model, and paying it forward to the young learners in the programme.
  • IkamvaYouth staff, Board and Advisory committee; a hard-working team that is reliable and focused on fulfilling our mission. The team’s combined strength continues to make a formidable community of change-makers.
  • Our donors; our work would not be possible without their support.
  • Our stakeholders; the  Department of Basic Education, the schools and community halls that house our branches, all implementing partners in the after-school space, and the parents, for your ongoing support and contribution to our work.

May you all look back at the year with pride as you have all contributed to the wonderful story that is IkamvaYouth.

Just one more thing, as you go on your holidays, if you are not already, please consider joining our community of donors. Now more than ever, we need your support. Next year, we will open our doors in January to 2,600 learners across the country who in 2022 need our support now more than ever. Please sign up as a monthly donor via our Given Gain page or donate via the SnapScan code on our website.

I wish you all a restful holiday ahead and may 2022 bring new exciting opportunities for you.

Thank you





Our First Spring School

Our First Spring School

By: Damien Buckton, Fundraising Officer

More than 18 months after the pandemic hit, we are still dealing with the effects of the continuous lockdown. In turn, the subsequent school closures have forced us to be agile, to shift and pivot our approach to ensure that our learners remain engaged and supported with their school work. Every year, IkamvaYouth looks forward to the Winter School programme, an exciting period in our events calendar. 2021 saw us host our first Spring school, an additional holiday programme for learners, as our regular Winter School was disrupted due to the lock down. 

For this particular programme, our focus was directed at our Grade 11 learners who are preparing for their upcoming final exams.


We reserved a week during the October school holidays, to provide academic and non-academic support to our learners across all our 17 branches. Our staff were well equipped for the programme and had mapped out various activities; energisers; workshops and excursions for our learners at our branches to accompany the tutoring sessions and to make the programme experience more enjoyable for our learners.


The essence of our  holiday programme is to actively engage our learners in their studies by tackling and reflecting on some of the work they covered in their syllabus from term 1 to term 3. This is done through peer to peer learning, facilitated by our tutors as they highlight their learning gaps and support each other in bridging the gaps. 


It is certainly commendable to witness our learners display their dedication to learning by attending the programme during their school holidays. Our award-winning learner-driven model, and peer to peer support was in full display, as learners were bundled up in groups tackling challenges and solving various problems together.


Kwa-Zulu Natal/Eastern Cape

Our Kwa-Zulu Natal region had 183 learners turn up for the programme. One of the highlights from our Kwa-Zulu Natal region was that, this year we were fortunate enough to welcome industry professionals from one of our partner organisations, Old Mutual who conducted a financial literacy workshop with our learners at our Umlazi and Chesterville branches in KZN. The workshop provided our learners with valuable information and taught them the importance of saving your money. It was also positive to see our learners asking questions, engaging with the session.

During the hustle and bustle of Spring School, we managed to catch up with one of our grade 11 learners, Malibongwe, at our JOZA branch who gave some insight about what he thought about his experience.


“It was important for me to be a part of the Spring School because there was a lot that I did not understand in class that I needed help with. I really enjoyed them. It was fun to be with the other learners from other schools as well because we assisted each other as some have already done some topics at their schools and they were able to explain to us what we should look forward to. It was good to have tutors around because sometimes we have questions and tutors are not there to assist us but this time we had a number of tutors who were ready to answer our questions. I enjoyed the debates with the tutors as well as them telling us how they got to university and what we need to do to get there as well”.


Western Cape

A total of 211 learners attended this year’s programme at our Western Cape branches. 

Our Gugulethu and Nyanga, as well as the Makhaza and Kuyasa branches paired together and jointly hosted their Spring School. A notable highlight from the week was the hiking experience that our learners from our Gugulethu and Nyanga branches participated in.

To conclude a quite vibrant programme, learners and staff from our Gugulethu Branch sought out to conquer Newlands Forest while the Grade 11 learners from our Nyanga Branch made their way to Lion’s Head. 

Take a listen to what Ongieziwe, a Grade 11 learner in the Western Cape, made of her Spring School experience.Well my experience with the Spring School was great, I got to focus on the subjects I’m struggling with and having tutors around that  was more helpful Spring school helped me focus on my school work because if I was at home I wouldn’t even touch books”



Our invitation for the Spring school was well received by our learners in the Gauteng and North West region. 134 learners attended this year’s programme at our branches in Gauteng and the North West. Learners at our Mamelodi branch were visited by IkamvaYouth Training Manager, Pepe Hendricks as well as IkamvaYouth Alumni Coordinator, Neo Rakoma. During their visit, our staff elaborated about the importance of working hard in order to enter a tertiary institution and paying it forward for the next generation of students.

Linda, a learner at our Ebony Park Branch also shared her thoughts about what the Spring School programme meant for her The support provided by Ikamva was needed as some of us are behind with our school and coming to spend the whole day with learners from different schools was worthwhile as we exchanged knowledge. I learned other concepts which we have not covered at school from other learners and we even exchanged notes we had with my fellow peers”.


A big well done to  all our exceptional staff and learners for the incredible commitment and support in making our programme possible! We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the generous support shown by our donors. Through this support, we have been able to continue implementing an impactful Spring School programme aimed towards changing the trajectory of the lives of many young people.

Lloyd Lungu

031 909 3590
2525 Ngcede Grove, Umlazi AA Library, 4031

Lloyd is a self-disciplined and highly goal-driven Industrial Psychology Honours graduate. He is currently a Master's candidate completing his second year of M.Com in Industrial Psychology at the University of the Free State. Lloyd joined IkamvaYouth as a learner in 2012, after matriculating he came back and volunteered as a tutor for the duration of his undergraduate studies at UKZN. He later worked as an Intern in the Chesterville branch. His passion for youth empowerment and inclusion has grown enormously through his time and experience gained within IkamvaYouth and has inspired him to provide career guidance to young township people. He is currently working at the Umlazi Branch as a Branch Assistant.