On Thursday 3 January the grade 12 results were released by the Western Cape Education Department and Makhaza achieved an 82% pass rate, up from 55% in 2011. This was testament to the hard work done by the learners and the tutors at the branch.
10 of the learners achieved Bachelor passes with 1 level 7 (83%) pass in Economics, 2 level 6 (71%) passes in Mathematics, 1 level 6 (71%) pass in Mathematical Literacy, 1 level 6 (76%) pass in Life Sciences and 1 level 6 (74%) pass in Accounting. 8 learners achieved Diploma passes and 5 learners Higher Certificate passes. The 5 learners that did not pass the exams all qualified for supplementary exams and we hope that Makhaza will have a 100% pass come the end of the supplementary exams.
Yibanathi Phaphu, one of the top achievers said that he still couldn’t believe that he passed so well and that he is waiting for the feeling to sink in. He also said that he is looking forward to starting university where he will be doing a B. Comm degree, as he would like to be a Chartered Accountant, at the University of the Western Cape and didn’t expect to get Bs but that he just worked very hard. Sisabelo Pama another top achiever was really excited and couldn’t stop smiling and indicated that she will be pursuing a qualification in Electrical Engineering at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Nomasomi Gugushe scored 83% for Economics and is planning to study construction management at CPUT. She said “I believe without IkamvaYouth I wouldn’t have passed my grade 12 like I did”.
The day was also marked by a bit of sadness, as we would have loved to see all the matriculants pass first time around, but mostly with joy as learners, parents, staff and tutors all celebrated the successes. The results also bear testament of what the learners are capable of when they really want to do something. In 2011 Makhaza had a lot of difficulties, with the office being petrol-bombed during service delivery protests and the teacher strikes that interupted the school year, but the matriculants of 2012 built on these difficulties and showed that they can achieve and do well even in the face of adversity.
Right now, learners all across the country are either celebrating or commiserating after receiving their matric results. And the national numbers seem to suggest that whether matriculants are partying or weeping has a lot to do with their level of economic privilege and the resources of their schools.
But in townships around South Africa, a very special group of matriculants with a whole lot of reasons to celebrate are bucking that trend, and proving that the seemingly impossible is possible with hard work and a little help from one’s friends.
These young people are the ikamvanites, and this week they overcame all the challenges of their circumstances to achieve a national pass rate of 89% and an incredible 100% pass rate in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal – results far more privileged learners would be proud of!
Those aren’t just 30% passes either: 87% of ikamvanites achieved the Bachelor or Diploma passes they need to take their education to the next level and access the kinds of opportunities they need to fulfil their dreams of supporting and uplifting their families. Most remarkable of all, these learners aren’t waiting to uplift their communities, and 72% have already become volunteer tutors for the next cohorts of learners; ensuring the exponential replication of the IkamvaYouth model and reach.
Mamphela Ramphele reports that she’s thrilled to witness IkamvaYouth’s incredible growth and enormous impact. “IkamvaYouth saves learners from despair and grinding poverty and most importantly gives them hope… the organisaton’s sustainable model, extra-ordinary commitment and exceptional results inspire our nation.”
Talent Chinogureyi, an ikamvanite in Chesterville, KZN, enthused, “I want to go to university and study further so that when I graduate I can be the one to eradicate poverty at home.” She achieved a Bachelor pass and a distinction for Accounting and has been accepted to study a B Com at prestigious private Johannesburg institution St Augustine College.
At the Masiphumelele branch of IkamvaYouth in the Western Cape, one learner overcame even more hardship than most. “The majority of people tend to think that once you have fallen pregnant, it is the end of the world. I have proved to them that there is still hope. Through all the hardships, I made it. I got a Bachelor pass… I say B for my Baby,” said Neliswa Mnaheni, who hopes to study Marketing next year.
While this has been a time of celebration for most ikamvanites, it has been very challenging for some. Thankfully, everyone that did not pass is eligible for supplementary exams, and IkamvaYouth will be supporting these learners to ensure that they are well-prepared to excel. Others were traumatised by the ongoing illegal practice of withholding results due to unpaid school fees or outstanding textbooks. While IkamvaYouth was able to step in and support families with school fee contributions thanks to its donors, there are thousands of learners across the country who do not have access to this kind of support. “The no-fees-no-report practice is unjust, humiliating and illegal and needs to end”, says Joy Olivier, director of IkamvaYouth. “Our learners need these results in order to realise their dreams and schools need alternative avenues to access much-needed funds”.
IkamvaYouth’s work with the class of 2012 is also far from over. While many of those who passed have already been accepted by the country’s top universities, there is still work to be done to ensure that none of the class of 2012 become unemployed. The next step is ensuring that all these learners access tertiary education, training, internships, learnerships or employment. “IkamvaYouth will continue to support all our 2012 matrics as they access quality post-school opportunities and become tutors; enabling the following years’ learners to do the same,” says Zamo Shongwe, IkamvaYouth’s national coordinator.
IkamvaYouth invites everyone to get involved. There are branches in the Western Cape (Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Masiphumelele); KZN (Chesterville and Umlazi) and Gauteng (Ivory Park, and Ebony Park), North West (a new branch opening in Potchefstroom) and the Eastern Cape (a new branch opening in Grahamstown). IkamvaYouth has maintained a matric pass rate of between 85 and 100% each year since 2005, and true credit for these results must go to the learners, volunteers, the branch teams, partner organisations and donors.
Thursday 3 January 2013 was a jubilant day for IkamvaYouth Nyanga as the Matric results came in. The Matrics made their way to the branch to share their results with staff, fellow students and tutors; and by mid-day, 100% of the learners’ results were accounted for.
Nyanga achieved a whopping 90% pass rate, broken down as follows: 30% bachelor passes and 60% diploma passes. The learners who failed to achieve a senior certificate qualified for supplementary exams.
Esethu Jack, who achieved a bachelor pass, said the following: ‘When I woke up this morning, I was very nervous, but I knew I had a bachelor pass.’ Aphiwe Sobutyu achieved a diploma pass and his mother, Mrs. Sobutyu had this to say: ‘he didn’t need to tell me. I already knew he had a diploma pass because it’s in his blood.’
It is gratifying to share the joy of success with the learners and their parents, and these results have motivated the branch to keep working to support the learners. One of the tutors, Busiswa Dayimani said, ‘these results are good and it makes me so happy to see the learners having done so well.’
Here are some inspirational stories from some of our learners:
Achievement – Bachelor pass
Accepted at UWC to study BCom Accounting
Akhona lives with her siblings and uncle in Lower Crossroads in Cape Town. Studying at home was often difficult for her since there are difficulties at home, with family members prone to picking arguments and fighting with neighbours, even late into the night. This means that she often had to wait for everyone to fall asleep before she could study. Her older siblings also failed to appreciate the hard work she was putting in at school and often gave disparaging remarks about her marks, despite those marks being higher than the grade and class averages.
During the 3rd term of her Matric year, she suffered from a severe knee problem for 4months, which prevented her from attending Saturday classes and afternoon classes at school. However, she persevered and studied alone at home, during that time.
Akhona has made it despite illness during a crucial time of the year, and an unsupportive family system. Her advice to the class of 2013 is that they work hard and have a good attitude towards their studies and teachers because attitude goes a long way.
Achievement: Diploma pass
Thami is a young woman whose fighting spirit saw her overcoming debilitating asthma throughout most of her high school years, to emerge as one of her school’s and IY’s success stories. Diagnosed with asthma while in Grade 9, she had to live with the condition, being hospitalized once after a severe attack.
During her Matric year, Thami faced a hostile learning environment at school, when the school combined the Matric Physics classes. She reports that it was similar to learning with one’s enemies, since relations between learners in different classes were far from cordial, at her school. At times she felt afraid to ask questions due to the abuse that would inevitably come from fellow class mates. However, despite all this, Thami worked hard and persevered and is one of the 2012 success stories.
My name is Rhondashein Ntebaleng Morake and this is my story.
I grew up in the dusty township streets of Kaalfontein Midrand. My mother, being part a generational cycle of domestic workers in my family, sacrificed a lot of things of things to enable me to escape this cycle and have better opportunities. She infused me with pride and dignity and allowed me to dream bigger than our two room rented shack. Having a strong work ethic and being intrigued by history, law and politics, I took the first step of rejuvenating myself by joining IkamvaYouth Gauteng.I perceive education as a pre-requisite for sustainable development and that is why I decided to join IkamvaYouth. Education is the foundation of every society and an essential element to build a secure livelihood. It is the only thing that can catapult me, a daughter of a domestic worker and transform me to make gigantic impacts in our country and continent, by stimulating entrepreneurship, nourishing education and tackling crime through my desired career path (Law and Politics).
IkamvaYouth helped me academically and made me a strong academic student. Through its help, I was able to be in the academic top 5 in my school and be awarded the Academic Excellence Award for Grade 12, 2012 by Tsosoloso Ya Afrika High School. I was recently selected to part of be part of the Urban Transformers 2012-2013 by Rethink Leadership as I am inspired by ethical leadership and I speak up in favour of the voiceless. I have also managed to get 4 Distinctions at Matric (2012) and this is a dream come true for me. The fact that I got such good results means that my future has taken a completely different route and my mother no longer has to work as a domestic worker for much longer.
Although my mother is financially disadvantaged, I want to study BA Law with Political Science, Philosophy and International Relations at the University of Cape Town or the University of the Witwatersrand. When I wrote this article about myself, I realised that I aspire to represent the best of Africa’s produce for she is not destitute nor cursed or relegated to occupying the position of orphan continent. I have a clear vision of where I am going, for I have invested in educating myself in preparation to make myself, community, country and continent a success.
My dream is to one day be the President of the Republic of South Africa and the Secretarial General of the United Nations. I want to thank IkamvaYouth for helping me to work towards my dreams.
(Ntebaleng Morake on the left, standing next to Asanele Swelindawo, also a holder of 3 distictions, on the right)
Once an Ikamvanite, always an Ikamvanite!
Proud Ikamvanite: Ntebaleng Morake
The solutions and innovations that will change the world – the cure for AIDS, technologies that will curb environmental destruction, art that unites and inspires – are inside young minds. Young minds that need an education so that these solutions can be developed and tapped. Sadly, most South African youth are enrolled in schools that struggle with the basics – from textbook distribution to learner safety – and so are denied the kind of education that engenders problem solving, innovation and leadership.
However, there is a fast-growing group of young people who refuse to be hopeless or overwhelmed. They are the ikamvanites: learners, tutors and social entrepreneurs who’ve developed an innovative solution to the problems of poor academic achievement and low access to tertiary education. Today, their branches in Gauteng and KZN are celebrating their 100% pass rate and 56% bachelor passes. Overall, 91% have achieved the bachelor or diploma passes they need to access tertiary education. Many ikamvanites excelled (22 distinctions achieved so far overall). “Education is the only thing that can catapult me, a daughter of a domestic worker, into the position where I can make gigantic improvements in our country and continent, by stimulating entrepreneurship, promoting education and tackling crime,” says Ntebaleng Morake, who achieved four distinctions. She’s been accepted at both Wits and UCT and will be studying Law and Politics next year.
The branches are celebrating their results with learners, tutors and parents. “IkamvaYouth has been incredible in helping my child to achieve so much at school. I am so happy today. Now- she has been accepted in three places- and we are confused what option she will take, though I know there are some out there who do not have even one option. Thank you, IkamvaYouth!” enthused Mrs Makhubele.
The Western Cape results will only be available either later this afternoon (according to WCED website) or tomorrow (according to the DBE). However, learners are currently arriving at the branches in Nyanga, Makhaza and Khayelitsha to share their results with their fellow ikamvanites and celebrating their bright futures.
“We’re very proud of all the learners and tutors and thankful to IkamvaYouth’s supporters who enable these life-changing results”, says Sbusiso Kumalo, board member of IkamvaYouth and head of Capitec’s Corporate Affairs. The tutors who help the learners to reach these heights are all volunteers. Most are university students and many are ex-learners from IkamvaYouth. They’re also the organisation’s greatest benefactors: this year, ikamvanites will be delivering the equivalent of well over 7 million rands’ worth of tutoring time to learners in nine townships in five provinces. The result of this phenomenal investment is an intensive, high quality programme that offers ongoing individual attention and support to learners for between R5k and R6k per learner per year.
IkamvaYouth is a by-youth, for-youth volunteer-driven initiative that was established in 2003 and has since been expanding across the country. There are no academic prerequisites for enrollment in the programme, which is free of charge. Most learners join with abysmal academic results and are from impoverished homes with unemployed caregivers. The impact of the programme is phenomenal. As Asanele Swelindawo, an orphan who managed to get three distinctions, says, “I now have the ticket to improve my life and one day be able to take care of my family”.
The full national results will be released once data from the Western Cape is available. IkamvaYouth sends an open invitation to all who want to join in the celebrations at their branches.
National Coordinator: Zamo Shongwe; email@example.com; +27837347246
Western Cape Coordinator: Liesel Bakker: firstname.lastname@example.org +27798854372
Gauteng Coordinator: Patrick Mashanda: email@example.com; +27 74 673 1215
KZN Coordinator: Thabisile Seme: firstname.lastname@example.org; +27 716109838
Monday, 10th December 2012: Excited Ikamva Youth learners from Umlazi and Chesterville were treated to a set of presentations by Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI) in Phoenix Business Park. ABI is the leading distributor of Coca-Cola products in the southern hemisphere. ABI is a firm supporter and sponsor of the Ikamva initiative. Ikamvanites were informed about the working of the company, the respective responsibilities of the various departments, and the career opportunities available at ABI. Staff members of ABI provided important information and advice to students about study trajectories that would afford them a chance to work for a company like ABI. Learners were responsive and posed a number of questions to the speakers and expressed interest in pursuing careers at ABI. A lovely lunch was had, after a tour of ABI’s factory floor.
Some of the staff who gave presentations about their different departments
Learners and tutors listening tentatively to the advice offered by the ABI staff.
Lunch is served!