Matric of the Year opens doors

Zandile Mbabela

PAST recipients of the coveted Herald Matric of the Year awards are encouraging matriculants to seize the opportunity to take the spot as the province’s top pupil.

Recognising how winning the competition has opened up many doors for them, previous winners have lauded it as the gateway to greater things to come.

Nominations for this year’s competition are open and Eastern and Southern Cape schools are urged to put the names of their leading matric pupils forward for the awards.

Last year’s winner, former Grey High School pupil Edward Hoskin, said while he was still enjoying his prize, he would urge all deserving matriculants to enter the competition.

“It’s been awesome. I’m still in the first year of my BComm degree at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and enjoying it a whole lot more than high school,” he said.

“Not that I hated high school, but there is a lot more freedom [at varsity] as opposed to the strict routine of high school.”

Orcilla Howard, who won the scholarship award last year, said the competition “gives one a name”.

“I think those entering the competition should give it their all because it carries weight and makes people pay attention to you,” the former Uitenhage High School pupil said.

The 2008 winner, Balisa Ntloko, who was a pupil at Loyiso High School in Zwide at the time, said she did not know where she would be had she not won the award.

“It opened up a lot of opportunities for me as I was exposed to many things I would otherwise not have. I wish for other pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to seize this opportunity because who knows where I would be had it not been for this competition. It changed my limited view of the world.”

Ntloko, who went on to study a BA in Media, Communications and Culture and got her honours in corporate communications last year, is still looking for work.

Dale McCarthy, who took the title in 2009, said the competition gave him a huge confidence boost, and made him realise he could do anything he put his mind to.

“I’d encourage all high school pupils to be all-rounders because in life you are not judged purely on academic performance.

“Even potential employers look at what you do outside the classroom,” the final year BComm Rationum (Law) student said.

Some Matric of the Year past winners are continuing to make names for themselves overseas, while others hold top positions in their respective fields in South Africa.

Nominated pupils need to submit the following:

  • An entry form downloaded from;

  • A curriculum vitae summary form, which is only available online;

  • A detailed curriculum vitae;

  • Two reference letters – not just contact details;

  • June examination results audited by the principal; and

  • A head-and-shoulders photograph.

The winning pupils stand to win great prizes, including a bursary and laptops.

Entries close at noon on August 5.

entries should be delivered to: Newspaper House, 19 Baakens Street, Central, Port Elizabeth, 6000, for the attention of Deirdre Brand, or they can be dropped off at the Walmer Park Shopping Centre’s information desk.

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