Windhoek – “I have a great support system and I focused on what I wanted,” says 18-year-old Justina Mutoka from St Boniface College in Kavango East, who is second-placed candidate with the best overall performance nationally in six Namibia Secondary Senior Certificate (NSSC) ordinary level subjects.
She has been accepted at the University of Namibia (Unam) to study medicine and would like to become a cardiologist one day.
The best performer nationally is Itembu Ngeendina, also from St Boniface College, who scored 86.2 percent. He too attributed his success to hard work and sheer determination.
St Boniface College scooped nine positions among the top 10 candidates, with best overall performance nationally in six NSSC ordinary level subjects.
In tenth position was Fiina Nambambi, 18, from Haimbili Haufiku Senior Secondary school, who scored 83.5 percent overall.
New Era caught up with Mutoka and asked her to share the secret to her academic success. She said she set clear goals and stuck to them until she eventually achieved them. Further, she said she enjoys a strong support system from her parents, God and teachers.
“I focused on what I wanted. First, I set goals and stick to them. I also identified my strengths and weaknesses. You should be determined to work towards what you want, that’s all,” she remarked.
Asked how she balances her life as a teenager with the demands of school, Muhoka said 70 percent of her time is dedicated to books, saying what is most important to her is to be able to pursue her studies in medicine.
As for those who did not make it, she encouraged them to improve their marks, irrespective of their age.
“Failure is a stepping stone to success, so there is no need to be disappointed or discouraged. There are many centres you can go to and improve on your points. There is no need to feel that you’ve failed and it’s end of your journey. That’s not the case. You can still study no matter how old you are,” she advised.
Meanwhile, her parents who accompanied her to the Ministry of Education head office, could not contain their joy as Education Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa announced Muhoka as second best performer nationally.
Her overwhelmed mother, Angelina Nyumba, said her child worked very hard since early in her school career: “I knew already that she’s going to make it. She knows my background and how I used to suffer. I don’t have a proper job. I’m just struggling to survive, but I’m very happy that she made me proud.”
Her father, Kandjimi Muhoka also expressed his joy, saying: “I’m a happy father. I’m very excited. She is hardworking and committed. She doesn’t play around. She makes time for her studies. She is committed to her future plans, hence the successful results.”
Meanwhile, Nambambi who scored 83.5 percent, is the only student from a public school to rank alongside private school students from St Boniface College. Nambambi, who hails from a Christian home, as her father is a pastor in Ohangwena Region, said when she heard the news, she was ecstatic.
She said her parents always made sure education comes first in their home. She also intends to study medicine at Unam.
“I’m very humbled by the ranking. I know there are other learners with the same capabilities, but I feel it’s a blessing from God. I prioritise my work and my teachers were very resourceful.
“Those who did not make should not be discouraged. There is always a second chance in life. You just have to change your mindset and become positive in everything you do. There is always sunshine at the end of every storm. They must allow God to guide their steps.”
Her mother, Lovisa Nambambi, who is a nurse, could not find words to express her feelings, but thanked God for guiding her daughter.
“I feel blessed and overjoyed. I have no words. She has been a blessing since the day she came into this world. She is hardworking, disciplined and a God-fearing child.
“Those who did not make must pull up their socks,” she advised.