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Merriam Chabalala, a cleaner at the Pretoria Campus, with her daughter, Gomolemo,
who obtained seven distinctions in last year’s matric exams.
Celebrations were in order at the Chabalala household in Hammanskraal early in January when Gomolemo Chabalala (18) learnt that she had obtained seven distinctions in the 2015 matric exams. Gomolemo is the daughter of Merriam Chabalala, a cleaner at the University who works in Building 21, Pretoria Campus. 

The straight A star obtained distinctions in Mathematics (99%), Physical Sciences (93%), Life Sciences (87%), Life Orientation (83%), Business Studies (83%), Setswana (82%) and English (82%).

With marks like these, it is no wonder that she is among the Gauteng Province’s top achievers and was honoured by Tshwane Mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, for her achievement.

She is also the first learner of the Tipfuxeni Secondary School to perform at this level. Tipfuxeni is a public school in Hammanskraal that is not that well-resourced.

Gomolemo is currently enrolled at the University of Pretoria, where she is studying Actuarial Sciences, which she describes as a “lifelong dream.” She stays in the Nerina Female Residence in Hatfield.

Her tuition and accommodation fees are covered by a bursary she received from the South African Actuarial Development Programme (SAADP).

Gomolemo says the hard work started in Grade 1 and that she studied at least five hours a day in matric. “My achievements would not be possible without the support of my family, especially my mom, who made sure that I woke up early every day, and also motivated me to do my best and prayed for me to succeed in life”, she concludes.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel. 012 382 5352 or send an email to