Johannesburg - The Dux Scholar of Brakpan High School, who obtained an average of above 80% in every term from Grade 8 to Grade 12, has his eyes set on becoming a civil engineer.
Chiemeka Iroka from Brakpan is a Class of 2021 matriculant, who lives in a small flat with his parents and two siblings, has managed to achieve so much.
He achieved seven distinctions in English (home language), Afrikaans first additional language), maths, life orientation, geography, history and physical sciences.
During the schools’ final awards ceremony Iroka was given the Dux Scholar Award because he obtained an average of above 80% in every term from Grade 8 to Grade 12, he was also named the top learner in seven subjects and top learner in Grade with a 91% average.
Iroka told The Star that his biggest challenge last year was starting the year on a rotational timetable but that was ratified when other grades remained on a rotational timetable and the Grade 12 were able to attend school full-time.
“At the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic hit, my marks weren’t as good as they usually were but by the grace of God, it wasn’t difficult for me to do online learning and study at home on my own. My marks improved and all of my bad subjects improved,” he said.
The top achiever somehow found time to participate in sports such as athletics and cultural activities such as debating and moot court. Iroka also received the award for best learner in cultural activities.
“I try to be a well-rounded person and I enjoy being smart but I also want to do other physical activities and cultural activities like public speaking because it’s a life skill that I will need but it was also enjoyable,” he said.
Iroka has his eyes set on becoming a Witsie and studying civil engineering, however he is praying that he is awarded a bursary as his parents would struggle to pay fees for him and his older sister who is currently in university.
“I know that civil engineers solve many problems in the world, especially on the African continent. When you compare Africa to other continents, you can see that the infrastructure is lacking and Africa is behind. I want to become a civil engineer to improve infrastructure across the continent and improve people’s lives. It will improve our quality of life,” he said.
Iroka urged the Class of 2022 to rely on their faith as they enter their final year of high school but he added that prayer had to be reinforced by hard work and dedication.