Kelly Prowse, an 18-year-old Rustenburg Girls’ High School pupil from Constantia, is the country’s top matriculant with a 97% aggregate and eight distinctions.
She shares the top spot with Husnaa Haffejee, from the Al-Falaah College in KwaZulu-Natal, according to the National Senior Certificate results released on Friday January 20.
Kelly also scored the highest mark in the country for maths, with 100%, followed by Priyasha Naidoo, from Westville Girls’ High in KwaZulu-Natal, and Jason Frederik de Villiers, from Rondebosch Boys’ High School.
“I wasn’t expecting it, I am elated and the feeling hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Kelly of her achievement.
Referring to her perfect maths mark, the former Sweet Valley Primary School pupil said, “I always enjoyed maths. As a child, I used to do Sudoku and solve other maths problems with my dad.
“It’s not an easy subject. I know the whole world of numbers doesn’t come easy, though I think the challenge of maths excites me the most.”
Kelly, who was in Grade 10 in 2020 when Covid-19 hit, said her teachers had helped her get through those difficult times.
“2020 was rough for most people, and I am lucky that my teachers have kept me on the right path. Then there were times in Grade 11 and matric where things were slightly rocky. It just took a lot of work where I was working alone with myself and working closely with teachers to ensure I was ready for the final exams.”
While she put in many hours of studying, she also found time to play the trumpet in the school jazz band and participate in hockey and cross country. .
“You do many exams in high school, though doing the final exams always feels daunting. I knew I was competent in my subjects, I knew I just had to manage myself.”
Principal Michael Gates said Kelly worked incredibly hard, and it had been a privilege working with her. “It could not have happened to a nicer person. You deserve everything good that is coming your way, so well done, Kelly.”
Kelly’s parents, Geoff and Claire Prowse, were present when their daughter received her results at the school on Friday January 20.
Mr Prowse said Kelly was a focused, disciplined, kind-hearted and passionate individual who gave 100% to everything she did and had a competitive spirit that burned bright.
“Her grit, resilience and drive have developed over time through sport competitions, maths Olympiads and school exams. We are really blessed to have this wonderful young woman in our lives. She gives us great joy.”
Kelly plans to study actuarial science at either UCT or Stellenbosch University.