THIS year Born in Africa has 16 matriculants in its programme - and, says BIA director Isabelle Brink, “it is just remarkable that despite incredible adversity, these students have managed to reach this especially important milestone in their lives”.
“They are on the brink of graduating from high school; 12 years of formal education has got them here and we decided to reward them with an incredibly special get together, to show them just how proud we are of them and just how far they have come,” she says.
The celebration took place on October 20 at Burnt Orange at Plett Angling Club. Normally, they would have lavish gala evenings hosted by their respective schools, but then again there is nothing normal about this year…
“Yes, the class of 2020 has not only managed to complete this vastly different year, but they have done it under extremely tough conditions. Most of the year was spent studying from home in isolation, totally new and very strange to all our pupils.
“Yet, they have managed to pull through and complete this challenging year successfully. Let us take a moment to also remember the conditions most of this class comes from: a small, confined space at home with extraordinarily little privacy, most of them lack internet access at home. And they had to deal with everything Covid-19 has put them and their families through,” says Isabelle.
Most of these matrics, if they manage to obtain the grades required, will go on to commence their tertiary studies. Born in Africa requires a minimum average of 55% to study for a diploma at a college or university, and a minimum of 65% to study for a degree at a university.
“We have also been extremely busy working with them on various tertiary institutions’ application forms, just to add a little more pressure,” she says, adding that the matrics attend Plettenberg Bay Secondary, Outeniqua, and Wittedrift High schools.
Each year Born in Africa offers full bursaries to attend Wittedrift High School to seven students who obtained a constant average of 70%. Currently 42 learners attend WHS from Grade 8-12 and these learners continue to do BIA proud academically while also featuring in leadership positions and excelling on the sports field, while many of them become renowned culture vultures, too.
Godparents, sponsors, and the entire Born in Africa family take pride in their remarkable achievements, especially given the many adversities they face privately.
Isabelle thanks Burnt Orange for opening their lovely venue and serving top class food; DJ Sivo (firstname.lastname@example.org/073 914 0911) for the cool tunes (“so much fun with your music around!”), and MCs Tarric Davids and Bronico Preissex for organising an amazing event.
“Both of them are current tertiary students giving back to BIA by being the photographer (Bronico, 084 624 4056), capturing the special moments and making the evening super special with a photoshoot, and by teaching us all some lovely dancing moves (Tarric).
“A huge thanks also goes to Jane and Alan Bradley from the UK for sponsoring this matric dream. We thank all our Born in Africa staff from the bottom of our hearts, for going the extra mile and making special certificates for each student. Moments to treasure forever!” Isabelle concludes.
Turn to page 5 of the November 11 edition for images of these magnificent matrices.