SEVENTEEN year-old high flyer, ‘Mathuso Lerato Molapo has always pushed herself in her studies because she has always understood that this and not gender determines how successful a person can become.
And that has certainly paid off for Ms Molapo who is Lesotho’s 2016 Top Achiever after topping the list of 14 137 learners that sat for the Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE) examinations.
She obtained A* grades in Physical Science, Biology, Accounting and Sesotho.
She also obtained A grades in Mathematics and English, something which disappointed her as she had aimed for a clean sweep of A* grades.
“I am not happy with my Mathematics grade, I aimed for A*.
“My mentality has always been to work hard because I come from a well-educated family and that inspired me to work extra hard,” said the former Lesotho High School student, adding this prompted her to push herself as she could not afford to stand out as the less educated family member.
She said as one who was raised by single parent, she knew hard work was her only ticket to success as her mother would not always afford her fees after high school.
“So I told myself that hard work pays and that the only way I can go to any university of my choice outside Lesotho was being among the country’s top achievers.”
Ms Molapo said although she was more into accounting and teaching, she “defied” stereotypes that mathematics and science subjects were the preserve of male learners “because I always wanted to be an all-rounder”.
“It’s not true that these subjects are for boys only. Girls can pass every subject with distinctions if they believe in themselves and work harder.
“If I gave it my all and got distinctions in Physical Science and Biology, any girl can do it,” she said.
Despite her achievements, Ms Molapo remains grounded.
“It is amazing, it is overwhelming. I did not think I would become a top achiever,” she said.
She thanked her classmates and teachers, saying, “My teachers were my parents from home and they helped my mother discipline me”.
“I was very naughty when I first came here but with their help I became a focused student.”
As for the future, Ms Molapo is still undecided over whether “I want to do accounting or pursue a career in the sciences but I want to study at the African Leadership Academy (in South Africa)”.