Never give up on your dreams, says Nande

Nande Popo is studying towards a medical degree.

Mfuleni High School class of 2022 matriculant, Nande Popo, is on a determined path to fulfill her dream of becoming a medical doctor.

Nande bagged seven distinctions in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, including 97% for maths, 92% for science and 87% for English.

She was also named as the top pupil in the Engen Maths and Science School’s programme for 2022.

Living by the mantra, my best is enough, Nande’s impressive matric marks have secured her a coveted place to study medicine at the University of Cape Town this year.

The oldest of five children, Nande lives with her mother in Mfuleni.

Her vision for the future is to inspire other children to dream.

“Growing up I suffered a lot from anxiety but fortunately I found coping mechanisms to deal with it.

“I often start my day with positive affirmations and by setting a positive mindset through journaling.”

Her advice for the matric class of 2023 is to work hard and never give up on your dreams.

“Be disciplined and know what you are working towards.

“Cling to that vision when things get tough and speak about your challenges when you are feeling overwhelmed”.

Nande says the free Engen Maths and Science School supplementary classes that she attended every Saturday in Grade 12 provided her with crucial insights in maths, physical science and English, “which really assisted me to reach my full potential.”

“The extra lessons exposed me to excellent teachers who revised concepts and we practised past papers which was very helpful.

“We also received textbooks, detailed notes and past papers with memo’s which was very useful.”

The Engen Maths and Science Schools programme has run for over 35 years, and offers underprivileged Grade 10 to 12 pupils free supplementary maths, science and English tuition on Saturdays at 10 locations across South Africa.

Engen’s manager of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Dr James Nyawera says the programme focuses specifically on providing extra tuition in “gateway” subjects such as mathematics and science.

“These subjects are considered critical in addressing the country’s technical and engineering skills shortage as well as spurring economic growth and development,” says Dr Nyawera.