Limpopo whizz kid among top Stellenbosch students

Most people tend to think that students on the Extended Degree Programme are part of a lower performing group. Enos Lekala wants to prove that students on this programme can excel.

The Social Dynamics student in his second year was so determined to succeed at his studies, that he is amongst the top 15% of students at Stellenbosch University. Because of this achievement, he has been invited to become a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. This Society is affiliated with close to 400 universities across the globe and it offers extensive networking opportunities.

Enos Lekala. (Photograph: STEPHANIE NIEUWOUDT)

Lekala grew up in the rural areas of Limpopo Province as the eldest of five children. His father died when he was young and his mother is unemployed.

“I was quite ill during my matric year and I believed that my results were not a true reflection of what Enos could really achieve,” he says, quirkily referring to himself in the third person.

“In my first year I worked very hard to prove that I could do really well.”

His hard work paid off, and he completed his first year with an average of 76%.

He chose to study Social Dynamics because it is the “meeting point of politics, economics and development sciences”.

“I am especially interested in public development management and therefore I particularly enjoy the PDM module.”

He says he chose to study at Stellenbosch University, because “it is well known that if you want to gain recognition as a social scientist, this is the best place to obtain your training.”

Lekala says his mother was a hugely positive influence in his life because she continually encouraged him to study.

“She is very clever and I have heard that she did extremely well when she was at school. But, in those days it was difficult for people in the rural areas to further their studies or even to finish matric.

“I was also encouraged by other people including Mr Mahlobogoane, of De Wagendrift Combined School in Groblersdal that I attended before moving to Mpilo Senior Secondary School in Gakgoshi where I was helped by Mr Matabane, the principal, and the admin personnel Mr Thotse and Mr Modipa.

“Unfortunately I do not know the first names of these people. But they helped me meet many of my needs including providing financial assistance when I needed to stay in a residence closer to the school. It became too difficult to travel 10km to school from my home every day.”

Lekala is the first member of his family to matriculate and enter university.

“I hope that I have planted an education seed amongst my family members.” – STEPHANIE NIEUWOUDT