Marcia Matutoana's confidence and hard work are behind the university pass she has obtained in the matric exams.
Marcia, 18, a pupil at Leshata Secondary School in Orange Farm in the Vaal, told Sowetan yesterday that being confined to a wheel-chair was not an obstacle to achievement.
"I motivated myself by thinking that if normal people can do it, so can I."
She prepared early for her exams and was confident that she would pass.
Marcia said her favourite subjects were geography, English, mathematics and Sesotho.
"I was confined to a wheelchair from the age of eight after suffering from arthritis. I do not want my condition to stop me from becoming a social worker. I want to encourage disabled people with low self-esteem that nothing is impossible in life. Education is the key to success," she said.
She was awarded two certificates this year by her principal, Moeketsi Molelekwa, for being among the best performing pupils. "Those certificates encouraged me to work even harder. I prepared a lot and focused on passing my matric to be part of the school's history," she said.
Her schoolmate Mosa Molapo, 18, obtained five distinctions in Sesotho, English, mathematics, life orientation and biology.
Ephraim Molepo, 18, achieved three distinctions in mathematics, physical science and biology.
Ephraim said he knew he would pass with distinctions because the subjects were his favourites.
"I studied hard despite the conditions I lived under. I want to be an architect and change those conditions for the better," he said.
Ephraim said his mother was the sole breadwinner and was working hard to put food on the table.
"I knew that if I did not prepare, my dreams of going to university would fade," he said.