TOP Umlazi matriculant Nonhlanhla Thela and her family have won the heart and support of local DJ Phindile Gule.
Nonhlanhla scored seven As and one B, including 100percent in pure maths.
She is the first girl child recipient of Gule's annual mentorship programme.
Gule of the AM to PM Quest on Gagasi FM radio wants to provide "emotional and moral" support to Nonhlanhla, who has been awarded a bursary to study actuarial science at the University of Cape Town.
Gule says she was so moved by Nonhlanhla's story of success in Sowetan that she wanted to use her influence to make sure Nonhlanhla succeeds away from home.
"I will be her mentor and the person she can talk to whenever she needs emotional support, motivation and inspiration," Gule says.
"It is difficult leaving your home and moving to a new place. I will be the one who checks up on her and guides her to do well and enjoy life away from home," she says.
Gule will visit her regularly in Cape Town throughout her studies. She will also start an on-air diary in which Nonhlanhla will interact with her parents, mother Malo and father Mondli, friends and family through the station.
"Phone calls are expensive and through the regular chats on the air the parents will be able to keep track of their daughter and her studies," Gule says.
Nonhlanhla and her parents were treated to a private dinner at the Sibiya Hotel outside Durban on Friday night when Gule announced her plans.
"I feel honoured and lucky at the same time," Nonhlanhla says. "I promise that I'll do well in my studies, not for Phindi and my parents only, but for myself as well." She also thanked Sowetan for its help.
The parents were given a weekend away as a treat.