Benediter Nomakholwa Ngunda graduated from LEAP Science and Maths School (LEAP 1) in 2010. She graduated in 2014 with a BCom Honours in Information Systems at the University of the Western Cape.
What or who inspired you to study maths at an advanced level at school?
“In 2006 I was doing grade 8 at Mokone Primary school. There was a teacher who always came to teach us Mathematics after classes at the school, from Monday to Friday. The name of this teacher was Mr Eric Diazendza. He was passionate about Mathematics; In other words he ensured that we all understood Mathematics very well. So from that, I developed a love for Mathematics. I hated Mathematics before he came in because I didn’t know it (it was one of the subjects I was struggling with in primary), but since there was someone (Mr Eric) to take me through a step by step process of Mathematics I enjoyed it. I kept on attending classes until I got an opportunity to go to the LEAP camp and that is how I was selected (through the camp) by LEAP and the rest is history.
What is the main impact that LEAP had on you?
LEAP taught me to be unique. Yes, we may all go to the same school and be taught by the same teacher but there is always something special about “you” that differentiates “you” from one person to the next and for me that is to be patient and to believe in myself. There were times while I was still at LEAP where I would question God why certain things were not happening for me, but LEAP taught a lesson that we may all start a race together at the same time but the time to reach the finishing line differs to all of us, hence being patient was the key.”
Eric Diazendza continues to teach maths at LEAP Science and Maths School 1 and 2 in Cape Town.