The personal success of Kamva Lengisi, the top matric at the Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) in Cala in the rural Eastern Cape, will be South Africa’s gain, as he plans to attend Nelson Mandela University this year to chase his dream of becoming an engineer. Kamva, 17, who attended Cala Village Senior Secondary and grew up in Cala, joined the EMSS programme in grade 11.
He beat 59 fellow matrics at the end of last year to take the top spot in the Cala EMSS class, scoring three distinctions overall, including 80% for maths. Over the past two years, every Saturday Kamva attended EMSS supplementary classes, which helped to significantly boost his marks. “EMSS provided detailed maths and science explanations that enabled me to assist myself and others at school.
The programme offers lots of support which helped to push me and attain the marks I wanted,” reflects Kamva.
Kamva’s advice for this year’s matrics is to start studying hard from the beginning of the year and to take advantage of every opportunity for extra learning. “Study groups and extra classes are very helpful and those attending Engen Saturday classes ought to assist others so that they can gain more information and have more understanding.” Motivated by his sister who managed to further her own studies and become an electrician, Kamva says financial pressures made life difficult and he often attended school on an empty stomach. “I also live far away from school and was often late but I persevered, motivated by my goal: to study, get a job and help fix my family situation.”
In 2019, 532 matriculants from across South Africa benefited from Engen-backed extra classes in English, Maths and Science, achieving an impressive 93% pass rate against the national pass rate of 78.2%. Of these, 67% of the EMSS learners received Bachelor passes against the national average of 43%. Kamva attended the Cala EMSS centre, which is one of three centres in the Eastern Cape (the others are located in East London and Port Elizabeth). There are nine EMSS centres in total in South Africa including one each in Cape Town and Gauteng, and four in KwaZulu-Natal.
Two of the KZN based centres attained impressive 100% pass rates. Adhila Hamdulay, Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, says the company is delighted to see Kamva get the chance to pursue his bid to become an engineer. “Kamva is a prime example of future leaders that the EMSS programme aims to assist, with a view to not only see them achieve personal success, but also to tackle the bigger issue of helping address key national skills shortages in the engineering, medical and other technical fields.
She adds: “At Engen, we strongly believe that we have a responsibility to help young people realise their full potential, and we feel enormously privileged to have played a role in Kamva’s impressive achievements.” Equipping people with potential and drive to succeed in their careers sums up Engen’s approach to human resource management and education-focused corporate social investment programmes, comments Engen’s head of transformation and stakeholder engagement, Unathi Njokweni-Magida.
“We identify, support, reward, recruit, train and develop high-potential candidates for fulfilling careers in skills-challenged fields, in support of SA’s transformational agenda and Engen’s own business. We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to help young people realise their full potential, and we feel enormously privileged to have played a role in their impressive achievements.
“We are so incredibly proud of these learners, who epitomise the quality of the young people we work with around the country every year. Our ultimate reward is to help set them up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also the economy as a whole,” adds Njokweni-Magida. Engen congratulates Kamva and the EMSS class of 2018 and offers a well-deserved round of applause to all the learners and teachers.