Ushir Moonilal was Jeppe’s Dux Scholar in 2019, and he has been in the top three in his grade every year since he was in grade 10, so it comes as no surprise that he achieved six distinctions in the Senior Certificate exams, and an average of 86% across his seven subjects.
He missed out narrowly on a seventh distinction, in Mathematics, and he will be applying for a remark of those papers, so we are holding thumbs.
We asked him what the secret of his success was, and he attributed it to working consistently throughout the year, and completing whatever tasks and assignments he might be given as soon as possible.
“I found that if you do what you can as quickly as possible you take the pressure off, and you gain in confidence and motivation by knowing that you are ahead of the game and you won’t have to cram at the last minute,” he said.
For example, he explained, he put a full effort into the preliminary exams, and that helped with the finals. “Because I worked so hard for the prelims I was on top of my subjects and preparing for the end of the year was easier,” he said.
Ushir also believes that balance is important. “I could never spend all my time studying and I believe that participating fully in school life played a big part in my academic success. I played basketball and soccer, and in my matric year I ran for the cross-country team,” he said. “I was never in the top teams, but I made lots of friends and enjoyed being part of the school in that way. I went on the tour to Westville Boys’ High, for example, and made friends in Durban that I am still in contact with.”
Ushir came from Kenton Primary in Alberton and was at Jeppe from grade eight. “I have no regrets that I chose to come to Jeppe,” he said. “School is for studying and getting these results means that I have achieved what I set out to do,” he said, “but there is more to school than that. I was given opportunities at Jeppe that I would not have been given elsewhere. I have met people and undergone experiences that have changed my life.”
He singles out going to Europe on the Cultural and Academic tour as one of the highlights of his time at Jeppe. “I could never have done that on my own, and it was an eye-opening experience.”
Support from his family has also been a key factor for him. He has two older sisters who also got distinctions in matric and his parents are both graduates who work in the financial services sector. With that background, it’s not surprising that Ushir will be studying accounting this year, with the aim of becoming a Chartered Accountant.
“I got all that I could have ever hoped for from Jeppe, and I’m ready for the next step,” he concluded.
And Jeppe got all it could ever have hoped for from Ushir. We are every proud of him and will be following his further progress with interest.