In Conversation with Africa Matshingana (Grade 8, St. Andrew’s College)

    Africa Matshingana of St. Andrew’s College.

    SSP Scholar Africa Matshingana, Grade 8 Scholar of St. Andrew’s College was the best all-rounder in his grade, chosen to debate at the Model United Nations Conference at the American International School in Johannesburg (AISJ) and had distinctions in Maths, isiXhosa, French, Geography, IT literacy, and Design & Technology. 

    What makes Maths and Debating so interesting?

    Asked what it is about Maths that is so fascinating, he answers that, “The challenge drives me to try different methods in order to get the answer. You are implementing all other possible equations to find the answer, this expands your knowledge in numbers”.

    Passionate about languages, his favourite language to learn is French, “Every lesson is like receiving a gift on Christmas, always mind-blowing and fascinating. It is an amazing language. ” An avid debater, Africa likes how debating “helps you to think outside-of-the-box and never take one path”.

    Why did he choose rowing as a sport?

    His sport of choice is rowing, which caught his attention when he first saw the St. Andrews College yearbook – “I told myself that I want to do that sport, no matter what”. He continues, “To be successful in rowing, you have to be committed to the sport, and have a strong bond with your team and coaches. You have to be a team player – meaning that you always have to be at practice on time, and support your group all around the school, not only in the boat”.

    As a top learner, he faces the pressure of having to maintain top ratings throughout the year. “This is something that is always at the back of my mind, and I use this as motivation to move on. It is important to know why you are working hard – be it for your family, peers or the background you are from. These can always be a constant reminder of why you need to stay in those top ranks”.

    What about SSP makes Africa proud?

    Africa is proud “of the interaction SSP has with the different learners on the scholarship. Not everyone on the SSP Programme is a straight a student in every subject, but SSP helps these children by means of tutoring – in order for them to get a better level of understanding, so they can also be able to spread their wings and fly”.