By Gift Tlou
Soweto-born Kgaogelo Bopape has defied the odds at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Russia.
The matric learner clinched a bronze medal at the Olympiad where he faced stiff competition from global rivals.
Due to strict Covid-19 travel restrictions, Kgaogelo and five other local participants took part virtually. The IMO is the world maths championship for high school learners and is held annually at different schools.
The Horizon International High school learner credited his parents and maths teacher for his achievement.
“It’s honestly a great feeling to be recognised at an international level. It was never easy, but it shows that the hard work I’ve been putting in has paid off. Credit must also be given to my maths teacher and parents,” he said.
Kgaogelo dedicated the award to his peers and teachers at his school.
“I am thankful to my maths teacher who not only is my mentor, but a really incredibly dynamic educator. ”
His teacher Huseyin Akinci assisted him throughout his journey. Akinci said Kgaogelo’s achievement had become a source of great pride for the school, community and country.
“The Horizon Educational Trust takes great pride in its motto of Excellence in Education and this is something that Kgaogelo has demonstrated wholeheartedly.”
The teacher described Kgaogelo as a studious learner who continued to achieve and succeed.
Participating for the third time in the Olympiad this year, Kgaogelo said he had learnt a valuable lesson from the previous competition.
He added that there was still work to be done, especially with matric exams. “Right now I will focus on my exams which I believe will be challenging, considering we didn’t have a decent academic year due to the lockdown.”
He has his eye on the universities of Witwatersrand, Cape Town and Stellenbosch to study further.