Leading | Connecting | Learning

Rosary diamonds shine against all odds




The Zenex Foundation celebrates as two learners from the Izimpande Zokukhanya Project make it into the top 20 achievers in the First Additional Language (FAL) National Olympiad. The two Grade 12 learners from Our Lady of the Rosary High School in iLembe District, KwaZulu-Natal – Kwenama Mkhize and Bongeka Mvelase – took 4th and 16th place respectively, in the Olympiad. They achieved Diamond, which is an equivalent of 80% and above. 

Izimpande Zokukhanya Project is one of three multi-provincial projects rolled out from 2016-2020 in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. It aimed to develop schools with potential into high functioning schools that offer quality Mathematics, Science and English teaching and learning to disadvantaged learners. The Foundation partnered with six schools in iLembe.

The De Beers Olympiad is an English competition hosted by the Grahamstown Foundation and the South African Council for English Education. The competition draws over 8000 entries from South Africa and neighbouring countries. What makes the Olympiad unique is the fact that it goes beyond the normal scope of the school syllabus. Learners are tested and expected to apply critical thinking skills, and need to be sharp and creative at the same time.

The competition is open to Grade 9-12 learners and a total of 59 Zenex project learners took part in 2020. The top achievers’ prizes range from cash, books and book vouchers. The prizes would be handed out at the National Arts Festival, but due to COVID-19, the 2020 celebrations could not take place in Grahamstown.

All the learners who took part in the Olympiad will receive certificates which indicate their exam evaluation. Below is a table that shows the results of all the Grade 12 Zenex learners that entered the FAL National Olympiad.

The Zenex Foundation congratulates all the learners who participated in the competition. We applaud all the teachers and NGO partners who assisted the learners in preparation for this prestigious competition. Zenex Foundation salutes you.


Key Number of participants Percentage Achieved
Diamond 2 80%+
Gold 3 70-79%
Silver 24 60-69%
Bronze 10 50-59%
Merit 19 40-49%
Participation 1 0-39%
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