02 November 2018 Photo Thabo Kessah
Top achievers rewarded during Excellence Awards
Top achiever, Toka Mosikili, believes that attending lectures is key to academic success.

Toka Mosikili is the University of the Free State Qwaqwa Campus Dux student for 2018, and this is how he describes his success. “The secret behind my academic success is simple. I attend lectures and consult with lecturers when necessary,” said Toka, a final-year BSc Life Sciences and Zoology student.

Toka was recently honoured with four awards as the top academic achiever during the annual Excellence Awards. “I feel very happy and humbled, because I did not see it coming. I was not expecting it to be this big. I had never been to the Excellence Awards before, so I was surprised to be named the top student on my first invitation. I still cannot believe that I am the top student of this campus. I regard these achievements as delayed gratification, and I am now under pressure because everyone thinks I am the smartest,” said Toka, the only member of his family to have reached university.

His achievements have once again proven that one’s background does not determine your future. “My mother passed on while I was still at primary school in 2007, and it was not easy growing up in Bolata Village where I did all my schooling. My father’s injury while working as a security officer in Sasolburg worsened our situation at home. After completing my Grade 12 at Thahameso Secondary School with an AP score of 37 points, my former Deputy Principal helped me with application costs, since my father could not afford it,” he added."

His other awards were for Best Student in Insect Ecophysiology and in Vegetation Ecology. He was also the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences’ Overall Top Achiever. His immediate goal is to enrol for an Honours degree in Entomology and Zoology under the supervision of Prof Aliza le Roux, whom he hopes to work with until beyond his PhD. The Dux award won him a whopping R15 000.

In congratulating the top achievers across all categories ranging from sports, leadership, culture, and academics, Phuthaditjhaba-based businesswoman and entrepreneur, Clara Makara, advised students to always remain humble. “Remember that an academic degree is not everything. You will still have to go out there to face the world and get your hands dirty in doing what you are supposed to do. Treat every single person with respect, as each one of us matters. Never allow anybody to pull you down and know who you really are,” she said.

Makara, herself an alumnus of the UFS, is a Woolworths and Engen franchisee. She also holds the sole distribution rights of the Ramsey menswear brand in Africa.

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