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Succeeding against the Odds: Twin Brothers from Khayelitsha Graduate as Doctors (Video)

How to Fix South Africa's SchoolsWandile and Wanele Ganya, twins from Khayelitsha’s J-Section, have beaten the odds to graduate with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees from Stellenbosch University.

Wandile and Wanele matriculated in 2009 from the Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT) in Khayelitsha, one of the schools featured in How to Fix South Africa’s Schools: Lessons from Schools that Work by Jonathan Jansen and Molly Blank.

Ilse Fredericks writes for the Cape Argus that during their matric year, Wanele contracted tuberculosis and Wandile took care of him, making sure he didn’t fall behind in his schoolwork. On top of helping his brother, Wandile was also one of the top achievers in the Western Cape senior certificate exam. The experience inspired the twins to study medicine.

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Wandile and Wanele Ganya, 23, grew up in Khayelitsha’s J-Section, and the family relied on the wages of their mother, Sylvia, a domestic worker.

During their matric year at the Centre of Science and Technology in Khayelitsha, Wanele contracted tuberculosis and Wandile helped to take care of him and ensured that he didn’t miss out on any school work.

“I think that is part of the reason why we became doctors, but we also saw so many people from our community and our school doing extraordinary things and that inspired us,” said Wanele.

Wandile was one of the Western Cape’s top matriculants in 2009.

He said financial and other support the pair had received from Stellenbosch University had helped “immensely”.

Both have been recipients of the Rector’s Award for Succeeding Against the Odds.

The Centre of Science and Technology was established in 1999 to strengthen the quality of Maths and Science education in townships in the Western Cape.

With impressive results and a strong reputation, it’s no wonder COSAT is one of the institutions Jansen and Blank chose for their study on schools that work.

Watch the video for more on COSAT:


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