South African companies jump on board to get this granny to graduation!

Mrs Agnes Nugent, the Academy Head at St John’s College Academy took the time to attend the university graduations of 4 ex-students who have overcome great odds.


Johannesburg, South Africa – It isn’t every day that your headmistress pops up in your life after leaving high school. But that’s precisely what happened to four St John’s College Academy students, years after they matriculated. The students have all recently graduated from university in the past four weeks. These young men joined the Academy in their Grade 10 year and matriculated in 2014 and 2015.

Mrs Agnes Nugent, the Head of the St John’s College Academy, was one of the very proud crowd members at each of the four students university graduations. She always makes an effort to attend any of the ceremonies she can.

“Every time I receive an invitation to attend a graduation ceremony, or receive a photograph of one of the new graduates, my heart bursts with pride,” says Head of the St John’s College Academy, Mrs Agnes Nugent.

“I know all of these young men well, and I know the difficult circumstances many of them have had to overcome to achieve these results. So many of them, as well as their families, attribute their success to the grounding, extra lessons, and life-skills that the St John’s College Academy afforded them.”

The four young men have been a great source of pride for the school and Mrs Agnes Nugent. The St John’s College Academy, which celebrated its 10th birthday last year, is an after-school enrichment programme for boys in Grades 10, 11 and 12 that promotes excellence in Mathematics, Physical Science, English and Life Skills.

The Academy caters to boys showing academic potential who reside in our neighbouring communities of Hillbrow, Yeoville, Berea and Alexandra. There are currently 72 boys enrolled in the Academy, 24 students in each grade.

Brandon Mukwebe, BA Information Systems (UJ)

Brandon Mukwebe has earned himself a BA Information Systems degree from UJ.

‘I would like to thank the Academy for acknowledging me and helping me at the beginning of my academic journey, I am immensely grateful.’

Collin Kgoaripe, BCom Marketing (UJ)

Collin Kgoaripe has graduated from UJ with a BCom in Marketing Management.

‘I would like to thank you for your contribution to my schooling career. I am very grateful for everything, from the moment I walked into Barnato Park High School to the day I walked out of the St John’s College Academy,” said Collin who is continuing his academic career with an Honours this year.

Daniel Biyakela, BCom Economics (UJ)

Daniel Biyakela graduated from UJ with a BCom in Economics.

“None of this would have been possible without you [Mrs Agnes Nugent] and the Academy”.

He is currently working as a Junior Economist at Ernst and Young. Daniel benefited from a bursary through the Academy for his tertiary studies.

Lwazi Nzimande, BSc Actuarial Science (Wits)

Lwazi Nzimande, recipient of the St John’s Sixth Form Bursary in 2015, has graduated with an Actuarial Science degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. Lwazi is a young man of few words and in true Actuarial style commented: ‘I appreciate your existence’. He will be doing his Board Exam in the 2nd semester of this year and has been employed by Discovery as a risk analyst. Lwazi also benefited from a Bursary through the Academy for his tertiary studies.

“The St John’s Community is incredibly proud of these young men, and we wish them all the best as they embark on their careers.”

The St John’s College Academy is wholly funded through the generous donations from corporates, parents and friends of the St John’s Community. Contributions are made through the St John’s College Foundation which entitles donors to a Section 18A Tax Certificate. For more information regarding the Academy and how you can become involved, please contact Head of Academy, Mrs Agnes Nugent at or the Foundation at

Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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