Tapiwa Shendelane is the youngest engineering student Wits University has ever had – at the tender age of 15!

The smart teen from Mpumalanga matriculated with six distinctions last year at Orhovelani High School in Thulamahashe near Bushbuckridge.


With these excellent results, she was accepted to study a BSc in Industrial Engineering.

Tapiwa Shendelane
Tapiwa Shendelane is the youngest student studying Engineering at Wits

It didn’t take her long to settle in at one of the university’s residences in Joburg.

Tapiwa said: “I was very happy to be accepted.”

“I love maths and science. “Engineering is perfect for me,”

It doesn’t bother her that she’s the youngest in her class.

“I have already made friends and it is really nice to be independent.

“Classes have been very interesting. I’m loving it,” she said.

Tapiwa said school has always been a fun place for her because she loves solving academic problems.

“Sometimes the school work wasn’t really that challenging, but it got better when I got promoted the second time in high school,” said Shendelane.

“I want to go on to do my masters degree and then maybe I will open my own company.”

“South Africa needs engineers.

“I have faith that I can do it, especially because it’s something I love,”

Professor Ian Jandrell, dean of engineering, said: “As far as we can tell, Tapiwa is the youngest engineering student at Wits.

“Readiness for university is a state of mind, not age.

“She is a phenomenal young person.

“We are proud to have her as part of the Wits community,” said Jandrell.

Mpumalanga education spokesman Jasper Zwane said: “We congratulate her on her wonderful achievement and wish her all the best.

“She is a true role model for children, especially those in poor areas.

“Her achievement is proof that hard work pays off.” – AENS

-Daily Sun


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