We have to look at ways of encouraging our matrics, especially since their schooling year has been clouded by the Covid-19 monster, which stood in the way of studies running smoothly.

We have to give them hope that should they fail their final exams, life goes on.

I have compiled a list of people who at first failed, but eventually became successful.

Walt Disney went broke seven times and suffered a nervous breakdown along the way.

He also had to accept “no” for an answer 302 times before he was able to get financial help to develop the famous Disneyland.

English author John Creasy got 743 rejection slips before he could successfully publish his 564 books.

American baseball legend Babe Ruth was struck out 1 330 times, yet is remembered for 714 home runs.

Colonel Sanders travelled across America for two years approaching restaurants to buy his chicken recipe. About 1 009 of them didn’t want it, yet today, who hasn’t yet tasted the delicious KFC?

Abraham Lincoln faced many setbacks before becoming US president in 1860. Enrico Caruso failed so many times with his singing that his teacher told him to quit, but he ended up being one of the world’s top tenors. Thomas Edison was called a dunce at school and failed more than 6 000 times before he could perfect the electric bulb.

Today our homes are lit because of his never-give-up attitude.

When Helen Keller was two years old, a serious illness destroyed her sight and hearing.

Cut off from the world, she coined the words, “I fall, I stand still, I trudge on, I gain a little, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizons. Every struggle is a victory.”

We also fell when we took our first steps, didn’t get every job we applied for, and our budget does not balance every month-end.

Letter by Samuel Radebe, Heilbron