Meet Sasasa Dlamini, The SA Teen Heading To Harvard University


Sasasa Dlamini from Westville Boys’ High School didn’t even inform his parents that he sent out an application to Harvard University.

Now, he’s left the internet abuzz with the hashtag – #WestvilleToHarvard – after the news of his acceptance to Harvard University in the United States of America circulated.

Even for Americans, it is difficult to gain acceptance at the prestigious institution. Yet, Trevor Hall, Westville Boys’ High School headmaster wasn’t astonished by Dlamini’s remarkable achievement. 

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Speaking, Hall said:

“It’s not all about distinctions. People with perfect scores have been rejected.

Sasasa is an all-round person. He is academic, achieving straight A’s; he was very involved in cultural activity, representing our school at provincial level in debating, and has participated in many sports.

He was also involved in our academic support and outreach programmes, is a student leader and has been doing peer mentoring.

…These top universities are looking for resilience, all-round expertise and being able to make a contribution to society.”

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When Sasasa Dlamini was approached for comment, he divulged that his desire to experience the world, develop his soft skills and help South Africa motivated him to go for Harvard.

He said: “It’s a lengthy process to apply and it took me six months to prepare my application, which included four motivation essays, as well as a Skype interview and I had to take the SATs test.

“There is a 6% admission rate and I didn’t tell my parents because I didn’t want them to have to share in my possible rejection.

“I want to experience the world, I have never been outside South Africa and want to think bigger.”

While Dlamini disclosed that he will be studying economics and philosophy, he expressed that he’s enthusiastic about the field of study as it will help him fish-out innovative ways to create jobs for South Africans.

Hear him:

“We need job creation which is sustainable. Wealth accumulation is a problem here and it is a structural issue. We need to be looking at a far wider wealth distribution. Philosophy teaches you how to think and expand your ideas.

I enjoy reading autobiographies such as Steve Biko, who wrote so well. I like lateral thinking and exploring different avenues. I am just praying I don’t get there and fail. I want to be able to match up at all levels.”

His parents, Nichoulas and Thelma offered that Dlamini will surely succeed.

“We were ecstatic on hearing the news. We are so blessed. My wife and I believe in education and we invested in education for our three children.

“We come from uMlazi and feel indebted to this school, which is the epitome of what a school should be in our South African context in terms of transformation.

“We have never told him what to do because we encourage independent thinking in our children and you cannot live vicariously through your children,” commented Nichoulas.

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Speaking, Thelma said: “I am very happy for him and know he can look after himself. We will be checking on him, but we want to let him fly.”

From our gatherings, Sasasa attended Our Lady of Natal in the Bluff and Penzance Primary School in Glenwood.