His mother dropped out of school when he was born. He went to school in the townships. Today, 22-year-old Wandile Mabanga is writing his master’s dissertation in a field of quantum physics so specialised there are only two people on earth qualified enough to supervise him.
• MeerKAT is under way
The Rockefeller Foundation is investing $100m in a seven-year project to assist a million young people in Africa through jobs and skills in the information communication technology sector. Its focus will be on high potential youth who lack access to jobs and economic opportunities.
• Citizens in charge of their destiny
World-class high-school maths is coming to Africa, with South Africa chosen to host the prestigious International Mathematical Olympiad in 2014 – the first time this 55-year-old competition, the oldest of all science olympiads, will be held on African soil.
• Maths, science teaching gets boost
June is celebrated as Youth Month in South Africa, paying tribute to the school pupils and ordinary citizens who lost their lives during the Soweto uprisings of 16 June 1976 – 37 years ago. This year's focus is on substance abuse.
• Protect and support each other
Ten short stories, specially commissioned and illustrated, make up the third Sunday Times Nal’ibali Storytime. The collection, like Nal’ibali itself, is designed to ignite a love of reading in primary school children, sparked by great stories in their home language.
• Why we need a literate nation
South African universities have teamed up with their Dutch counterparts to develop a course aimed at improving PhD supervision. Better and more doctoral supervisors, it is believed, will increase the number of PhD students.
• Cross-continental collaboration