Five students from the College of Humanities now know that hard work and dedication pays off after being awarded the Talent Equity and Excellence Scholarship.
This Scholarship - which forms part of Human Resources’ Graduate Development Programme - is funded by the University to enable it to grow the next generation of academics by identifying potential talent in the final years of undergraduate study and at postgraduate levels.
Mr Lungelo Mbatha, Mr Sanele Nsele, Mr Sizwe Sidaza, Miss Sinehlanhla Sithole and Mr Lukhona Mnguni’s dream of entering the world of academia is edging closer.
In 2008 Sithole completed a year at the University of Johannesburg, she could not further her studies due to financial problems. She had no knowledge about financial aid. Sithole shared ‘it was only in 2012 that I managed to get a bursary that put me through undergraduate level.’
Sithole graduated with her Honors in International Relations cum laude in May 2016. She is currently working on Various Terrorist Recruitment Strategies for her Master of Social Science.
‘I was raised by a single mother who always emphasised the importance of education.’ Said Nsele who is ecstatic about being awarded the scholarship. Nsele grew up in Kamelkop, a deep rural area near Wasbank.
Nsele shares that ‘Transition from underprivileged school to university environment and expectations were challenging.’
For Mbatha, a BA Honors student, majoring in Philosophy, the scholarship is a gateway to furthering his dreams. Mbatha, who was academically excluded from the University of Cape Town, also did not let his physical disability stand in his way. Mbatha has Congenital Deformation on his left arm and right leg.
‘Luckily, though, I got a second chance at UKZN when I was called by the Disability Unit at the Pietermaritzburg campus which offered me Financial Aid.’
His Lecturer, Dr Heidi Matisonn from UKZN’s School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics said: ‘In my 10 years of lecturing I have never met a more deserving student than Lungelo.’
Mbatha also coaches the Dubula Football Team in Pietermaritzburg and is currently a Chairperson of non-governmental organization Ability with Disability.
The recipients’ message to all students was: ‘Never give up and work very hard.’