The scholarship, named after the former UKZN Principal and Vice-Chancellor, is awarded to five top first year students from each of the four Colleges.
Hlela, who went to Umlazi Comprehensive Technical High school, is over the moon about the scholarship. ‘My parents had to go to a loan shark for financial assistance to raise the cash for me to register and start my first year of study,’ said Hlela. ‘For the first four months, I helped them repay the loan, so as a result I was not able to buy the required textbooks for the first semester. Faith and a hunger for success helped me overcome these challenges,’ he says. Hlela thanked his parents for their support and said he plans to go through to do his doctorate.
Pillay of Chatsworth says she is grateful to the funders of the scholarship. ‘This scholarship has allowed me to focus fully on my studies free of the worry about tuition fees and is a clear indication of my hard work and efforts. It serves as a source of motivation to keep me striving for excellence.’
For Mbatha, the scholarship affords him financial and emotional freedom. ‘I’ve always seen UKZN as a prestigious institution, it’s always been a dream of mine to be here. To study at this University has been close to my heart for as long as I can remember, and getting a chance to do it and realising it’s the best choice I have ever made, is the most exhilarating feeling.’
Said Loubser, who matriculated from Ashton International College in Ballito: ‘I am thrilled to be a scholarship winner and at UKZN where I am doing a degree concentrating on Politics, Philosophy and Economics.’
Jantjies, who attended Kloof High School, sees the scholarship as a huge achievement that will assist him while he is in Canada on an exchange programme later this year. ‘I now see that if I work hard enough there are people that notice, and are willing to invest in me. I plan to finish my degree and build a portfolio of works as a digital artist.’