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Meet some of the Matinyana Fund students

Siyamthanda Mahabeni

"Growing up with a single parent was never easy for me. The situation at home is what kept me motivated to be focused even more. It made me want to change my life and family. My mother has always been an inspiration and my strength, she always motivated and still supports me. I started varsity in 2013, studying higher certificate in IT, without any bursary or funding. My mother had to take a loan to pay for tuition. Well, I passed all my modules, and got accepted to further my studies and study towards a diploma. Luckily the following year (2014) I was awarded a Midle McWilliams Trust bursary that covers my tuition fee. I was so happy, at least one major problem is being taken care of, now the money that is going to come from home is for groceries and transport. During school holidays I had to work and save money. Despite all the financial issues I had faced in that year I also did well in my first year.
In 2015 when I was doing my second year I decided to look for apart time job that would allow me to work on weekends, to try help out my mother because she was in debt. I worked at the Boardwalk Magic Company game centre. Working on weekends affected my studies. I then heard from a friend about Matinyana Fund. I told my mother about it and she went to query and took forms for me to apply. I applied and fortunately was accepted. That was the best thing that has ever happened to me, not having to stress about my fees and money for groceries is the best feeling ever as a student. I am grateful and truly appreciate the support from the Matinyana Fund. I am now able focus on my studies only and have financial freedom. My family also does not have to suffer sending money to me. I graduated my diploma and am now studying towards a BTech. Next year I am planning to study Masters and take all the opportunities coming my way to better and brighten my future."

Siyamthanda

Antonia Nobebe

"I am currently based in Port Elizabeth where I work as a Software Developer. I got my qualification at Nelson Mandela University in 2015. I studied ICT: Software Development, both National Diploma and my Bachelor Degree. I started in 2011 and finished in 2015.
I connected with the Matinyana Fund in 2011 through my mom, when she was struggling to get funds for my varsity fees. Through your assistance, I was the first person in my family to get tertiary education of any kind and the first university graduate. My dream has always been getting my family out of poverty and I didn't know how, but knew a varsity qualification was a start. And I went on to get seven distinctions. I didn't even get distinctions at high school. That was the moment I realised I was doing what I love. Not that it was easy, but it kept me intrigued for the whole year. In fact, it still does.
Then, in 2012 you made it possible for me to own my first laptop, even the first computer in the entire family. As an Software Developer it was very essential for me because I lived far from university since I couldnt afford the accommodation and my time on campus was very limited after lectures because I had to catch the last bus home to Motherwell.
In 2013 again you came to my rescue, this time with another need. Since the first year, it was difficult to eat during the day, which caused me to be drowsy and sleepy in lectures. Thanks to my laptop in the second year, I could catch up at home with my notes to make up for sleeping in lectures. In 2013 you gave me food allowance. What a great feeling it is to focus on what you are learning and not have to hold your head up cause it feels like its going to go through the desk. In the same year you blessed me with means to buy new clothes. I didnt know before how an appearance can influence confidence, I mean they were not flashy clothes at all but they were not worn out like the ones I had before; no more cracked shoes which made me walk with caution and pants that ripped in embarrassing areas when I sit down. Shame is really the thief of joy.
In 2014, you blessed me again. This time I was living alone. I had to be responsible for myself, food, electricity and transport. I also bought my first phone, which I used as a developer phone for the apps I did for my NDip project. It was a year of new experiences for me. I started attending church, self- empowering and financial conferences, and volunteering work because I can afford to travel around now and then for extra mural activities, which are still with me today and I would like to thank you all for helping me get the first diploma and degree in the family. I couldn"t have done it without your support. Even some of my family members decided to improve their education because they saw it is possible for disadvantaged youth to get the opportunity to get something amazing and to go places no other family member has been.
Today I am a member of the prestigious global Golden Key Honours Society, another first for my family. I work for a global company based in Port Elizabeth with possible career growth into its different branches across the world. I have also been nominated to be part of the 2018 International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) Delegation on Engineering & Technology, being held in China and New Zealand.
My life is just beginning and you can be proud to say you were part of it. I truly thank you for all you did, I hope one day I can add my part to your Fund so I can get the opportunity to properly thank you and help someone too.
May God bless you in all you do. With grateful regards, Antonia Nobebe"

Antonia

Noluvo Mbabela

She completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at Rhodes University. She did the requisite practicals as pharmacist assistant at Clicks Pharmacy. The unexpected passing (car accident),of her father was a challenge as it was during tests and exam period, but that did has not deter her. Displaying initiative and social conscience, she has assumed responsibilities at her University as sub-warden, and volunteered mentoring at a Children’s home and at a Matric school.

Noluvo

Sylvanus Welcome

He studied at Rhodes and North West Universities where he achieved degrees in the social sciences, law, and MBA. He has recently been appointed the institutional advancement director and head of the alumni unit at the Walter Sisulu University. The team he leads is charged with identifying strategies to help curb the burden imposed by student loans. Who better suited to assume this responsibility than one who knows these challenges from his own background and lived experience. We are pleased that he has agreed to become the treasurer of the Matinyana Fund. (picture from Daily Dispatch newspaper)

Sylvanus

Luzamo Sandlana

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Matinyana Fund bursary scheme. The bursary has assisted me in completing my two university qualifications, a BA Degree at the University of the Western Cape, and a Post-Graduate Journalism Diploma at Rhodes. I am currently working as a Media Liaison Officer for the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority, TCTA, in Pretoria. This is a parastatal under the Department of Water Affairs and is specialising in the implementation and funding of raw bulk water infrastructure. Without the Matinyana Fund I cannot even imagine where I would be, but I do know that I would not be where I am today. I hope a lot more youth from Port Alfred is yet to benefit from the fund. Keep up the good work, and may God bless you."

Luzamo

Noluthando Nakani

Noluthando graduated at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth. She studied Nature Conservation and has been given a contract with Petro SA Nature Reserve as an environmental education intern for a firebreak project in Mossel Bay. During her study she received support from the Matinyana Bursary Fund.

Noluthando

Sizwe Mjacu

He completed his study with a Masters Degree in Public Administration at Fort Hare University, the same university where Nelson Mandela studied. Two years in a row he received awards as the best student in his subject. He represented his university at a conference of the United Nations in Pretoria, where he did a presentation about Africa's relations with the United Nations. He is now employed by our local Ndlambe Municipality and in charge of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), the document that guides the municipality with plans and projects to improve the economy and the living conditions of its citizens.

Sizwe

Phumlani Tyabazayo

For five years he has been waiting in the township for a chance to study. When the Matinyana Fund gave him the chance, he took it with both hands and his career took off like a rocket. He studied law at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He did not fail a single subject in his entire study and got more than 15 distinctions. Even before he finished his studies, he already got a job at a lawyers office. Just a few years later, he started working as a prosecutor.

Phumlani


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