"Our dedication to education and community upliftment has always been at the forefront of our commitment to philanthropy. Before the scholarship foundation was established in 1999 we begun by paying university fees for many students in the community of Mpumalanga. It was because of this initiative that the scholarship foundation was established. The scholarship foundation has changed the lives of many young individuals, families and communities alike. Doctors, Chartered Accountants, Quantity Surveyors, ICT Specialists and many more professionals have graduated as recipients of the scholarship foundation. To realise the scholarship foundations mission and vision we require the recipients to pay it forward by giving back to at least one other student and to continue the values and principles the scholarship foundation is founded on. We are proud of the fact that we initiated a humble project that has now reached the entire country and educates students from different ethnic and religious backgrounds."
In 1999 the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation (“Scholarship Foundation”) was established. Initiated by its co-founders; Adv. Eric Mabuza and Charmaine Mabuza, the Scholarship Foundation targets young individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds or remote rural areas who have demonstrated outstanding academic acumen. Adv. Eric Mabuza believes that the key to breaking the cycle of poverty is through education.
In a quest to ensure that South Africa’s youth receive the education they deserve and to bridge the social divides that exist in South Africa, the Scholarship Foundation in partnership with Ithuba Holdings (RF) (PTY) LTD (“Ithuba”), the National Lottery Operator, have awarded a number of students with full university scholarships with tuition, housing and living expenses to pursue their dreams in their chosen field of studies.
Zamani Holdings (PTY) LTD (“Zamani”), the financial backbone and majority shareholder of Ithuba, has for over 12 years, played a significant role in the socio-economic development of South Africa and contributed towards the education of many students whom have become qualified professionals. Over the years, the Scholarship Foundation has produced high performing graduates who are currently excelling in their respective careers, both locally and internationally.
The Scholarship Foundation seeks to leave a sustainable legacy that will change the lives of generations to come. Majority of the Scholarship Foundation recipients have been and are currently enrolled at South Africa’s leading universities and studying to obtain some of the country’s much-needed and scarce skills, such as Chartered Accountancy and Computer Science, to name a few.
All the individuals that are recipients of the Scholarship Foundation have demonstrated academic excellence and a determination to change the quality of their lives and those of their families, securing a bright future for themselves. The Scholarship Foundation is founded on the pursuit of success, humility and Ubuntu. It encourages academic growth to assist the lives of individuals who have the potential to not only improve their lives but to contribute to the betterment of others.
It is expected that after graduation, the former students of the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation (“Scholarship Foundation”), will join the Scholarship Foundations alumni and provide the same opportunity to another student. Metaphorically speaking the Scholarship Foundation resonates with a plough-back initiative:
Recruiting learners who understand their social and economic circumstances and display the tenacity through a proven track record of excellent academic results for their entire school career.
Ongoing Academic Support and informative job market preparatory sessions.
Academic Support includes:
Selected candidates are contracted to motivate and instill a learning culture at their previous secondary schools. During their holidays they have to tutor and mentor a student from their previous high school (a big brother initiative). Once students graduate they are expected to join the Scholarship Foundations alumni and provide a similar opportunity to other learners.
To instill hope through education and to provide sustainable livelihoods for generations to come.
In 2017 three of the Scholarships recipients were awarded Golden Key Awards from their respective Universities, namely; Lesedi Martha Ndlovu from the University of Witwatersrand, Siyabonga Shongwe from the North-West University and Mmathapelo Maringa from the University of Witwatersrand. The Golden Key award is awarded to students in the top 15% of their academic programme. This was a pivotal moment in the above students’ lives because it proved that hard work does pay off and does not go unnoticed. This was testament to the high academic standards the Scholarship sets. We are proud of the above students and encourage them to continue challenging themselves to be top achieving scholars.
The Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation hosts an assessment week once a year in January. The purpose of the assessment week is to evaluate the recipients based on their overall academic performance for the previous academic year. In addition, the assessment week serves as an opportunity for the student evaluation committee to ‘catch up’ with the recipients and have a conversation about their University experience thus far. The assessment week serves as a time of reflection from the student’s perspective and a time of evaluation and understanding from a student evaluation committee’s perspective. The student evaluation committee is in a position to analyse the student not only from an academic performance but also from a human perspective and take into consideration all factors that influence the recipient’s academic results.
In addition, another aspect of the assessment week is to give the recipients an opportunity to get to know each other and have a bit of fun. The itinerary of the 2017 assessment week was filled with a Soweto tour, a visit to Nelson Mandela’s house and dinner at Sandton City (Mandela Square). The students took this opportunity to relax and enjoy the hotel they stayed in, the extra-curricular activities they participated in and in addition the gifts they received.
The 2017 assessment week was successful, fun and served as a learning curve for both the students and the student evaluation committee. The student evaluation committee successfully motivated and encouraged the recipients for the next academic year and the students were inspired to set the standard of their academic performances higher. We look forward to the 2018 assessment week.
Throughout the many years of funding University fees for underprivileged students, the Scholarship Foundation has managed to increase the amount of students it has funded within a short period of time, taking into consideration the volumes of underprivileged and uneducated young South Africans that are in dire need of funding. The Scholarship Foundation has funded more than 40 University students to date. Below are some of the former and current student stories and profiles.
Kate Lubisi, born and bred in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga, is one of the beneficiaries of the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation. Kate is the last born child of a family of six children, headed by a single mother who could not afford to send her to University after her matric. During her matric year in 2010, Kate, knowing the financial strains that her family suffered – sent bursary, scholarship and loan applications to every organisation she could think of. She was determined to further her studies the following year and fulfil her dream of becoming a doctor. Later in the same year, her brother brought a newspaper home which had an advertisement of the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship. She wasted no time and immediately sent her application. In 2011, she was awarded the scholarship and she commenced her studies in Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Receiving the scholarship was a relief to Kate and her family. The mental freedom of not worrying about University fees or paying for textbooks and meals motivated Kate to excel in her studies, with her eyes fixed on her goal of becoming a doctor. Kate is currently in her second year as a medical intern in Themba Hospital in Mpumalanga, where she is referred to as Dr Lubisi. In 2019 she will move on to do community work, something that she is passionate about and is looking forward to. She intends on doing her community work in her hometown as part of giving back to the community that groomed her. Since starting her internship, Kate has already made positive changes in her family’s life: she has upgraded her mother’s house and turned it into a bigger, beautiful and comfortable home and she is currently living with her niece whom she pays school fees for. Kate’s elder sister was inspired by Kate’s drive to succeed and she also decided to further her studies at a college in Mpumalanga, of which Kate is paying for. When asked what are the values that drive her, Kate’s simple response is that “family is everything”. She considers herself a family member of the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation, and expresses her eternal gratitude to the Foundation for playing a vital role in shaping her future and her family's.
Mpendulo was overjoyed when he found out that he had been accepted to study Medicine at the University of Witwatersrand upon completing his matric in 2011. For his first year, he was a beneficiary of the NFSAS financial aid scheme. However he describes that year as a financial uphill battle; recalling the days he would go to University hungry, Mpendulo says his funding only covered his tuition and could not extend to his study material and meals. Despite this, the goal driven student made it to his second year where he was advised by his peer to apply for the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship. His second year changed for the better and this was evident in his performance at University and confidence levels; no longer did he have to worry about where his next meal or text book money would come from. His unemployed parents who lived in Mpumalanga were grateful because they could use the little income they received in the household to send Mpendulo’s younger siblings to school. He said the scholarship brought great relief to his family, to the extent that his mother’s hypertension stabilized. Mpendulo says the highlight of his journey with the scholarship was meeting Mr Eric Mabuza, who he describes as a humble role model who constantly motivated him to never give up on his dream. He explains that his experience of the scholarship was like being part of a family that genuinely cared about his wellbeing and not only his academic performance. Today Mpendulo works as a junior doctor at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg and plans to study further. He says that he will eternally be grateful for being afforded the opportunity to improve his life and of his family. As the sole breadwinner, Mpendulo says he plans to extend their family house in the near future, as he continues to set a good example for his siblings.
In 2012 Zanele Sithole enrolled to study BSC Quantity Surveying at the University of Pretoria and graduated in 2014. She was determined to study further and therefore obtained her BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying in 2015. Zanele Sithole states that the Scholarship made her University experience less worrisome because she did not bear the burden of stressing about her tuition fees and other relevant expenses. She explains that she knew she was never alone during her study years because the Scholarship offered her what she describes as a ‘shoulder to cry on’ whenever she needed one. Zanele says that assistance was always a phone call away and it fostered a sense of belonging while she was away from home. The Scholarship has groomed Zanele to understand the principle of giving back to the community based on the vision and mission of the Scholarship – to sow the seed and to pay it forward. The young professional has since adopted a philanthropic attitude and explains that she now knows that giving back is not only about money, it’s also about the little things you can do to change someone's life. Zanele is a true testament that an act of kindness is never forgotten by the recipient. In her bit to give back, she donated her free time to a Children and Women’s home in Edenvale for over 2 years. Zanele says this experience has taught her to appreciate her true capabilities and to constantly challenge herself to dream. Zanele has been working for 2 years since she graduated and is currently employed as a quantity surveyor at RLB Pentad Quantity Surveyors. As an alumni of the scholarship, Zanele urges current and future recipients to consider working before they complete their qualification. Zanele advises that working while completing your studies assists in understanding your chosen profession and in addition it prepares students for the working environment. Zanele believes that no individual should allow their circumstances to define who they are or their future. Zanele believes that if you have dreams, work hard for them and do not stop until you achieve them. A role model to her younger sister who matriculated in 2016, Zanele is paying for her sister’s tuition at TUT to continue sowing the seed.
Mamokete has always been a determined and hardworking student who had her eyes set on a fruitful career in the Accounting profession. Mamokete has always envisioned working as a Chartered Accountant and working in firms such as PWC and Earnest and Young. She was raised by both her parents whom she lived with. In 2016, while Mamokete was completing her Matric her parents separated, it caused a mental and financial distraction and strain in Mamokete’s life. Thereafter Mamokete’s only source of financial support was her mother who works as a nurse. Her mother’s earnings were not enough to pay for her tuition fees, in addition to the other responsibilities her mother shouldered as the sole bread winner of the family. This made Mamokete worry; her lifelong dream of becoming an Accountant was potentially threatened. Although discouraged, Mamokete did not sit back. She thought of her uncle who is an inspiration to her, who despite difficult circumstances, qualified as a geologist. Later in 2016, Mamokete applied for the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship and she was accepted. With the support of the Scholarship Mamokete’s life changed. This has made a huge difference to Mamokete’s family as they were already going through a lot after their parents’ separation. As her way of giving back, Mamokete volunteers as a Mathematics tutor for two students and plans to help a minimum of at least two students to study at University level, once she starts working and earning a salary. Mamokete is proactive when it comes to her studies, she asks for help when she needs it and studies in advance for all her tests and exams. She attributes her strength, positive attitude and persistence to the Scholarship. Mamokete says the Scholarship has liberated her financially long term; had she not received the Scholarship, she would have had to apply for a student loan and had to repay it with interest or she would have had to take a gap year to try gather funds with the assistance of other community and family members. In Mamokete’s view, the Scholarship is a great initiative for social development, as it grants access to higher education to the youth that cannot afford it but are brilliant academically.
Lesedi Ndlovu, the first born in a family of three siblings who lives in Naturena, Johannesburg with her mother and step father knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in numbers. Through the mentorship that she received in high school, she made the decision to study Accounting Sciences. Although she had the capability and the intelligence to pursue an Accounting Sciences degree, Lesedi was worried about how she would fund her studies because her mother was unemployed and there were additional financial constraints witin the household. Under these circumstances, Lesedi, with hope, proceeded to apply to various Universities and she was accepted for a degree in Accounting Sciences by the University of Witswatersrand. Lesedi’s high-school mentor informed her of the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation, thereafter Lesedi applied for the Scholarship and in 2017 she became a recipient and she commenced her Degree in Accounting Sciences. It was at this point in Lesedi’s life that she started to be more confindent and hopeful about the future.As a recipient of the scholarship, Lesedi never worries about what she is going to eat the next day, how her fees will be paid or how she will pay for her study material. Once a year in January the Scholarship hosts an assessemnt workshop where the recipients are evaluated and assessed on their academic performance, if they are coping with University life and their general well-being. Lesedi explains that the workshop also has elements of fun; she had never spent time at a hotel or set foot in Sandton City, although she grew up in Johannesburg. These were all incredible firsts for her that she will never forget them. To top it off, winning the highest achiever award for the 2017 academic year was a feeling and an experience she states motivates her to maintain her high academic standards. This has set the bar for her to challenge herself in her academic performance throughout the rest of her degree. Lesedi is now in her second year of studies and she is excelling. In 2017, she was on the Dean’s merit list of 10% of the top performing students. Upon the completion of Lesedi’s studies she would like to pursue a career in Management Accounting. She says she understands the importance of ethical accounting management, and that she is constantly checking that her values remain intact and reflect the attributes that are valued in Management Accounting; integrity, objectivity, transparency and confidentiality. Lesedi lives by this saying : “I can do this, even if I can’t. I have to.” She is proud of her work and grateful for the opportunity that the Scholarship has given her. Her 2018 goal is to move up the Dean’s merit list. She intends to always remain in the top performing 10% of students. Once she completes her studies and starts working, Lesedi intends to take care of her siblings and to make sure that they, too, focus on creating a good life for themselves.
Ntokozo grew up in Kwa-Zulu Natal where he and his siblings were raised by his mother. As the eldest son in the family, Ntokozo had many responsibilities, almost as though he was the head of the family. As a result to this, Ntokozo could not enjoy much of his childhood like children in his age group. As Ntokozo was approaching Matric, it became evident that a crucial point of his life (which was studying beyond Matric) required a significant amount of money; money that Ntokozo’s family did not have. When Ntokozo heard about the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation, he saw this as an opportunity to fulfil his dream of becoming an Accountant. In 2017, Ntokozo was awarded the Scholarship and he began his course is Bcom Accounting at the University of Cape Town. At first, this was an exciting venture for Ntokozo: moving to a new city and the prospects of making new friends. As Ntokozo commenced his academic year he struggled to find his footing, he had no friends and was struggling to fit into his surroundings. As a result to this he became depressed and his depression affected his academic performance. Ntokozo did not perform according to the standards of his excellent Matric results and the academic expectations of the Scholarship. Ntokozo feared that because he did not meet the academic requirements of the Scholarship he would cease to be a recipient. To Ntokozo’s surprise, the Scholarship panel took the time to scrutinize his circumstances and to understand the challenges he was facing at the University of Cape Town. They understood that culture fit was essential for a student to obtain a degree. The Scholarship panel therefore made a decision to keep funding Ntokozo’s studies. In order to help him to perform better, and as per his request, Ntokozo relocated back to his home town. He is now studying at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and doing very well. Ntokozo says he is inspired by the panel members who decided that he deserved a second chance. Their genuine act of humility has inspired him to also help others. In addition to completing his qualification and improving his family’s financial circumstances, Ntokozo is working on improving his social skills; he understands that life will not always give him a second chance. To excel in his profession, Ntokozo is also working on improving his English vocabulary. Ntokozo looks forward to a bright future, and is grateful to the scholarship for helping him achieve his dreams.
- The Applicant should have completed Matric and should not be older than 35 years old;
- The Applicant should be a South African citizen with a valid identity document
- The Applicant should have obtained a 65% average (or above) for each subject and 70% average (or above) for the total average of the applicant’s subjects from the previous academic year;
- The Applicant must be able to prove that they have been accepted at any tertiary institution in the Republic of South Africa; for the following academic year, or that they are currently studying their 1st year and going onto their 2nd year level at a South African university.
- The Applicant must be willing to specialise in either IT or Commerce fields of study
- The Applicant must be from a previously disadvantaged background with a household income not more than R250 000.00 per annum;
- The Applicant must be willing and dedicated to meet the academic requirements of the Foundation throughout their studies; and
- The Applicant must be insightful, diligent and have enthusiasm to accomplish excellence.
- The Applicant must have the will to succeed, contribute and to give back to their community
- Certified ID (for both the applicant and legal guardian/s or parent/s) - Proof of income: Applicant’ payslip and/or parents’/ guardians’ payslip and/or SASSA letter and/or proof of UIF and/or affidavit or other relevant documentation to prove applicants or parents/ guardians income
- Academic transcripts (High school and/or University)
- Motivational letter, motivating why the scholarship should be awarded to the applicant
- Affidavit: Parent/ guardian: The deponent of the Affidavit must state in his/her affidavit: His/her full name and surname, ID number (of both the applicant and the deponent), physical address, contact details, who they are in relation to the applicant, their employment status, if employed; who is their employer, contact details of their employer, how much they earn per annum, the living conditions of him/her and the applicant.
- Informal trader: The deponent of the Affidavit must state in his/her affidavit: His/her full name and surname, ID number(of both the applicant and the deponent), physical address, contact details, who they are in relation to the applicant, the type of trade they practice, the duration they have been trading, how much they earn per month (on average).
- Not residing with parents/ guardian/s: The deponent of the Affidavit must state: his/her full name and surname, ID number (of both the applicant and the deponent), physical address (of applicant and deponent), who they are in relation to the applicant, reasons as to why the applicant is not residing with his/her parents/ guardian/s, where the applicant resides and with whom.
- First stage: Submission of application
- Second stage: Interview (only candidates that have been shortlisted)
- Third stage: Successful applicants will be contacted
The bursary may require the following from the recipients after completion of their studies:
- Attend scholarship Foundation events (when requested);
- To partake in Scholarship Foundation alumni activities’ (when requested);
- Update the Scholarship Foundation administrators on their contact details (cellphone number and email address) should they change;
- To continue practicing and implementing the vision and mission of the Scholarship Foundation, by paying it forward through giving back.
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