26 August 2019 Volume :7 Issue :44

Scholarship Boost for Aspirant Academics

Scholarship Boost for Aspirant Academics
Humanities students who received the Talent Equity and Excellence Acceleration Scholarship (from left) Mr Siphesihle Kunene with Acting Registrar, Dr Kathy Cleland; Ms Hleliwe Khumalo; Ms Nonjabulo Ndwandwe; Mr Marole Moloi; and Mr Mzwandile Zulu.

Six students from the College of Humanities, who hope to become academics at UKZN, have received the Talent Equity and Excellence Acceleration Scholarship. 

Funded by UKZN, this scholarship - awarded to students intending to pursue an academic career at UKZN - enables the University to identify potential talent for the future. 

The students are Ms Hleliwe Khumalo, Ms Nonjabulo Ndwandwe, Mr Marole Moloi, Mr Mzwandile Zulu, Ms Nothando Ntaka and Mr Siphesihle Kunene. 

Kunene says the scholarship will make it possible for him to realise his dreams of becoming an academic at UKZN. His academic journey has been fraught with difficulties such as being unable to pay for his fees, food, accommodation and books. 

To make matters worse he was shot in the back during an attempted hijacking and spent a week in hospital and two more weeks recovering at home. 

Kunene is now completing his Masters in Population Studies, with the aim of attaining a PhD. Eventually he wants to become an academic in the areas of development and social justice. 

For Khumalo, the scholarship means a better and brighter future and the means to continue with her studies. ‘It will change my life for the better in a way I could never have imagined. The funding will sustain me and my family.’ She plans to complete her master’s and PhD degrees, before becoming a lecturer. ‘Tutoring has made me realise the passion I have for lecturing. Not only do I want to consume knowledge I also want to produce knowledge.’ 

Ndwandwe is the only one in her family to study at university and receive awards. ‘Attaining a doctorate as well as being able to meaningfully contribute to the body of credible knowledge has been a life-long dream of mine which will now hopefully become a reality.’ 

With the support and care of staff from the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS), she realised her potential and love for academia. 

Moloi of Estcourt says he is honoured to receive the scholarship. ‘It shows that hard work pays off in the long run.’ He believes scholarships are important as they motivate students to strive for excellence throughout the course of their studies. 

Moloi is completing his PhD in Community Development and has a wide range of subjects he would like to publish papers on, including reflective research and mainstreaming indigenous knowledge systems as part of Community Development projects in Estcourt. ‘In 10 years’ time, I hope to be a productive academic writer, contributing to academia and writing about responsible development issues in South Africa and Africa.’ 

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal

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