Going to university to further her education had always been on the horizon for Monica Damane. But when she lost both her parents at a young age, the sun instantly set on that dream. With only her grandmother left to care for her and her four siblings, there were very few extras, and the future seemed as bleak as a dark, cold, endless winter.
As part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, a week of activities aimed at developing the entrepreneurial skills of the scholars on the programme did just that and more for scholars who joined the township tour.
“At every university, you get three types of students: spectators, pretenders and contenders,” Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, deputy vice-chancellor for research and internationalisation, told UCT’s Mastercard Foundation Scholars at their welcome reception in April.
Having recently graduated from their respective fields of study at UCT, three Mastercard Foundation scholars – Christina Nyandoro, Ramontsheng Rapolaki, and Jeremiah Mutungi – are ready to take what they have learned and use it for good.
Jeremiah Mutungi, a master’s scholar from the Communications Research Group in the department of Electrical Engineering, received an award for one of the best three papers at the 19th Annual Southern African Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC)
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town welcomed 20 new scholars for the 2016 cohort. As part of their orientation, the scholars set off on a tour of the Cape Peninsula where they had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with their new home away from home.
On the surface, The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UCT might appear to only be an opportunity for further education. For the young people participating in it, it provides a vehicle to fulfil their dreams.