EMERGING TALENT: AIMING FOR THE STARS
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela. It is because of this that Enel Green Power strives to place education at the centre of its model of creating shared value (CSV).
Wherever we are present in South Africa, our goal is to create conditions that allow us to apply the CSV model to the fullest, which is why we have launched a series of education projects. Not all students who pass their highest level at high school can afford to pursue a tertiary education. As such, many South African youth find themselves with limited skills.
For this reason, Enel Green Power South Africa (EGP RSA) sponsors projects and activities that put the education of younger generations at the centre our relationship with local communities.
EGP RSA, together with our partners, has created a bursary fund aimed at benefiting youth who achieve outstanding marks, but who are from disadvantaged communities in the areas in which we operate, many of which are relatively remote. The fund sponsors fees for tertiary education, accommodation and an allowance for the selected group of students.
At a bursary award ceremony held at the EGP RSA head office in Sandton in July, the bursaries were formally awarded to 17 bright young minds. We spoke to a few of them and this is what they had to say:
• Samkelo Kondile, the second oldest of four children, is from a small town called Hankey in the Kouga Local Municipality. Samkelo dreams of studying Biochemistry. He recalls the day in 2017 when his principal at Hankey Secondary School pulled him out of the crowd of learners and announced the bursary EGP RSA had offered him. He says he was full of joy to find out that he was going to be able to break the cycle and write a new chapter for his family by becoming the first person to attend university. When he received his marks, it was too late for him to study Biochemistry as the applications were closed. Being eager to study, he chose to do
a BA in Human Resources Management at Nelson Mandela University, so he could remain close to his family. He hopes to move to Johannesburg one day to pursue his dreams.
• Thulaganyo Sethibe, from Kuruman in the Northern Cape, is a first-year student at the University of Pretoria studying a degree in Medical Sciences. Thulaganyo wants to be the change the country needs and to bring innovative ideas to improve the field of medicine. When she was awarded the bursary, she never knew the work would be so challenging – she even lost weight in the first months of the year. With help from her mentor, offered to her through the bursary, she has eased into her new environment.
• Mishack Lekota, from Lephalale in Limpopo, has a passion for mathematics and escaped a life of crime to pursue his dream of studying towards a BSc Mathematical Sciences and Research at the University of Stellenbosch. Coming from a family viewed negatively by his community, he wanted to be the person to change this narrative. Through the second chance he was given by his school, he has been able to do so.
• Xoliswa Duda, the only child of a truck driver father and an unemployed mother, comes from Jacobsdal, close to EGP RSA’s Pulida solar plant, and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Education at the University of the Free State. She says she has always had a passion for teaching and working with children. Xoliswa’s message to other young people is that they should not give up on their dreams. “You do not have to struggle if you work hard and you are dedicated student. Hard work can open doors.”
• Thabang Moroka, from Tom Burke in Lephalale, Limpopo, is a true rocket scientist. He is in his first year of a BSc Physical Sciences degree at the University of Pretoria and dreams of becoming an astrophysicist. Thabang has his whole career mapped out. After completing his degree, he intends to go to the University of Cape Town to do his Honours and on to Oxford or Cambridge to compete his Master’s degree. “I just love Physics. I love doing something different,” he says. EGP RSA is mindful of the powerful impact these remarkable young people can have as role models. We are proud of these young minds and trust they will inspire future generations as they go on to great things.