EMERG­ING TAL­ENT: AIM­ING FOR THE STARS

Public Sector Manager - - FEATURE -

“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.

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