South Africa, Pretoria – Scores of graduates, under the #ThusaNgwanaGeno (Help your brethren) campaign founded by activist and lecturer Dr John Molepo to assist economically disadvantaged students, will on Friday return to different intersections to beg for donations.
Molepo said since the inception of the initiative, more than 500 students have been assisted with registration and tuition fees.
“The #ThusaNgwanaGeno graduates will be gracing different intersections in the country looking for donations starting from Friday, November 27, 2020. The initiative seeks to assist prospective students that are accepted at any South African institution of higher learning with registration and tuition fees,” said Molepo.
“The initiative is targeting to assist 700 students in 2020–2021. Students will also be assisted with stationery that will be needed for them to start with the academic journey. Regular workshops will be provided to ensure that students are supported and continuously encouraged in their studies to stay motivated and to ultimately ensure success,” said Molepo.
In 2020, the initiative also purchased books for learners and donated mini-libraries to various schools. Over the years, Molepo said his initiative also assisted more than 80 young people to get their learner’s and driver’s licences.
Last year, Molepo was the youngest to have a Ph.D. in public affairs conferred on him at the Tshwane University of Technology. The 30-year-old has since 2017 become a regular figure, particularly on the busy Ruth First Road in Soshanguve, where he pleads with motorists to donate as little as R5.
President Cyril Ramaphosa last year recognised Molepo’s activism, honouring the young academic with a Presidential Award in the category of compassion for the “immense value of his contribution to the community” through his #ThusaNgwanaGeno campaign.
On Thursday, Molepo, now a senior lecturer at the University of Mpumalanga, said the financial burden for students starting off university studies makes life unbearable for many.
“It is pivotal that we assist prospective students in order for them to achieve their dreams. Some students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and cannot afford to pay registration and tuition fees. Some students are still owing universities huge amounts of money. So we saw a need as an organisation to assist such individuals,” he said.
“We are also appealing to individuals and companies to donate to the initiative or adopt students. The volunteers of the organisation will be wearing their academic gowns at different intersections.”
In Pretoria, the volunteers led by Molepo will be at the Eskia Mphahlele traffic lights from 5am on Friday. In the North West province, the group will gather at the Mooiriver traffic lights in Potchefstroom, and on Swartruggens Road in Rustenburg.
In Polokwane, the activists will gather on Church Street, while the graduates will congregate on Madiba Drive in Mbombela (Nelspruit).
African News Agency (ANA)