The first learner from Mugoidwa Secondary School, Rabelani Netshifhefhe, 17, from Vuwani township achieved six distinctions in Tshivenda, English, Mathematics, Accounting, Business Studies and Life Orientation.
The second learner, Funani Tshivhase from Fondwe village in the Nzhelele area, also achieved six distinctions in Tshivenda, English First Additional Language, Mathematics, Life Orientation and Physical Science.
Tshivhase, 18, from Phiriphiri High is the first born of his unemployed single mother, Mpho Tshivhase, who relies on the social grants of her four children to survive.
Speaking on behalf of the SABC Foundation on Wednesday during the Back to School campaign at Mugoidwa Secondary, Limpopo SABC General Manager Tshamano Makuya said the bursaries will cover tuition fees, books and accommodation, among others, over the next three academic years.
“These two learners come from impoverished households… They never allowed their backgrounds to determine their future.
“As the SABC, we have taken a decision to make education our business. We have decided to give the two learners bursaries to the value of R300 000 which will cover tuition fees, accommodation, books and meals,” Makuya said.
Tshivhase, who has been admitted at Wits University to study Biological Sciences, encouraged learners at his school to use the internet wisely to help them succeed in their studies.
“It has to do with your attitude… If you were not in the mode of working very hard, this is the right time [to change your attitude] and [show] the world what you are made of.”
Netshifhefhe, who is orphaned, managed to achieve six distinctions while learners were barred from attending school because of the violent protests in the Vuwani area. She will be studying Chartered Accountant at the University of Venda.
“My mother passed away a few years ago and I have no idea who my father is because I have never met him… This also motivated me to work very hard,” she said.
Netshifhefhe and her two siblings depend on her grandmother’s old age grant.
Education key to better life
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, who is leading the Back to School campaign in Limpopo, said they are driving the message home to learners in rural schools that education is the passport to a good life.
“Irrespective of your family background, if you work hard and pass your matric with flying colours, you will get scholarships to further your studies.”
Some of the Minister’s former teachers, the majority of whom are now retired, have joined her on the Back to School trail. Minister Muthambi has also visited her former high school, Tshinavhe, in Vyeboom village, which was a no-go area during the violent unrest.
The Minister also visited Alfred Nngwedzeni High at Tshikonelo outside Malamulele, where she promised a bursary for the top Grade 12 learner this academic year.
Minister Muthambi also visited Phiriphiri High and Mudunungu Primary School.
She has handed over bicycles, shoes and learning materials to learners at Mugoidwa, Tshinavhe, Alfred Nngwedzeni and Phiriphiri. She gave learners at Mudunungu Primary School shoes and school bags.