Four students from the College of Humanities: Ms Nosipho Gabela, Ms Nothando Maphumulo, Ms Samkelisiwe Mkhize and Ms Nobuhle Magadlela, were recently awarded bursaries from the NGO Silibona Educational Trust.

The Trust provides financial support and mentoring to students who face economic hardship so that they may complete their Higher Education studies.

‘The trust raises money to pay for tertiary education for women in their second-year who show good academic results from their first-year and who also demonstrate a passion for community involvement and have great leadership potential,’ said Mrs Mandy Cobbing, UKZN alumnus and Silibona Educational Trust Exco Member.

‘We differ from other funding organisations in that we offer mentoring to the students on a monthly basis and social gatherings twice a year. Through this, we support and guide the students from an emotional level with the help of mentors who have also experienced similar challenges,’ she said.

All members of the Trust as well as mentors offer their services on a voluntary basis; all with the aim of ensuring a brighter and better future for young South African women.

The students are grateful to the Trust for allowing them to pursue their academic dreams.

‘I am ambitious and self-motivated and receiving the Silibona sponsorship has motivated me to fulfil my dreams and excel academically,’ said Magadlela, a Social Sciences student. She added that she plans to build entrepreneurs and uplift communities by making a difference in people’s lives.

Maphumulo, an African Music and Dance student, is also thankful for receiving the scholarship. ‘I would love to have my own NGO one day where young children and teenagers can express themselves through music,’ she said.

Mkhize, who is studying towards Education said, ‘I was raised by a single mother. It was difficult at times, especially financially but it taught me respect and leadership roles from a young age. After graduating, I aspire to do my Honours degree in business and ultimately start my own NGO to assist people with starting their own business, especially in rural areas.’

Gabela, who is also studying towards a degree in Education, added, ‘I pledge to do my very best with my academic performance. I am passionate about being involved in projects that help change lives in the community. Once qualified, I would like to assist students in bridging the gap between high school and tertiary education.’

For more information on the Silibona Educational Trust, visit or their Facebook page, Silibona Educational Trust.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Silibona Educational Trust