“God, let it be positive,” Luhlanganiso Majebe recalls, whispering under his breath as a new email arrived in his inbox. The sender was Associate Professor Shose Kessi, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and luckily good news was on the agenda.
“I am pleased to inform you that your application for the Uyinene Mrwetyana scholarship in 2021 has been successful,” the first line of the email read.
Majebe said Associate Professor Kessi’s email confirmed what she and her family were praying for, and she has never been so grateful. The Uyinene Mrwetyana scholarship was established in honor of the late Mrwetyana – a UCT freshman whose life was cut short by her brutal murder in 2019. The scholarship is an initiative of the Faculty of Humanities and has was set up in partnership with the UCT Development Department and Alumni.
“I feel honored, humbled and privileged to have been selected to receive this scholarship.”
“I feel honored, touched and privileged to have been selected to receive this scholarship. I am not taking this decision lightly, as I am well aware of the responsibility that now rests on my shoulders, ”said Majebe enthusiastically.
The scholarship is for deserving students of the Faculty of Humanities. It provides block funding – covering tuition, books, accommodation, health and wellness – for the duration of the recipient’s undergraduate program.
Majebe is a first year social science student majoring in political studies and sociology, and she is relieved and grateful that her application was successful. She said the scholarship is “extremely important” for a number of reasons: it gives her the opportunity to study for the degree of her choice in a field she is passionate about; and this provides her with a platform to raise awareness of the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, and to preserve Mrwetyana’s memory.
“It is important that everyone understands the impact that the tragic death of Uyinene has had on UCT, South Africa and society. This scholarship is a way to spread its legacy within the university and help tackle gender-based violence, ”said Majebe.
Majebe said that part of the scholarship agreement is that she is to contribute to the work of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation. This requires her to sign up to volunteer with a nonprofit organization (NPO) whose work tackles GBV at the community level. She is in the process of signing up for The Justice Desk, an award-winning nonprofit human rights organization that aims to empower, educate and equip members of society with the tools to become agents of change and understand their human rights. The NPO has several projects in the works, but Majebe wants to contribute to Club Mbokodo, which offers self-defense courses for survivors of GBV.
“I’m excited to start and give back my way. “
However, due to the current third wave of COVID-19 infections in the country and the adjusted level 4 lockdown, she has yet to start this important work.
“I’m excited to start and give back my way,” she said. “My work with The Justice Desk will further consolidate the solid foundation I wish to establish for future Uyinene Mrwetyana scholarship recipients. I am totally grateful for this opportunity.