JUDGE Monica Leeuw and businessman Jabu Mabuza are the latest recipients of the Ongopotse Tiro Excellence Award, which was given during the University of Limpopo's Annual Benefit Gala Dinner in Johannesburg recently.
Respected political activist Pandelani Nevholovhodwe gave a moving overview of what a brave, visionary and innovative student leader and political activist Tiro was.
The award pays tribute to Tiro, an unflinching Black Consciousness Movement adherent, who was student representative council president in his final year when he delivered a speech that criticised the Bantu Education Act of 1953 at the university's graduation ceremony in 1972.
It is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievers associated with the University of Limpopo, and was presented by the institution's Students Trust Fund chairperson Mokgadi Mailula.
Underprivileged students are benefitting from the university's Students Financial Aid Trust set up by the university's SRC of 1995 to 1996.
The Trust has so far awarded bursaries to more than 300 students at about R10000 each, amounting to about R2,9million.
In his acceptance speech Mabuza said: "Success in life is impossible without a focused heart, mind, body and soul. Indeed, success can also be a fluke, a happy coincidence of being at the right place at the right time.
"Often the success that endures is not the one that happens to land in your lap. It is through toiling that our determination is harnessed. When I was at the University of the North - Turfloop of my time - it was still a rarity for the African child like me to complete matric, proceed to university and earn a bachelor's degree.
"Rural life is very much part of who I am. Today I am farming in cattle and sheep on the outskirts of Ermelo, Mpumalanga, and that is where the Mabuza homestead is and that's where I will ultimately retire.
"This is an award that will find a suitable and permanent spot in my office, especially since it comes from my alma mater. Most importantly, it comes from fellow Africans."