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'I'm my family's only hope, now I have a shot': Meet the Boston City Campus and Arena Holdings bursary winners

A few of our bursary beneficiaries: From top left to right, Bruce Lali, Kabelo Matshitse, Charity Sephula, Sibusiso Mathobela, Tshegofatso Kgakatsi, Kaylan Lawrence, Morris Mosoma and Tsholofelo Mokgatlha.
A few of our bursary beneficiaries: From top left to right, Bruce Lali, Kabelo Matshitse, Charity Sephula, Sibusiso Mathobela, Tshegofatso Kgakatsi, Kaylan Lawrence, Morris Mosoma and Tsholofelo Mokgatlha.
Image: Supplied

The 16 beneficiaries of a joint bursary scheme of Boston City College and Arena Holdings have been announced, and they have shared what the life-changing opportunity means for them, their families and their respective career paths. 

Arena Holdings, the publisher of TimesLIVE and SowetanLIVE, has identified challenges in education and taken steps to fill these gaps by selecting the Boston Group as its education partner to give away 16 bursaries.

Armed with impressive matric results and lots of ambition, the 16 lucky winners scored themselves life-changing bursaries to study towards a degree or diploma course of their choice.

Here's who they are and these are their stories:

Bruce Lali — Diploma in Marketing 

A creative problem-solver and strategist, 18-year-old Gqeberha-based Lali will study towards a three-year diploma in marketing.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, he said the bursary enabled him to take his love for marketing to the next level.

After passing matric in 2021, he applied at the Boston City Campus in Pretoria where he was accepted. But after promises of financial assistance did not materialise, he thought his dream was over. Luckily, the institution advised him to apply for the bursary. 

“I was worried about my family background. No-one in my family is working. I'm their only hope. Had I not received this bursary, the plan was to look for a job and see what comes out of that,” he said. 

Cecillia Motlahamme.
Cecillia Motlahamme.
Image: Supplied

Cecilia Motlhamme — Diploma in Media Studies

Motlhamme is a step closer to realising her dream of working as a sports journalist. 

“I've always wanted to study media. I've always loved journalism and TV, so this is a dream come true,” she said in an interview with TimesLIVE. 

In her second year, she will have the opportunity to choose between journalism and radio broadcasting. 

“I look up to Robert Marawa. He is my biggest motivation,” she said. 

Before she landed this opportunity, Motlhamme worked as a part-time model and music video vixen, which exposed her to the world of media and TV. 

Kaylan Lawrence — Diploma in Human Resource Management

Twenty-five-year-old Lawrence from the Cape Flats told TimesLIVE her biggest achievement was her matric, but the losses she suffered as a result of Covid-19 changed her family's trajectory and made her realise she needed more. 

Lawrence said her mother lost her job when her company shut down at the height of the pandemic and she lost her father to Covid-19 related complications.

She has known for seven years that she wanted a career in human resources, but life challenges caught up with her. 

“When I matriculated, I was 17 years old and in that year, I gave birth to my son. I was a teenage mom. I wanted to study then but I didn't have the means to financially. I started working but Covid-19 hit and I was without a job, my mother lost her job and my father passed away,” she said. 

This bursary, she said, would give her the shot she needs in three years' time. 

“I am really aiming for a government position,” she said.

Onalenna Beful.
Onalenna Beful.
Image: Supplied

Onalenna Beful — Degree in BCom Law

Beful's dream is to become a legal adviser to big companies and businesses.

“I have good leadership skills. I have participated in the community library book-club debates. My wish is to come back as a graduate in my community, to serve and help with their development.”

Tsholofelo Mokgatlha – Degree in BCom Management Marketing

Mokgathla works as a call centre agent but is no stranger to the field of marketing.

She has worked on several campaigns with different brands, and this degree, she said, would add to her many years of experience. 

After obtaining the qualification, she hopes to work with some of SA's biggest brands. 

“I will be doing something I love and I will be in a position where I can compete for better job offers, which I can't do now with just a matric certificate,” she said. 

Darian Beukes.
Darian Beukes.
Image: Supplied

Darian Beukes — Degree in BCom Management Marketing

Beukes, from Cape Town, said the bursary would help relieve the financial stress on his family brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“I have completed matric with a bachelor pass, which I hope will show that I am dedicated to doing my best in my studies. This bursary will help cover the cost of my degree, which includes textbooks.

“My family has a daycare and aftercare centre, which, like many other small businesses, has been financially affected by this pandemic,” he said.

Charity Nicole Sephula — Degree in BCom Management Marketing

Sephula is the youngest of the 16.

She told TimesLIVE her prospects of pursuing further education after matriculating last year were slim due to financial constraints. 

She applied to Boston but later realised she could not afford the fees and opted to cancel her application. She has started attending classes and looks forward to obtaining her degree in three years' time. 

Her plans? To use her skills for her entrepreneurial adventures. 

“I want to be an entrepreneur and start my own business in fashion design,” she said.

Crystle-Joy Roux.
Crystle-Joy Roux.
Image: Supplied

Crystle-Joy Roux — Diploma in Business Management

For Roux, business is also a way of giving back to the community.

My choice for the Diploma in Business Management was not a random one. The business hub is the core of any economy and this bursary will not only add value and connections but also open my mind to endless possibilities. I believe that the empowerment of oneself is the foundation to empowering others, giving back and growing.”

Morris Mosoma – Degree in B Social Science

Mosoma from Atteridgeville is already involved in bettering his community by tutoring young people in social sciences and tourism. The bursary will allow him to give back even more.

“I believe having a degree in social sciences will make a huge impact on my community. The knowledge I gain will allow me to teach and mentor more people, both the young and the old. I am a hardworking and dedicated student who firmly believes in the saying that great things take time. I also think hard work and perseverance pay off.”

Tshegofatso Pela.
Tshegofatso Pela.
Image: Supplied

Tshegofatso Pela

Seventeen-year-old Pela is passionate about the world of IT and boasts impressive results in related subjects. 

“I have always been fascinated by technology and have always wanted to learn more and better understand its implementations and potential. This passion is reflected through the marks I have achieved in computer applications technology, and my proficiency in HTML5 and Python and partial knowledge of CSS and JavaScript obtained through self-study and practice,” she said.

Sibusiso Mathobela – Diploma in Event Management

Mathobela's passion is events management.

“In high school, I was part of the Johannesburg student council where I learnt leadership skills and volunteered my time. I applied for this bursary because both my parents aren’t working,” said Mathobela. 

Andile Buthelezi — Diploma in Event Management

Buthelezi believes his excellent leadership skills and passion for events planning is the perfect combination for his dream qualification. 

“I have chosen this career path because I would really love to be an event planner. My leadership skills are to help my community members with their homework when they come back from school.”

Kabelo Matshitse – Higher certificate in Logistics and Supply-Chain Management Practice

According to Matshitse, digital logistics is the future — and he wants to be part of it.

“I believe proper digital logistics can help grow a business to become a success. Through my knowledge in supply-chain management, I want to assist businesses and create employment,” said Matshitse.

Lethabo Lethabo.
Lethabo Lethabo.
Image: Supplied

Lethabo Lethabo – Higher Certificate in Hospitality Management Practice

Lethabo passed matric with a bachelor pass but still faced rejection and hardship.

“Hospitality is all about warmth and understanding cultures. My leadership is that I know how to keep a smile despite the ups and downs I face in life,” said Lethabo.

Jesse September — Diploma in Marketing Management

September is a born leader who is passionate about her personal growth and the businesses she will work with in the future. 

“I decided to take on a marketing management course for a number of reasons; those reasons being the personal urge to market myself, playing a vital role within a business, and understanding the basics techniques to maximise my opportunity to educate myself. I delegate duties effectively in my general circumstances and I strongly believe that listening and understanding play a significant role in effective leadership.”

Tshegofatso Kgakatsi — Diploma in Systems Development

A mother of two boys and a leader in her community, Kgakatsi wants to ride the 4IR wave using skills such as coding.

“I am passionate about coding. I have been successful in doing online short courses on different types of programming languages.

“On Mondays and Thursdays, I tutor mathematics and accounting at Queen's daycare and aftercare, an NPO in Alexandra township. This is my way of giving back to the community. I am striving to not only secure a better life for my sons but make them proud,” she said.

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