Good Samaritan clears Walter Sisulu University students debt

Walter Sisulu University advancement director Silvanus Welcome shakes hand with WSU alumni and businessman Lonwabo Mafunda who's paying the debt of about 300 disadvantaged students who are set to graduate in May. /SUPPLIED
Walter Sisulu University advancement director Silvanus Welcome shakes hand with WSU alumni and businessman Lonwabo Mafunda who's paying the debt of about 300 disadvantaged students who are set to graduate in May. /SUPPLIED

About 300 indebted students at the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in the Eastern Cape will able to graduate in two months, thanks to the intervention of a good Samaritan.

Businessman and WSU alumni Lonwabo Mafunda will clear students' debt of between R3,000 and R10,000 to enable them to graduate.

Mafunda, who is also the former University Sports South Africa boxing chair, owns LEM Consultants CC which provides consultation and supply services to a wide-ranged spectrum of clients.

It is a company formed in 2011, with sound management skills Mafunda learnt at WSU.

"Life is not always easy and I know how it feels to not being able to pay for university fees. I wouldn't want these students to miss out on their graduation day because they owe the university money," said the benevolent businessman.

"I had to reflect on my own days as a student and the experiences I have had at the university made me question whether I would like to see current students going through the same struggles I went through. I couldn't let that happen, especially
because I am in a position to help," Mafunda said.

The funds donated by Mafunda to the WSU Bursary Fund will contribute towards current students so they are able to graduate in May.

"Life gives us different opportunities and if you are in a position to give then you should do so. Give back to help the needy," he said.

Mafunda said he also enjoyed the support he hadreceived from his lecturers and department at WSU.

"They always supported and embraced new ideas from us students. I can proudly say that this is what contributed to me registering a business as a student."

Mafunda also enjoyed a variety of extramural activities that WSU had to offer to students, an experience that earned him a lot of friends and leadership skills.

"Sport gave me a lot of opportunities. I was the first student to ever complete two terms as chairperson of USSA boxing. I also gained a broader perspective on social and life skills through the many friends I made playing sport."

WSU advancement director, Silvanus Welcome, thanked Mafunda for his generosity towards WSU and its students.

"We want to encourage all alumnus to support their alma mater by any means possible. The WSU Bursary Fund aims to support academic excellence and Mafunda's contribution will help us to achieve that."

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