Goitse Boikanyo, a BComHons Financial Management student in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, recently attended the third MasterCard Foundation Tertiary Scholars Program Convening in California, USA.
The Convening brings together various scholars from different universities and backgrounds to meet and talk about critical issues. Two other scholars from UP also attended, namely David Mahlangu and Nonduduzo Ndlovu.
During this year’s convening, transformative leadership was the core theme. Advances in innovation and technology were also explored to improve and solve some of the issues particularly within Africa and its communities. These issues, as defined by the CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, Reeta Roy, are original, interesting and untested ideas which require insight, revelation, persistence and a different way of thinking.
According to Goitse, attendees were directed towards identifying and unpacking individual values as well as developing personal mission statement.
“Each individual at the Convening had a chance to share their thoughts during the different sessions. I had an opportunity to present a video interview, during which I shared my life journey from a village boy to being an honours student at the University of Pretoria. Through that interview I realised that I have a story that can inspire many lives to strive to be great through dreaming big, like I have always done,” he says.
Goitse learnt many valuable lessons at the Convening, but the transformative leadership session stood out for him. He learnt that, as a leader, you must create a sustainable change that will have a positive impact to those around you. “As a leader, your values and ethical behaviour is very important. As leaders we can learn from each other and work together to create a sustainable change within our country.”
He also had the chance to network with scholars from the different MasterCard Foundation partner universities, who shared with him how they overcome their limitations and how they are helping others.
“This Convening was the best thing that has ever happened to me and it gave me so much hope for Africa. I am still challenged daily by what I experienced,” he admits.
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, a ten-year, $500 million global education initiative, provides access to quality and relevant secondary and higher education for talented young people from economically disadvantaged communities, particularly in Africa, who are committed to giving back to their communities. It combines global interest in advancing the continent with South African excellence. The program commenced at the University of Pretoria in 2014 and has since been extended to other institutions in Africa.