Earlier this month, the first three graduates of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program studying at the University of Pretoria (UP) crossed the stage to receive their postgraduate degrees.
Taremekedzwa Mangoma, Katlego Masilo and Phumudzo Elphus Ramashau were selected on the basis of their academic excellence, lack of financial resources and potential to become leaders who will uplift the people around them, give back to their communities and make a sustainable difference to the future of our continent.
Of the three scholars, two have already entered the world of work, one as a trainee and the other as an intern, while the third has registered for a master’s degree in Mining Engineering. Graduate Taremekedzwa Mangoma received his honours degree in Food Science. He has taken up a position as intern at Nestlé in East London, Eastern Cape. Such was his dedication to and excellence in his studies that he was selected to address the current group of 60 scholars at the University on 13 April to share his experience and motivate his peers. Katlego Masilo, who obtained a BComHons in Informatics, has taken up a position at Standard Bank in Johannesburg and is undergoing a six-month training programme.
Phumudzo Elphus Ramashau received an honours degree in Mining Engineering and has chosen to study towards a master’s degree in this field. When asked about his internship prospects, Phumudzo said, “I look forward to developing my professional skills through industrial exposure [and] learning from leading experts.”
A celebration dinner held in the scholars’ honour was attended by the Vice-Principal: Academic, Professor Norman Duncan. Professor Ana Naidoo, who manages the Scholars Program and mentored both Taremekedzwa and Phumudzo, also attended the event.
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 programme commenced at the University of Pretoria in 2014 and has since been extended to other institutions in Africa.
Professor Ana Naidoo, Deputy Director of the Department of Education Innovation at the University of Pretoria and overseer of the Programme, is particularly proud of this group. “They are the pioneers of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at UP and have proved it to be a successful venture. We are extremely pleased with them and wish them well in their future careers.”