Newly inaugurated University of Pretoria (UP) Student Representative Council (SRC) President David Kabwa says he plans to focus on accommodation issues, student hunger, mental wellness, and academic and financial exclusion during his second term in office.
Kabwa and his new SRC were sworn in last month. He spoke to Xolani Mathibela about his vision for 2020.
Who is David Kabwa?
I am a 22 year-old Political Science student. I am committed to my academic progress, but mostly to doing more. I am a servant of a student body. I believe that you cannot be a leader until you realise that what you are doing is a call to serve. I am not above anyone but subservient to those who have placed me in this position. For me, this position means serving the wider population of the University’s students. I have been fortunate to have seen, experienced and witness so many things as the SRC President, and I have found sincere beauty in building and growing in those experiences.
This is your second term as SRC President; what did it feel like to win a second time?
I made history at UP by being re-elected for a second term as an independent candidate. Last year I became the first second-year student elected UP SRC President. I also was elected chairperson of House Humanities in 2018, and it feels amazing. This means that it is important for one to establish a link of continuity and understand the pros and cons along the way. It means a lot to me, and I do not take this opportunity for granted. I carry the realisation that I need to do even more.
What do you consider the key issues affecting students, and how do you intend to address them?
Accommodation, student hunger and mental wellness, to mention a few. Sadly, the office term is not long enough to properly address these issues. However, for 2020 we envision a greater level of efficiency. We also intend to prepare our students in regards to how to deal with academic and financial exclusion, among other things.
What else would you like to say to the UP student body?
The difficulty that you are facing is a challenge that I cannot measure, because my difficulty differs from your difficulty. But you are not alone. We are here to help and receive you. As the UP community, we must look out for one another. You are treasured, you matter, and your impact has not yet been felt.