The Maggie Rowley Sinenjongo Assistance Fund (MRSAF) founded in 2020 by Rabie in honour of Maggie Rowley, has chosen its second beneficiary, Asanele Tamsanqa.
“In remembrance of Maggie and the tremendous impact she made during her lifetime, as well as continuing the legacy of the burning passion she had for uplifting the youngsters of Sinenjongo High School, Rabie launched the Maggie Rowley Sinenjongo Assistance Fund,” says John Chapman, Director at Rabie.
The first MRSAF beneficiary was Siphelo Duba, who recently completed his first year of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch, awaiting his year-end results. “One of the highlights of my year was putting on my lab coat for my first chemistry practical.” explains Siphelo. “I also enjoyed the social aspects of resident life, when Covid restrictions allowed.”
Chosen out of 60 applicants from the school, Asanele is one of the four top academic students and will be studying BPharm at the University of the Western Cape from next year.
Grade 12 students were invited to apply in March, and from those applicants, the top four students as ranked by academic performance, were chosen for the shortlist. These students were asked to each write a motivation letter of why he or she deserves to be the MRSAF candidate, whereafter interviews were conducted. The selection criteria, with a heavy weighting on academic ability, also included the determination of attributes such as purpose, energy, and clarity of direction.
“Our top four candidates were really strong this year,” says Chapman. “With two boys and two girls, we had a more balanced selection to choose from than previous years. Asanele already stood out when we read her motivation letter, which was reinforced during her interview. She is positive and friendly, with laser focused determination and drive, which is refreshing to see.”
In her own words, Asanele says “I want to set a good example to my community and my peers, that your background does not determine how high you can jump in life, and they must never let peer pressure and social problems limit their opportunities. I want to be part of the team that works day and night for people around the world to live a better life and cherish moments with their loved ones.”
“Our goal is to assist our beneficiaries to integrate into the University life and to give them the best opportunity to achieve greatness.” explains Chapman. Our students from Sinenjongo High School are competing for space with students across the country for the same courses and qualifications. The playing field is levelled now, whether you come from a prestigious private school or whether you have grown up in an informal settlement. The MRSAF is the embodiment of Maggie’s determination to give our students a fighting chance.”
Asanele explains her plans beyond receiving her degree, “In future, I want to own my own pharmacy and decrease the level of unemployment in this country. It is so painful to see people going to bed on a hungry stomach and the unemployment is also increasing. I want to take my mother out of poverty and make her happy again.”
To read more about the MRSAF and how you can get involved, read here.