- Phumelelo Simelane, a broke and indebted student, was about to lose hope of finishing his degree until strangers donate money to help him out
- People from all over South Africa stood together to help raise funds and ensure a bright future for one man
- Thanks to the true spirit of Ubuntu, this bright youngster can now persue his dream of becoming a lawyer
Phumelelo Simelane, a 22-year-old Ermelo local and law student at the University of Pretoria, received the disheartening news that he would not be able to continue his studies. He needed to pay at least half of his R100 000 tuition and residence debts to continue.
It was quite a blow for him, as he was about to enroll for his final year of LLB. His previous job as a Taxify driver was not bringing in enough money to cover the required amount and also kept him out of studies, so that was not an option.
His single mother had already used her pension to help pay for his studies. All applications for study loans, including those sent to NSFAS, had been turned down and things were looking bleak.
“I was distraught, demotivated and desperate. I had essentially given up. I had made peace with not being able to complete my degree,” he told the City Press.
Briefly.co.za gathered that he was encouraged by a friend and fellow student to make a video explaining his situation and asking for a minor donation of R25 from anyone who could help. Through social media sharing, the video got around and funds started flowing in.
News24 reported the largest single donation was made by the Germiston-based company Ngolovan, who donated an outstanding R50 000. The co-owner of the company, Mr Mark Lucas, had heard about Simelane's plight from his son, another university friend of Simelane's.
All in all, a total of R76 000 was donated toward his studies, ensuring that he can complete his law degree.
What does the future hold for Phumelelo Simelane once he has completed his studies? He plans on working for a law firm in Pretoria and starting a fund of his own help other students in similar situations pay their way to a degree, a noble way of paying forward the generosity that he has received from strangers.
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