- Sam Mangena is a mechanical engineering student at UJ
- He lost his NSFAS bursary, but donors stepped in
- However, he has to sell recyclable plastic to buy food and help his family back home
A mechanical engineering student is so determined to finish his studies that he sells recyclable plastic to raise money for food.
Sam Mangena, 28, already holds a national diploma in engineering, Briefly.co.za gathered. He subsequently gained admission to the University of Johannesburg.
However, he failed some of his second-year modules in 2014, lost his NSFAS bursary and was removed from the university residence.
Despite this setback, a determined Mangena didn't give up. He managed to secure donor funding to continue his studies.
Additionally, he built his own shack in the Booysens informal settlement in Johannesburg. The young student also started collecting and selling recyclable plastic to get money for food.
Speaking to SABC, Mangena said he also sends some money back home:
I buy food for myself this side and also send some money back home so that my mom and siblings can have some support.
Although it's a daily struggle that includes walking 5km to campus, he is determined to qualify.
Mangena's fellow student said his commitment to his studies has inspired him:
Some students fail, not because they don't study, but because of their backgrounds. At times, you find that you're not able to study because you slept on an empty stomach.
Despite his challenges, Mangena takes it one day at a time.
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