Renowned Mzansi Youth Activist & Author Shares Story of Success After Financial Exclusion From University

Renowned Mzansi Youth Activist & Author Shares Story of Success After Financial Exclusion From University

  • Renowned South African activist and writer, Malaika ‘Wa Azania’ Mahlatsi has taken to LinkedIn to share her story of hope after being financially excluded from Rhodes University
  • The best-selling author said she performed poorly during her first year of studies because of mental health struggles and needing to support her family financially
  • But after a generous donor paid for her studies, she passed her course with distinctions and went on to complete her honour’s and one of her master’s degrees with cum laude

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Well-known Mzansi writer and activist, Malaika ‘Wa Azania’ Mahlatsi has taken to LinkedIn to share her inspiring story of success after she was financially excluded from Rhodes University eight years ago.

Studying towards a Bachelor of Social Science in Geography at the time, Malaika said she performed poorly during her first year of studies and failed two subjects because of mental health struggles.

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youth activist, author, success story, rhodes university, financial exclusion, cum laude, writer, linkedin
Malaika alluded that more people should be willing to invest in young people and students. Image: Getty Images/Stock Image.
Source: Getty Images

In her post, she also noted that during her first year of studies, she was under tremendous pressure to financially support her mom and brother

“The following year, I was financially excluded from Rhodes University and had debt amounting to tens of thousands of rands. A generous donor paid off my debt and gave me money to return to university,” Malaika added.

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“I was also given a generous monthly stipend. When such conditions were created, not only did I pass all my subjects, but I completed my degree with several distinctions,” she explained.

The 30-year-old proudly said that she went on to pass her honour’s degree with cum laude and obtained one of her master’s degrees with distinction.

“I have gone on to obtain a Master’s in Food Security from the Tshwane University of Technology, with a grade of 74%. I also hold a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Johannesburg, which I obtained cum laude,” she explained.

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“I am currently completing my Master’s in Water Resource Science, at the Institute for Water Research at Rhodes University. I am going to obtain this degree cum laude.” She added.

Story of hope

The best-selling author notes that she attained success because of the conditions that having a bursary afforded her and alluded that more people should be willing to invest in young people.

“My grades in my first year were not a reflection of my intellectual and academic capabilities, they were a reflection of a system that makes it almost impossible for poor students to thrive,” she said.
“Someone took a chance on me. They didn't see my grades, they saw my potential. They saw not what I was, but who I could become if an investment was made in me. We must be willing to take a chance on people - to give them a fighting chance.” She added.

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Woman who once faced academic exclusion celebrates graduation: “Have faith”

In a similar story by Briefly News, a master's graduate shared the many challenges of her academic journey and has encouraged others not to quit their dreams.

The inspirational young woman did poorly in matric and almost faced academic exclusion in her undergraduate years but still pushed on and reached success.

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Source: Briefly News

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