When Ndlaleni Prudence Mkwanazi applied for tertiary education financial assistance from diamond company De Beers’ Voorspoed diamond mine, in the Free State, earlier this year, little did she anticipate the great news she would receive.
After all, the financial assistance programmes she initially approached could only offer her tuition support to the maximum value of R25 000. Instead, Mkwanazi and two other learners – Anisa Camroodien (from De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa) and Maanda Makgatho (from De Beers’ Venetia diamond mine, in Limpopo) – walked away with a full comprehensive bursary to the value of R80 000 a year.
All this was made possible by a partnership between De Beers Consolidated Mines and the Dell Development Foundation. The bursary pays the full tuition and covers all related expenses until she completes her degree.
Apart from the bursary, Mkwanazi also received a new Dell laptop that will be hers permanently.
Born and bred in Snake Park, in the Maokeng township of Kroonstad, Mkwanazi, 19, is a second-year student at the University of the Free State, currently reading for a BSc in forensic sciences.
A hard worker with big dreams to achieve in her life, Mkwanazi obtained ten distinctions during her first year of study in 2016.
“I am strongly motivated to study hard towards my dreams, keep the bursary and make my family and everyone around me proud,” she states.
Through the De Beers bursary, Mkwanazi managed to buy all the study material she needed, which, in turn, helped her improve her academic record. She has since been given the opportunity to join the Golden Key Society at the university. The society rewards students in the top 15% of their respective degree programmes.
“I would like to thank De Beers for making all this possible for me. Opportunities like this do not come often. To the Dell Development Foundation, I do not have words to explain how grateful I am,” Ndlaleni concludes.