A testimony of one of the Masandise beneficiaries:
“It is an overwhelming honour for me to share with you my testimony of how Masandise Study Aid assisted me with my welfare as a student.
My name is Takudzwa Kevin Masunda, and I am originally from Zimbabwe. I am studying computer science at the University of Stellenbosch and I am an exceedingly grateful and privileged recipient of the Masandise bursary fund.
My financial and emotional hardships began at the end of the academic year of the 2016 when the Zimbabwean Scholarship which had been funding my studies was suspended. The scholarship had been bedevilled by enormous corruption during the years it was active and was consequently suspended indefinitely.
Consequently I was left without a hope of continuing my studies in South Africa. Even though my hope was dwindling, however, at the beginning of the 2017 academic year I approached the University’s International Office for financial aid. Its director could assist me with registration fees only, but no further. That meant that there were no more funds I could receive from the University for the remainder of the year.
I had registered; however, I did not have funds for my basic welfare such as food, accommodation, stationary to mention but a few. Before my registration I was squatting with a friend; but I had to move out because I was putting his residence placement at risk.
I vividly remember a period after that when I slept on the floor in the one of the University computer labs, only going to shower at my friend’s place. Because of the lack of facilities, I sometimes I had to miss classes because I realised I was unhygienic and would be offensive to my classmates.
Often I would go days without a meal, or eat only one meal a day. Stress over my financial and emotional hardships caused my health to deteriorate and my concentration in class was impaired
I began to seek medical attention frequently, whick led to my missing a lot of classes, which worried my doctor. I had to explain my situation to her. She called Marida, one of the Masandise mentors
Marida quickly attended to my desperate situation and I was consequently taken up by Masandise. Furthermore, Marida assumed the role of my mentor, to help me emotionally. She managed to get me another mentor, who helps me with academic matters.
I began to receive financial and emotional support. This meant that I could continue my studies without financial and emotional stress. This opportunity meant that I can look forward to graduating and changing my life for the better.
Nothing is more exhilarating than to study without financial and emotional hardships! That enhances success.
Because of Masandise’s input, I managed to pass all my academic modules in 2017. I owe my gratitude to the fund’ s consistent and unwavering love for me and belief in the future ahead of me.
Mandise’s financial and emotional aid has carried on into the 2018 academic year. The fund played a very critical role in my registration. Because of Masandise’s undertaking to sponsor my accommodation, the International Office Director was prepared to accept me for 2018. A student assistantship will help to pay my study fees. Without the fund’s input I might have never been allowed to register for this academic year. Hence my dream to become a software engineer is so much closer. For this I owe Masandise my absolute, eternal gratitude for what you have done, what you have given, and what you hopefully continue to give.
With this I say “Thank you! Baie dankie! Siyabonga kakulu! Tinotenda!” And may God bless you!
Ladies and Gentlemen I leave you with these words: life is not measured by the number of years you live, but instead by the number of lives you touch .”